August 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) celebrates the 11-4 victory against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Hanley Ramirez vs Adeiny Hechavarria Not a Debate

On July 26th of 2012, the Miami Marlins made the second trade of now what is considered to be the biggest fire sale in team history. That was the day the Marlins traded Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers for starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.

Surprisingly, of all the trades that the Marlins made that deadline and off-season, this was the one that was met with the least criticism towards the Marlins front office. That maybe because Hanley was mired in one of his worst seasons as a pro. Hanley was 28 at the time.

Flash foward two seasons, the Marlins now have a short stop they see as their future and he is having the best season of his career, at the age of 25. His name is Adeiny Hechavarria.

Reading this article last night made laugh out loud last night.

Doesn’t it seem like Hanley Ramirez has been gone for a long, long time? Actually, it’s been just a little more than 25 months.
But every time you watch current Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria in the field, it reminds you that Ramirez’s defense was frequently a concern, despite his defenders.

The thing here though is that Hanley’s worst season is still better than Hech’s best season to date:

 
PA
AVG
OBP
SLG%
HR
SB
BB%
wOBA
wRC+
BABIP
WAR
Hanley (2011)385.243.333.379102011.4.31797.2751.0
Hech (2014)437.273.303.346074.3.28477.3210.1

There isn’t even a debate on this discussion, even with the defense of both accounted for. The 2011 was the worst season for Hanley in his MLB career. The sticking moment from that season was when Hanley kicked a ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks and made a lazy jog to attempt to retrieve the ball.

That’s what fans remember the most about Hanley, not the superstar level play he provided in the aftermath of Miguel Cabrera‘s being dealt to the Detroit Tigers. For some reason, Marlins fans cannot get past the “attitude” issues Hanley had in his time in Miami.

Another reason Marlins fans have a negative attitude towards Hanley is because of the fact the Marlins as a team never made the playoffs with him on the roster. That part confuses me, as from 2006 to 2010, Hanley did about everything in his power to get the Marlins to the promised land:

 
PA
AVG
OBP
SLG%
wOBA
wRC+
HR
SB
WAR
2006700.292.353.480.35811617514.2
2007706.332.386.562.40514429515.3
2008693.301.400.540.40314433357.1
2009652.342.410.543.40714924277.1
2010619.300.378.475.36912721324.2

The Marlins did not fail to get to the post-season because of Hanley Ramirez, they rather failed because the Marlins front office did not do enough to put the talent around Hanley that would get the team to the playoffs.

A perfect example of a great player needing help from his roster to make the post-season can be seen the last two seasons in Los Angeles: Mike Trout.

Another great example is happening in Miami in front of our very own eyes in Giancarlo Stanton.

Yes, Hanley was not the perfect player for the Marlins. His flaws were evident. The Marlins, like the Diamondbacks with Justin Upton, tried to make Hanley into a leader, when that was not something that was a part of his personality at the time. Nor was it necessarily required. I never bought into the notion that the best player on the team has to be the “de facto” leader of the team.

This is another area in which I feel the Marlins lag behind the rest of the baseball world. They believe grit and a strong leader outweighs talent.

Marlins fans have killed former President of Baseball Operations for the Anibal Sanchez trade now that Jacob Turner flamed out in his time with the Marlins. They should also be ridiculing Beinfest for his return of just Eovaldi for Ramirez. (Side note: I’m a huge Eovaldi fan, not knocking him at all.)

For some odd reason, Marlins fans have mostly bitter feelings towards Hanley Ramirez. Yet they love their current short stop, who pales in comparison to their former super star. Here’s a look at both players in their age-25 season, which also happened to be Hanley’s best:

 
PA
AVG
OBP
SLG%
HR
SB
BB%
wOBA
wRC+
BABIP
WAR
Hanley (2009)652.342.410.54324279.4.407149.3797.1
Hech (2014)437.273.303.346074.3.28477.3210.1

I’m going to let those numbers speak for themselves, but I will add one thing: substitute that Hanley for Hech this season, and you have the Marlins likely leading the wild card and closing in on the division leading Washington Nationals.

Tags: Adeiny Hechavarria Hanley Ramirez Miami Marlins

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