Hanley Ramirez has been one of the main spark plugs for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ remarkable run to the top of the NL West in 2013. Unfortunately, a series of injuries throughout the year will most likely cost the deserving shortstop the position’s Silver Slugger Award.
From the beginning of May until early June, Ramirez missed 28 games for the Dodgers after suffering a hamstring injury. Then, in early August, Ramirez went crashing over a solid wall and into the stands trying to make a play on a foul ball in Wrigley Field. The Dominican star jammed his throwing shoulder in that collision and was forced to sit out four games. As a result of all of the injuries, setbacks and occasional days off, Ramirez has missed a grand total of 66 of the Dodgers’ 137 games thus far.
Despite trailing only his teammate, Yasiel Puig, in batting average in the National League, Ramirez will not have a shot at winning the batting title because he will not have met the minimum requirement for plate appearances. Although there is no minimum necessary to win the Silver Slugger, Ramirez’s amount of games played will likely be a deterrent in the eyes of the voters (MLB coaches and managers).
On the season, Ramirez has a fantastic .336 batting average in 71 games. Despite only having 15 home runs this year, Ramirez is averaging one dinger for every 4.733 games he has played. Aside from Troy Tulowitzki’s average of one every 4.727 games, no other NL shortstop who has played at least 70 games has a better average. Tulowitzki and the Washington Nationals‘ Ian Desmond lead all NL shortstops with 68 RBI a piece, while Ramirez trails by only 21. Desmond has played in 63 more games than Ramirez and Tulowitzki has appeared 33 more times, so LA’s shortstop has certainly been plating runners at a comparable if not better average.
Ramirez pairs speed with power in order to obtain the great numbers he has in 2013, but I fear he will not get the respect he is due because of his missed time. Hopefully the voters will recognize Ramirez’s influential contribution and great stats when they go to mark their ballots. I would love to read your comments below about who you think should win the 2013 NL Silver Slugger for shortstops. Thanks for reading!