OK all, this is my first ever blog. Feel free to leave feedback or criticisms or whatever you want.
I believe Hanley Ramirez is one of the top 3 position players today. Now I'm not going to bore you with all kinds of stats, mainly because I'm writing this mid-season, so the stats for at least this year are yet incomplete. However, I do want to point out that he is leading the league in hitting, which is kind of hard to argue with as far as establishing him as a great hitter. Also I'd like to point out that he is a one-time member of the 30-30 club, and in my opinion will be a 40-40 player at some point in the future. He missed a second 30-30 season in 2007 by one homerun. He has the potential for 40-40, as he has swiped over 50 bases twice in his short career, and has hit as many as 33 homers in a season as well. The power numbers, you may believe, leave a little something to be desired when talking about future 40-40 candidates. However, keep in mind the 33 bombs came when Hanley was a leadoff hitter, and has since been asked by the Marlins organization to become a cleanup hitter. Now some of you may point out that this year his homerun totals and stolen base totals are a little down. This is true, but remember he plays for the Marlins. There's not a whole lot of protection for him in that lineup, so he's not always seeing the best pitches to hit. And as far as the stolen base totals, he started off the year slowly but has been on a tear as of late. He will finish at least 25-25 this year for sure, with a possibility of another 30-30 year.
Now the next argument you may propose is that he's not a good defensive player. While this was true in recent years, even as recently as last year, he has been working on improving his defense, and it shows this season. He has been much better this year fielding his position, and he has always had good range and a strong arm. This is evidenced by the fact his arror numbers are down.
Now a lot of folks may not have seen a lot of Hanley in live game action, due to the Marlins lack of big time media coverage. This is understandable. Being a Marlins fan, I purchasedMLB.tv so I could watch my favorite team in action. Having this program has provided me the opportunity to see just about every Marlins game, except for the games versus the Diamondbacks and Rockies, who are considered to be in my zone and are therefore blacked out of my subscription. However, I'm guessing most of you are familiar with him as a player due to the national recognition he has received over the last few seasons. This leads me to my next point.
I'm guessing a lot of people think Pujols is a better player than Hanley Ramirez. I would completely agree with that. Remember, I said Hanley's one of the best 3 position players in baseball, not the top dog himself. Perhaps in time he will take that top spot, but as of right now Albert Pujols is the obvious choice for #1. I would also have to say that Joe Mauer is perhaps a better player than Hanley. Joe is clearly a top flight hitter with an amazing eye for the strike zone. Mauer is also a stud behind the plate with a tremendous amount of defensive prowess. Let me add that Albert Pujols is also a great defensive player, besides being the best hitter on the planet. I'm not going to bring pitchers into this conversation, because that would be comparing apples and oranges, so to speak. We'll save that for another day.
Some people might accuse me of being a homer, and maybe that's valid, but I like to think I'm being rational and objective when I offer my simple analysis of the game's great players. Maybe I'm wrong, and if you think so, let your voice be heard. I'd like to hear what people think on this subject. I considered doing this as a Throw Down, but I figured I might be able to get more feedback in a blog.
OK, that's all I've got. I realize tossed out a few more stats than I had anticipated, and for that I apologize. Again, this is my first blog. Please bear with me. Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!