Rounding out the bottom half of the Decade Top Ten Seasons for the Florida Marlins is yet another season by the best current Marlin in the game, Hanley Ramirez. For our #6 season, we’ll be looking at the offensive breakout 2007 that Hanley turned in.
Hanley Ramirez (2007)
While the 2006 season was a Rookie of the Year surprise campaign for Ramirez, the 2007 season was a surprise of epic proportions. Ramirez’ offensive numbers skyrocketed this season, from a 2006 slash line of .292/.353/.480 (.364 wOBA) to an epic .332/.386/.562 (.411 wOBA). Whereas his first season was worth just 19 runs above average, Ramirez’ 2007 was worth a staggering 41 runs better than average (including GIDP and ROE runs). The difference in the two seasons in terms of offense was obvious; a combination of a significantly higher batting average and a spike in home run power (Ramirez had 17 homers in 2006 and jumped to 29 homers in 2007) led the way towards a 20+ run increase in performance. Ramirez also stole 51 bases for the second year in a row, being caught only 14 times. Despite that, Rally only has Ramirez being worth four runs better than average on the basepaths. Still, a +45 run season on the offensive side is nothing to scoff at.
With such a huge improvement on the offensive side of the field, how is it that Ramirez’ overall value only jumped around four or so runs better than his 2006 total? The biggest complaint about Ramirez’ play in 2007 was his horrendous defense. Ramirez led all shortstops with 24 errors, and apparently he was not very rangy either. UZR had him at an appalling -19 runs compared to the league average. Of those 19 runs below average, 7.6 of them came from his errors, while another 13.1 came from his lack of range. Ramirez had an awful season defensively, and everyone took notice. After 2007, most pundits labeled him for a move to third base or center field.
Luckily for Ramirez, he’s drastically improved defensively, at least according to the defensive metrics. We’ll go through that in the subsequent Ramirez-related bits in this series, but rest assured he has definitely improved in the eyes of the metrics and the fans.