Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Bill James Projections: Hanley Ramirez

2011: 92 games, .243 BA, .333 OBP, .379 SLG, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 20 SB
2012 projection: 136 games, .298 BA, .379 OBP, .489 SLG, 21 HR, 69 RBI, 28 SB
2012: 157 games, .257 BA, .322 OBP, .437 SLG, 24 HR, 92 RBI, 21 SB
2013 projection: 144 games, .281 BA, .356 OBP, .470 SLG, 22 HR, 75 RBI, 23 SB
2013: 86 games, .345 BA, .402 OBP, .638 SLG, 20 HR, 57 RBI, 10 SB
2014 projection: 151 games, .296 BA, .368 OBP, .505 SLG, 27 HR, 86 RBI, 23 SB
2014: 128 games, .283 BA, .369 OBP, .448 SLG, 13 HR, 71 RBI, 14 SB
2015 projection: 151 games, .290 BA, .367 OBP, .476 SLG, 23 HR, 85 RBI, 20 SB
2015: 105 games, .249 BA, .291 OBP, .426 SLG, 19 HR, 53 RBI
2016 projection: 136 games, .277 BA, .346 OBP, .462 SLG, 23 HR, 80 RBI

I think I'm in the minority of Red Sox fans when I say that I still don't hate the Hanley Ramirez deal. Especially given the (borderline tragic) news that 2016 will be David Ortiz's final year manning the designated hitter slot for the Red Sox, I actually like the Ramirez signing better than ever.

Was last year a relative disappointment? Sure. But Ramirez played just under 65% of a full season last year, and hit nearly 20 home runs. He only missed all that time in the first place because he got injured early on playing an unfamiliar position - one much more challenging than the one he'll be asked to play this season.

On Opening Day 2015, Hanley Ramirez hit two home runs, one of them a grand slam. While that kind of production is obviously unrealistic on a game-by-game basis, you'd be lying to yourself if you said that performance didn't make you practically giddy with anticipation over what Ramirez might accomplish in a Red Sox uniform.

No one, not even a fully healthy and committed Hanley Ramirez, will ever come close to duplicating the production David Ortiz has had in Boston. But without the burden of playing in left field - and eventually, without the burden of playing anywhere but the plate - Ramirez could change a lot of minds.

Bill James and his team project Ramirez to have a better season in 2016 than the one we endured last year. Ramirez himself has pledged his dedication to staying fit and dedicated for the upcoming campaign. Of course, he promised us the same thing last year, and actions speak louder than words. I genuinely believe that Boston could be great for Ramirez, and vice versa. Hopefully he spends 2016 doing his absolute damnedest to prove the haters wrong.

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