During a magazine mock draft the other day, Rotowire's Jeff Erickson pointed out that I have drafted Hanley Ramirez in the first round of three separate mock drafts--all we have done together--this year, and did I really like Hanley that much.
Oh yes, and if so, why?
It was pretty easy to respond yes.
First, I have to note that in two of the drafts I selected in the nine hole, and in the other I had the wheel at #15. And, while I have felt comfortable drafting Hanley as the first or second, or even third pick in 2010, or even going into 2011 (which I believe I did in a few instances), but probably would have deferred to Miguel Cabrera and a pre-enhanced Ryan Braun, or even the esteemed Albert Pujols before Hanley going into 2012.
Now, again, I think we can all agree that Hanley is still pretty much a prized package of statistics, and that at the worst he might have fallen to the third round, like Matt Kemp did in some leagues last year.
But, as I noted to Jeff, Hanley's worst year was indeed 2011, when he went .243-10-45 over 92 games and 338 at-bats. Before that he never had fewer than 163 hits in a season, stole fewer than 21 bases, hit fewer than 17 home runs, and on and on.
If we look at his five-year totals between 2006-10, we will see that Hanley hit .313-124-389 over 760 games, with 196 swipes, and 562 runs, which translate into a 162-game average over those five years of .328-25-79, with 39 swipes, 187 hits, and 112 runs scored.
To compound the point, Hanley just turned 28 last month--two days before Christmas--so ideally the former shortstop's peak years are ahead of him.
Add in the Fish are going to a new stadium, with a reconstructed team. And, though Hanley will be moved to third base, in most leagues, for the 2012 season at least, he will have eilgibility all around the infield, among short, middle infielder, third and the corners.
In fact I think the biggest issue I will have regarding Hanley is in my MidWest Strat-O-Matic league, where next year I might have a log jam at the hot corner with Ramirez and Ryan Zimmerman.
Certainly, I have had much worse problems.