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Daily Dodger in Review: More to be tapped from Hanley Ramirez?

October 16, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • All of Hanley Ramirez's offensive numbers went up after the Dodgers obtained him from the Miami Marlins.
All of Hanley Ramirez's offensive numbers went up after the Dodgers… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

HANLEY RAMIREZ, 28, infield

Final 2012 stats: .257 batting average, 24 home runs, 92 RBI, 79 runs, 21 stolen bases, .322 on-base and .437 slugging percentages, and 15 errors.

Contract status: Signed for 2013 at $15.5 million, and in 2014 at $16 million.

The good: Offensively, Ramirez pretty much gave the Dodgers what they expected. All his numbers went up a click after his trade from the Marlins to the Dodgers on July 25. Gives the Dodgers another right-handed power bat option to hit between Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier. Did not flash the speed he demonstrated when stealing 51 bases in 2006 and 2007 but still has some zip. Was never a problem in the clubhouse, as some feared.

The bad: His fielding can be a problem. He had six errors at shortstop for the Dodgers in 57 games, and despite his speed, did not cover as much ground as expected. Neither his backhand nor arm were impressive. Dodgers believe there is more there. Offensively, was very good, though still shy of his superstar potential.

What’s next: The Dodgers have to decide whether to play him at short or third next year, and regardless if Dee Gordon or Luis Cruz is starting, Ramirez seems better served at the less demanding corner spot. He figures to bat in the middle of the order somewhere.

The take: The Dodgers have to be encouraged by the play of Ramirez, who was not thrilled to be in Miami and often played like it. It will be interesting to see his level of dedication now that he’s in a place he likes, with a team that could contend for a title.

The Dodgers need him fully committed. He needs to get over his penchant for wanting to hit home runs every time up and buy into the team concept. Maybe that also translates defensively, but for now I definitely would play him at third.

One of the major problems the Dodgers faced last season was their lack of power at the corners. The addition of Ramirez and Gonzalez seemed a spectacular response, so put him back there and start Cruz at short. Cruz may have less range, but he’s a better fielder and more consistent.

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