FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

LIKE THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS ON FACEBOOOK

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: HANLEY RAMIREZ 1B/OF BOSTON RED SOX

Age is the one theme in fantasy baseball that is as stable as it gets in an always volatile game.  The older a player gets?  The more risky he becomes in terms of injury and in terms of sliding numbers.  This is true no matter how dynamic said player once was earlier in their careers.  On that theme, we are seeing a classic case unfold in Boston when it comes to former fantasy baseball number 1 overall pick Hanley Ramirez.  At one time a five-category absolute statistical monster while manning shortstop for the Florida Marlins, Ramirez has undergone the typical ravages of age over the last three seasons in terms of injury and numbers heading in the wrong direction.  While Ramirez' offensive numbers have been hurt as he moves along in his 30's, his defense also became a major liability which is why the Red Sox decided to install him in leftfield for the 2015 season after signing him to a massive four-year free agent contract.  The results were disastrous as Ramirez was one of the worst defenders in baseball no mater the position and now the Red Sox will move him to first base for 2016 in hopes something will click with the guy on that side of things.  Of course when discussing Ramirez, we who play fantasy baseball only want to know about the offensive numbers and even those have some major cause for concern.  Let's dig in and find out where we are at there. 

When Ramirez signed with the Red Sox prior to 2015, there was still some major hype about the transaction in terms of him moving into an offensive ballpark for the first time in his career.  Having played both in Florida/Miami and then in spacious Los Angeles with the Dodgers, Ramirez had never taken aim at offensive-friendly dimensions in his home park before until signing with Boston.  As a result some big things were forecast for Ramirez who still carries shortstop eligibility for 2015 for the last time.  And the hype certainly looked warranted early on as Ramirez came out of the gates on fire in April as he slugged a crazy 10 home runs and collected 22 RBI while hitting .293 in April.  Alas the good time did not keep on rolling as the wheels soon began to come off as Ramirez' body began to betray him.  Just like in 2013 and 2014, Ramirez started dealing with nagging injuries all over his body and his numbers began to suffer as a result as sank to just 2 home runs and a .235 average in May.  A .338 June with 3 home runs gave some cause to be optimistic that Ramirez had just dealt with a poor stretch in May but once July came around, things went from good to completely and utterly disastrous.  The result was Ramirez hitting a pathetic .189 in just 109 at-bats in the second half of the season as he missed half of August and all of September with a serious shoulder problem.  While no surgery was performed, Ramirez could not swing a bat the last month and a half of the season as his body continues to break down all over the place.  And for the season Ramirez' numbers were not what the Red Sox expected:

.249
19 HR
53 RBI
59 R
6 SB

Now the 19 home runs in just 401 at-bats is a terrific ratio for sure and overall that is the category where Ramirez is now expected to make most of his hay in fantasy baseball along with RBI.  Aiming at the Green Monster, Ramirez could smack 25 home runs with 80-plus RBI this season if he can stay even relatively healthy.  Alas there are still some issues to worry about here, starting with the fact Ramirez looks shot as a base stealer.  Now 32-years-old, it would not be a shock if Ramirez no longer ran much anymore as not many players do at that age.  Still you can forget the days of 20-plus stolen bases as Ramirez has not reached that benchmark since 2012 when he had 21 and his long litany of injuries both in his upper and lower body will make it tough for him to even have double-digits by the looks of things. 

There are also some overall hitting concerns here as well as Ramirez hit just .249 last season.  A red flag showed up in the walk column as Ramirez' BB/9 rate was a career-low by a mile 4.9 in 2015.  No doubt loving swinging for the fences in Boston, Ramirez sold out his swing like never before as he tried to hit a home run in seemingly every at-bat.  No doubt the shoulder injury compounded things but Ramirez hit just an ordinary .274 in the first half of the season before that issue cropped up.  In trying to be optimistic, Ramirez' K rate is holding steady at 16.5 percent which is right in line with his career numbers and he did have an unlucky .257 BABIP as well which hurt him.  Ramirez won't hit .249 again as long as he is somewhat healthy but looking for anything more then around .275 is pushing it. 

When you put it all together, Hanley Ramirez is a guy who is clearly now past his prime and continues to head into some scary territory in terms of injuries and a changing statistical yield.  Even worse, he no longer has shortstop eligibility for the first time in his career as he carries just the outfield and soon-to-be first base tags.  While it is possible Ramirez could squeeze out another very good season (albeit without steals and a somewhat lower batting average), the fact of the matter is that the guy has a better chance to lose more numbers then turn himself even remotely back into what he once was. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .265 24 HR 86 RBI 84 R 5 SB 

________________________________________________________________________________

*****REGISTER FOR OUR MESSAGE BOARD FOR THE 2016 FANTASY BASEBALL SEASON:  http://thefantasysportsboss.freeforums.net/

******LIKE US ON TWITTER IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE SO ALREADY.  GOING TO TWEET LIVE DURING GAMES THIS SEASON.  WILL HAVE GIVEAWAYS AND CONTESTS ON TWITTER THIS SEASON:  https://twitter.com/ROTOBOSS

*****LIKE US ON FACEBOOK.  WILL HAVE GIVEAWAYS ALL SEASON THERE:  https://www.facebook.com/The-Fantasy-Sports-Boss-199190803425104/?fref=ts

No comments:

Post a Comment