He is easily one of the most impressive young hitters in baseball. His resume so far this season looks like this:
- 4th in the NL in average hitting .335
- 4th in the NL with 15 stolent bases
- 1st in the NL with 39 runs scored
- 6th in the NL with OBP at .411
- 9th in NL with OPS (.953)
- 10th in SLG in NL with .541
Hanley Ramirez has arrived. He’s getting plenty of praise from his peers, Ken Griffey Jr. saying that HanRam would be the guy he would start a franchise with. John Smoltz has said that both Ramirez and NY Met’s SS Jose Reyes are going to redefine the prototypical SS position – which is saying a lot considering that position was previously re-defined by guys like Cal Ripken and Alex Rodriguez. Long gone are the Ozzie Smith’s at the position.
All this praise and Hanley Ramirez is arguably not even the best hitter on his team – that would belong to wunderkind Miguel Cabrera. Yet right now, it would be hard to pick against Ramirez and what he is doing for the one of the NL’s top offenses.
The 2006 NL Rookie of the Year is being asked, once again, to set the table for the Marlins and he is doing it in a big way. His high OBP is proving him to be an effective lead off man while his runs scored is showing that his teammates are making the most of his ability to get on base.
In fact, 18% of the Marlins runs scored (217), which the team is currently ranked tied for 4th place in the NL, are scored by Hanley Ramirez. That means almost 2 out of every 5 runs the Marlins score will see Ramirez cross the plate.
All of this production begs the question – is Hanley Ramirez a real MVP candidate? And if so, do the Red Sox regret making that trade?
It is too early to tell, much like the Marlins’ season. At 21-23, the Marlins have a lot to prove as this team showed so much promise last season whereas in this current season they have suffered an enormous amount of injuries. Despite the adversity, Hanley Ramirez continues to improve and lead the team out of the gate. If he can keep up his production all season long, it will be very hard to deny MVP talk for Ramirez.