(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty I
Once it was revealed that A-Rod needed hip surgery, Hanley Ramirez became the overall No. 1 pick in most fantasy leagues. To date, he hasn't disappointed, even though he hasn't quite matched the MVP pace he set in his first three seasons.
At the quarter season mark, he's on pace to set career highs in each of the triple-slash categories: .421/.582/1.003 (OBP/SLG/OPS). As a 25-year-old, he hasn't yet entered what should be his prime years, so we may be witnessing a certain amount of natural growth as a hitter, plus the benefits of hitting in the three-hole in the Marlins lineup.
This is supposed to be about how Ramirez may fall off, and there are reasons to believe he will. Like D-Wright, he is making contact at a lower rate than ever before, with a season figure of 80.2 percent against a career mark of 83.5 percent. He is swinging at 46.7 percent of pitches he sees, also a career high.
When you're as talented as Hanley is, it makes sense that you try to hit the ball, but the lack of patience does not stand him in good stead in the long term, as pitchers will try to exploit his aggressiveness.
Finally, as with all of the players on this list, Hanley has found good fortune on the balls he puts in play. His BABIP of .392 is .037 points higher than his previous career high, set in 2007.
Ramirez hits the ball with authority, so he will always enjoy a higher than average average on balls-in-play, but this mark will slide down unless he has somehow morphed into a modern day right-handed Ted Williams. As much as I like his skill set and previous seasons, this is pure dreaming over-optimism.
Hanley might still be the best fantasy player in baseball this season, so don't trade him on the cheap—just don't expect the moon from him from here on out.