Hanley Ramirez is a professional baseball player from the Dominican Republic and plays as a shortstop. Levy Ochoa and Julian Camilo, two scouts in the Boston Red Sox organization, were credited with the finding of Hanley Ramirez who joined the Red Sox and soon became one of their topmost prospects. During his minor league years, Ramirez became quite well known in the baseball fraternity and in 2005, the Florida Marlins decided to bring him in on a trade that also had Anibal Sanchez com to Florida while Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota went over to Boston.
Although just having had a few years near the top flight, Ramirez was impressive in his performance in the AAA-League with the New Orleans Zephyrs and equally impressive was his performance in the 2006 spring training session.
Although Ramirez had already made his MLB debut with Boston, it had only been for 2 games where he went in to bat only twice, getting struck out twice. Things were quite different when Ramirez went out for the Marlins though.
185 hits, 11 of those – triples; 51 stolen bases, 119 Runs, 59 RBI, 17 home runs – All in 633 at-bats with a .292 batting average meant that Ramirez had definitely made a super strong case for the rookie of the year title. 7 lead off homers also made him the record holder for the most in the history of the franchise for a season and even a career.
He became the first rookie in the National League to score 110-runs or above along with 50 or above stolen bases.
Things didn’t change much, in fact they became only better, as Ramirez picked up where he left off at the end of the rookie season. 639 at-bats in 154 games were played at an incredible .332 batting average. Ramirez batted in 81 runs and scored 125 runs with 212 hits. He had 48 doubles, up from his previous season’s 46; and 29 homers with a strike out count of just 95, as compared to his previous season’s tally of 128.
Unfortunately, these numbers were not good enough to get Ramirez a place in the All-Star game. Jose Reyes and J.J. Hardy went in ahead of Ramirez at this stage, which was quite obvious considering that those two had been far better than the sophomore player.
Ramirez partially dislocated his shoulder in a game against the Cincinnati Reds in July 2007 when he went for a pitch on the lower outside corner and in all probability, overstretched his shoulder. Although the layoff wasn’t long, it was a recurrence of an injury that saw him miss 5 games in his previous season, which occurred for the exact same reason. During Winter League in the Dominican Republic, Ramirez had fallen awkwardly in 2006 and that also cause problems to his shoulder.
Ramirez ended 2007 as part of the top-10 players in the National League MVP rankings. Following 2007, Ramirez underwent surgery on his left shoulder to repair the injury.
In 2008, the Marlins traded out Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, both all star players. That left Ramirez as the face of the Marlins for the 2008 season and after another sensational year, where his performance actually dropped from the previous season, Ramirez made it to the All-Star game for the first time.
Ramirez’s performance was again stellar, with another season of 125 runs but with 177 hits only. His home run count crossed the thirties, as he had a 33-homer season with 67 RBI at a batting average of .301. It was all but natural that a contract extension was coming his way with a 6-year, $70 million offer, making him the richest player in the history of the Marlins and also propelling him as the main guy in the roster.
In June 2008, Ramirez was the National League Player of the Month after a .298 batting average for the month with 6 doubles, a triple and 10 home runs. He led the league in homers, runs and total bases that season and was also considered to be one of the prime candidates to get into the 40-40 club however, he only managed 33 and 35 homeruns and stolen bases, respectively to get into the 30-30 club.
As a shortstop in the All-Star NL team, Ramirez had his first on-field experience at Yankee Stadium and went 2-for-3 hitting 2 singles, one of which later made a run.
Ramirez, who had previously been tried at the 3rd spot instead of the leadoff spot, would be permanently moved to the new position in 2009. So far, the season has been spectacular for Ramirez with 76 games producing a .348 batting average. With 58 RBI and 13 home runs, Ramirez looks all set to repeat his feat of last season and probably even better it.
Ramirez has already, after just 3 seasons, earned the 5th spot on the Sporting News rankings of the top-50 players currently playing in the MLB.