I have been ranting about this for some time – why do we have to under value our talent?
Which is better – have a pretty good #3 hitter in your lineup or perhaps the best leadoff hitter in the game (and one of the best in decades)?
When you have a choice, why wouldn’t you choose the latter since you can always find a solid #3 hitter but you cannot replicate the damage done by having the best table setter in the game. See the Marlins in 2003 which had two pretty exciting hitters starting things off.
Well, the Marlins have finally started to wise up. Maybe they finally read my posts, emails or blogs. There is no reason whatsoever to have Hanley batting third – except for the oft-failed concept of “just ’cause”. Thinking inside the box for no other reason that to try to avoid controversy and to look like you know what you are doing is dangerous. Hanley hitting third has no logic to it except for an old concept that a guy with his power has to hit third.
Well, a guy that hits third has to hit after all, doesn’t he? And Hanley is not doing that.
Now, of course this could be something else – like maybe Hanley needs glasses. Then again, maybe it is just as simple as Hanley is more comfortable leading off and not trying to drive runners in. Maybe he feels better up there at the plate trying to set up the offense instead of being the last word.
The numbers now, don’t lie. And it isn’t just for this season – but going back to last season when the experiment failed.
The question is, why mess with something that clearly isn’t broke? It’s no coincedence that the Marlins went through a struggle to score runs recently with Hanley hitting third instead of leading off. Sure, some of it had to do with missing Willingham (and Jacobs) in their lineup. But now they are apparently looking for a consistent lead off hitter and that is why they signed Jones. Jones doesn’t project to be any better than Ross or Amezaga, however. He has a low .OBP and only seems to get on when he gets hits. A leadoff hitter needs to generate as many possibilities to get on base as, well, possible.
Hanley Ramirez not only does that, but he also can kill you from the top spot, too. His OBP is currently .392 – behind only Uggla (whose so hot right now solar power panels are aimed at him) and Willy (whose out with a back injury). And that is after his current slump is weighed.
54 ABs and only 4 runs driven in. That is about as bad as it gets. Time to move him back and when the Marlins do, they should keep him there permanently.