Rant Sports MLB Top 50 Players of 2014: No. 27 Hanley Ramirez
When Hanley Ramirez broke into the league with the Miami Marlins (the Florida Marlins at the time), he was viewed as one of the best players in MLB. He is certainly a rare talent, but he has had trouble with consistency and with several trips to the disabled list in recent years.
In his first season with the Marlins after being traded by the Boston Red Sox, Ramirez hit .292/.353/.480 with 17 home runs and 51 stolen bases in 158 games. He improved upon those numbers in every season until 2011. In 2011, Ramirez only appeared in 92 games, hitting for a .243/.333/.379 slash line with a 97 wRC+. Little did we know, this would be the beginning of the end of Ramirez’s tenure in South Beach.
In 2012, Ramirez began the season with the Marlins, but was eventually traded in August to the Los Angeles Dodgers as a part of a huge series of trades that positioned the Dodgers to be contenders for many years to come. He was traded to the Dodgers along with Randy Choate, while L.A. also acquired Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Red Sox in that same month.
The Dodgers built a mega-team made of superstars from across the league and basically became the MLB version of the Miami Heat. In Ramirez’s second season with the Dodgers, he had the best season of his career. Despite playing only 86 games, Ramirez hit for a .345/.402/.638 slash line with 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases. He put up an absolutely ridiculous 190 wRC+. In 86 games, Ramirez compiled 5.1 fWAR.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Ramirez was injured throughout the postseason and was nowhere near as effective as he was in the regular season. In the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ramirez hit just .133/.316/.133 in 19 plate appearances after hitting .500/.556/1.063 in 18 plate appearances in the Dodgers’ series win against the Atlanta Braves.
It was obvious that his ribs were bothering him and hurting his performance on the field. With a healthy Ramirez, who knows if the Dodgers would have advanced? It would have at least helped their chances. The Dodgers are going to be a very scary team next season with a healthy Ramirez and the rest of the superstars on their roster.