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Hanley Ramirez

Born: 12/23/1983 (Age: 30)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" Weight: 225
Primary Position: SS
Secondary Position: 3B

Evaluator Ethan Purser
Report Date 10/13/2014
Present Role 60; starting shortstop on a first-division team.
Years expected to perform at current level 3-4
Future Role Starting third baseman on a first-division team. Ramirez will be moved off of shortstop sooner rather than later due to a rapidly declining skill-set at the position, but the bat will play at any position. He will remain a middle-of-the-order hitter into his mid-30s with plenty of ability and athleticism to handle third base.

Swing Breakdown
Slightly open, tall stance; hands held high slightly off of right ear; hand waggle/toe tap timing mechanism during setup; lowers hands to shoulder and draws them back slightly as pitch approaches; looks to lift and separate with his lower half; big leg kick to load rear quad; will shorten leg kick w/ 2 strikes; front foot lands closed and square to the pitcher, though he is still able to unlock the back hip due to efficient and powerful rotation; fires hips forcefully and creates plentiful torque due to the separation of his two halves; hips rotate against a firm front leg, creating leverage; back foot comes off the ground at contact, a signal of an efficient utilization of the lower half; swing is relatively short for the amount of power he generates; lots of head violence after swing and will often look unbalanced; excellent post-contact extension; susceptible to timing mishaps due to high-maintenance swing.
Approach
Approach is best described as selectively aggressive; very aggressive within the zone in any count, especially on fastballs; rarely misses a fastball when he offers at one; though he is primarily looking to pull pitches, Ramirez will often take fastballs on the outer half and shoot them to the opposite field when the situation calls for it; if he's looking for pitches to drive early in counts, player will often lay off soft stuff on the outer black and wait for a mistake by the opposing pitcher; will never be a walk machine but will accumulate his fair share due to pitchers nibbling on the outer half, trying to minimize damage.
Makeup
Known for being a laid back player/personality, which has rubbed some people the wrong way during his professional career; very few notable incidents of late; observers note that he often coasts on pure ability, though he has the type of ability to carry him far.
Tool Current Grade Report
Hit 60 Plus hitter; special hands at the plate with the ability to make contact in all quadrants of the zone; near elite quickness and strength in his hands; special bat speed; excellent post-contact extension, which allows his bat to stay in the zone for a long period of time; will occasionally get pull-happy and open up some holes on the outer half but has enough strength and hand-eye coordination to overcome this; will often struggle with pitch recognition, especially against breaking balls; flashes the ability to keep his hands back on off-speed offerings and can drive them even when fooled/off balance.
Power 60 Plus power; impressive raw and in-game pop generated by a power-oriented swing; generous lift through the zone with plus-plus bat speed; lower half is efficient and extremely powerful when everything is in sync; creates enormous torque by emphatically separating his halves and generates leverage by rotating his hips around a firm front leg; the result is a pole-to-pole power hitter who is still capable of 20-25 home runs a season given health; power could slip into the above-average range (55) into his mid-30s.
Baserunning/Speed 50 Average runner; best digs in the 4.3 range; no longer a burner but has plenty of speed to steal ~15 bags a season pending health; good base stealer with a solid track record of success; average runner at present but there is a chance the tool plays at the fringe-average level in his mid-30s as his body heads south.
Glove 40 Limited range at shortstop; first-step quickness is lacking; poor footwork for the position; plays wild and out of control at times; can make the plays in his vicinity and his hands work well enough; balls in the 5-6 holes give him trouble due to poor reactions to his right; flair for the dramatic (see recent playoff performance at the position) but not a consistent defensive performer up the middle; glove could play to average (50) given a move to third base.
Arm 55 Solid-average arm strength; will throw from a lower slot on occasion and have the ball sail on him, causing accuracy issues; not a huge weapon but has plenty of juice from the left side.

Batted Ball Percentages
vs LHP vs RHP
GB LD FB GB LD FB
38.27% 35.80% 14.81% 48.07% 25.61% 19.65%

Plate Discipline
vs LHP vs RHP
FA SI SL FA SI CH
Chase % 29% 29.31% 39.13% 32.31% 31.22% 34.23%
Swing / Miss % 2.6% 5.88% 37.14% 12.88% 12.1% 36.46%
*Stats are for the 2014 season

Strengths
Dangerous hitter who is capable of hitting anywhere from 2nd-5th in a big-league lineup; plus hitter with plus power; left-side arm strength; average speed at present with the ability to swipe some bags.
Weaknesses
Below-average defender at shortstop with limited range; susceptible to injuries, playing in 214 games over the past two seasons due to numerous maladies; average runner at present but the tool could diminish into his mid-30s; questions about makeup linger.
Means of Exploitation
At the plate, Ramirez has a few tendencies that can be exploited with a proper game plan in place. He will roll over/pop up hard stuff on the outer half due to his pull-heavy approach, though he will occasionally lay off of these pitches early in counts in hopes for something over the plate. In situations where Ramirez is looking to do damage with runners on base, right-handed pitchers should try to entice him with breaking balls low and out of the zone early in counts (normally down and in), forcing him to swing over the top and induce weak contact or a whiff. Righties can also get Ramirez to offer at fastballs above his hands, though he will hammer pitches that miss a few inches down. Lefties can get Ramirez to swing-and-miss on changeups early in counts on the outer half when he is looking for a fastball and can back-foot a breaking ball when ahead in the count in order to get the out. If you miss with a fastball as a lefty over the plate, expect a negative result—hitter rarely misses mistakes. On the whole, Ramirez struggled with fastballs in 2014 relative to prior seasons due to pitchers attacking his weak spots above the hands and expanding the zone on the outer half. This should be a trend that continues going forward.
Overall

Ramirez has everything needed to be a middle-of-the-order force, which is a coveted commodity on the free-agent market. A team looking for a shortstop should look elsewhere, however, as Ramirez lacks the quickness and range to be anything more than a below-average defender at a key position as he continues past his physical prime. The soon-to-be 31-year-old should be targeted as a third baseman who, with some work, could be an average defender at the hot corner. Health is always a factor with Ramirez, and nagging injuries have been the bugaboo throughout his career with fluctuating performance as a result. This is the biggest wildcard with Ramirez—if he's healthy, he's one of the most dangerous hitters on the planet. I do not expect the lingering injuries to subside as he climbs into his 30s, and any team that signs him long-term has to take his health into consideration. A five to six-year contract seems fitting for both sides, and I see Ramirez being productive for the majority of that contract with some declination of skills around age 34-35. There is plenty of risk given the injury history and the assumption that he will not remain healthy throughout his 30s.


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Grasul
10/28
Love it; please do more of these.