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Hanley Ramirez a rare commodity...

Eddie Altamonte

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http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/news/articl...sp&c_id=fla

Notes: Ramirez in elite company
04/02/2007 1:24 PM ET
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Table setters aren't typically all-around threats. But Hanley Ramirez has joined an elite group of National League leadoff hitters who is extremely multi-dimensional.
The 2006 National League Rookie of the Year, Ramirez once again is anchoring the Marlins' leadoff spot. A speedster with emerging power, Ramirez fits a profile that compares favorably to a couple of All-Stars in the Mets' Jose Reyes and the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano.

All three leadoff men can hit the ball out of the park, with Soriano having the most established track record for home runs. And all three can run, with Reyes holding the edge in speed.

"I don't compare myself to no one, I just try to be me, and do what I can do," Ramirez said. "We [Reyes, Ramirez and Soriano] can score some runs, and get on base for the guys hitting behind us."

Still, a look at all three's 2006 numbers shows Ramirez certainly deserves mention with this elite company.

In 2006, Ramirez played in 158 games and batted .292 with 46 doubles, 11 triples, 17 home runs, 59 RBIs, 119 runs scored, 51 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .353.

Reyes, meanwhile, hit .300 with 30 doubles, 17 triples, 19 home runs, 81 RBIs, 122 runs scored, 64 stolen bases and a .354 on-base percentage in 153 games.

Soriano spent 2006 with Washington, and he batted .277 in 159 games. The center fielder scored 119 runs, drove in 95, and had 41 doubles, two triples, 46 home runs, 41 stolen bases, and a .351 on-base percentage.

As Ramirez keeps developing, he is certainly capable of 25-plus home runs and 60 stolen bases.

"He's a major weapon," general manager Admin Beinfest said. "He can hit the ball out of the park. He can steal a base. He can do a lot of things there. He is not your prototypical leadoff hitter.

"It's an extra dimension that is valuable, leading off and being a power threat. He can change the rhythm and flow of the game, right off the bat."

Ramirez led off Monday's opener with a liner down the right-field line that hopped into the stands for a ground-rule double. He then showed off his speed by stealing third base.

Gonzalez's debut: A loose and relaxed Fredi Gonzalez officially made his managerial debut Monday.

Even before reporters could ask him a question Monday morning, Gonzalez blurted out: "I slept good and I have butterflies."

Gonzalez's pre-emptive response was in anticipation that he would be asked how he felt and how his night sleep went.

Gonzalez's mother and father and several other family members were on hand for Opening Day.

The 43-year-old long-time coach and Minor League manager arrived at the park around 8 a.m. ET, and he had a catch in the outfield with his son.

Gonzalez and Washington's Manny Acta both made their MLB managerial debuts Monday, marking the first time since 2003 that two skippers debuted in the same game. Ken Macha (Oakland) and Bob Melvin (Seattle) squared off on April 1 that year, with the A's winning, 5-0.

Marlins bench coach Carlos Tosca has a long history with Gonzalez. When Gonzalez was 18, he first met Tosca, who previously managed the Blue Jays.

"I'm sure he aspired to be here as a player, and when that didn't work out, I'm certain he aspired to be here as a manager," Tosca said. "It's got to be a great thrill for him."

Gonzalez joked that he didn't feel he could be called "skipper" until he actually managed in a regular-season game.

De Aza factor: Spring Training sensation Alejandro De Aza was the surprise of camp, winning the center field job without having a lot of previous fanfare.

"The first thing is, he beat out his competition," Beinfest said of De Aza, who claimed the job ahead of Alex Sanchez and Eric Reed. "The one thing that really stood out was he did everything right. He always threw to the right base, he always positioned himself well. He never missed a sign. If they asked him to run, he ran. He did everything right. I think that was the big thing: his ability to show he had a feel for the game, and he knew what he was doing, aside from the physical talent."

Beinfest notes that the Marlins have a track record of grooming young players, so it was natural to give De Aza the chance.

"We've kind of cultivated this atmosphere that if you are a young player and you can play, this is a place for opportunity," Beinfest said. "We can't have an open competition and [and have a player] go and win the job, and give it to somebody else who didn't."

De Aza's situation is similar to all the rookies who broke in a year ago.

"He will get an opportunity, and if your confidence is broken, or we don't feel like you're mentally there, that's a whole different deal, because you have to be mentally here every day," Beinfest said.

A case of someone who remained mentally strong in 2006 was Mike Jacobs. Jacobs batted .192 (14-for-74) in April a year ago. Yet, he rebounded.

"When Jake was going through his rough time in April and early May, was he in his own head?" Beinfest said the organization asked itself. "The reason he stayed and was able to fight through it was because he was mentally strong, and he showed that. That almost applies to every player."

Three rookies: Upon further review, the Marlins have three rookies on their Opening Day roster. Initially, there was confusion as to whether there were four.

Reliever Lee Gardner, 32, has 80 days of MLB service time is not a rookie. Gardner debuted in the big leagues with Tampa Bay in 2002, appearing in 12 games, and in 2005, he appeared in five games for the Devil Rays.

After getting a clarification, Gardner is not considered a rookie.

The rookies are De Aza, Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens.

A year ago, the Marlins opened with 11 rookies, and they had six in the starting Opening Day lineup. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no Major League team since 1900 had started six rookies on Opening Day before.

Up next: Lefty Scott Olsen takes the mound on Tuesday for Florida in the second of three games with Nationals. He opposes right-hander Shawn Hill in the 7:05 p.m. contest.
 

CYmarlins

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if he just keeps on playing his game, he'll be in a league of his own in not too long
 

poptart

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Jose Reyes, only younger.
that's really what he is.
 

bobbob1313

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I'd say he's arguably as Reyes right now


OPS
Hanley: .833
Reyes: .841

Essentially the same there.

SB%
Hanley: 77%
Reyes: 79%

Reyes has less K's, but also a lot less doubles. Hanley in his first year is as good as Reyes was in his 4th.
 

Beinfest4Prez

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Hanley>>Reyes.


Not by much, but thats just my opinion. Reyes did his thing in a proven lineup. Hanley did it in an unproven lineup.
 

The Fan

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From the Sun-Sentinel...

Hanley or Jose?

Watching Hanley Ramirez get four hits, score four runs and steal two bases Monday led me to the following question: Who would you rather have, Hanley or Jose Reyes?

It struck me how Reyes is all but undisputedly regarded as the game's most exciting player. I have to think Ramirez is about to force his way into the discussion. One of the articles I wrote for Tuesday's paper touches on that subject. Both guys are phenomenal talents. Don't think it'll ever reach Ted Williams-Joe DiMaggio proportions, but I would expect the comparisons to intensify.
 

poptart

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I'd say he's arguably as Reyes right now


OPS
Hanley: .833
Reyes: .841

Essentially the same there.

SB%
Hanley: 77%
Reyes: 79%

Reyes has less K's, but also a lot less doubles. Hanley in his first year is as good as Reyes was in his 4th.

oh, i wasn't saying he's like reyes when reyes was younger. i was saying that he's like reyes now, but he just happens to be younger.

i also thought reyes was a year or two older than he actually is.

they're damn near the same person/player, haha.
 

Eddie Altamonte

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Miami Herald says Shadez is the Marlins' most complete threat
http://www.miamiherald.com/591/story/60002.html



Posted on Sun, Apr. 01, 2007
Ramirez is Florida's most complete threat
By GREG COTE
A suggestion nearly blasphemous in its gall for your consideration, Marlins fans, as the club begins its 15th season:
The team's most complete and best all-round everyday player might not be Miguel Cabrera.

It might be Hanley Ramirez.

I'm a size 42-regular in a straitjacket, by the way, if you're thinking about a gift.

My notion admittedly qualifies as heresy based mainly on the idea that Cabrera's first 3 ? seasons in the big leagues have plenty of seamheads feeling hardly premature at all to call him a future Hall of Famer.

Cabrera couldn't be much better, or his team much happier with him.

No doubt if the conversation is who is the Marlins' most gifted and feared pure hitter, it begins and ends with the ascending superstar they call Miggy.

That might be why, when my Marlins-fan teenaged son asked what I was writing and I told him, he looked as me as if I'd just announced I had taken up nude skydiving and joined the Flat Earth Society.

What I'm proposing here surely isn't that Ramirez's bat puts an opposing pitcher on Queasy Street the way Cabrera's does -- but rather that Ramirez, last year's NL Rookie of the Year, brings to the diamond an overall game unequalled on the team.

''Five-tool'' is the baseball jargon. Hit for average. Hit for power. Speed. Arm. Glove.

A season ago, the hints of things to come were enough to make a Marlins fan start dreaming.

A .292 average hiked by a .336 streak the last two months. Seventeen homers, 46 doubles and 119 runs -- most by an NL rookie in 42 years. Oh, and 51 stolen bases.

JUST THE BEGINNING

Ramirez bats leadoff but manager Fredi Gonzalez envisions him a meat-of-the-order run producer someday. Marlins infield coach Perry Hill is sure Ramirez's range and arm will turn him into a Gold Glove shortstop.

The kid from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic just turned 23. He is just starting.

If you have mentally placed the Heat's Dwyane Wade and Cabrera alone on that rare, Marino-esque echelon of current homegrown South Florida superstars, at least consider that Ramirez might grow to merit the company if his 2006 was any sort of accurate gauge.

''Unbelievable,'' is Gonzalez's word for Ramirez when you ask the Marlins' rookie manager what he loves about the player's game. ``And it's not only the stuff you see on the field.''

He means the player's emerging leadership, visible in ways a fan might never see.

Stretching exercises are to begin at 9:30 a.m. 'At 9:20, Hanley is the one saying, `Hey, let's go!' ''

In Fort Myers this spring -- it was the day clocks moved forward one hour -- the clubhouse clock hadn't been changed. Ramirez noticed. And changed it himself. Details.

The other day, Ramirez half-seriously, half-jokingly suggested to pitcher Renyel Pinto, ''You need a haircut.'' Next day, Pinto had a haircut.

Ramirez's ascension has been remarkable.

He was said to be a hot prospect (aren't they all?) coming from Boston in that November 2005 trade, but Marlins fans were too busy lamenting the loss of favorite son Mike Lowell and ace pitcher Josh Beckett to find much joy in the four unproven guys arriving -- another of whom, Anibal Sanchez, pitched a no-hitter last year.

It wasn't all smooth for Ramirez last season even in winning the rookie award. He endured an 0-for-29 slump in June that had some wondering in whispers if he needed additional minor-league seasoning. Heck, most people weren't even sure Ramirez was the best rookie on his own team. Dan Uggla, a fan favorite, seemed to hold that distinction most of the season, until Ramirez emerged and roared late as Uggla tapered off.

Even now, any debate about who the Marlins' best everyday player is begins automatically with Cabrera, although it is Miguel who might be Ramirez's biggest fan.

''He's special because he does everything. Everything,'' Cabrera said. ``He has all five tools.''

MOTIVATION

Ace pitcher Dontrelle Willis lights up (blessedly, his natural state) when you ask him about Ramirez.

''He welcomes the game,'' said Willis, clapping his hands to represent Ramirez's enthusiasm. ``He is motivated.''

The player's NL Rookie of the Year plaque is affixed to a wall at his home in Santo Domingo, and it is a part of that motivation -- not a reminder of what he accomplished, but a reminder to not be complacent.

'I look at it every day when I am home. I tell it, `You're going to make me work hard this year,' '' he said. ``I don't want last season to be as good as I get.''

Most players would be thrilled if as good as they got were the overall numbers Ramirez produced as a rookie.

But, for this kid, you get the feeling that was just a taste. Just a tease.

Cabrera will continue to be the hub of the Marlins' offense, a distinction well-earned.

Keep an eye on Ramirez, though.

And enjoy the view.
 

MarlinFan10

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Hanley is the best shortstop in the NL. Hopefully we can keep him in a Marlins uniform for a long time.
 

hanley

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I know this question has nothing to do with what you guys are talking about. But does anyone know if Hanley is maried?
 

Shaq-Man

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You realize that shortstops have to play defense, right?

Because of the sheer volume of balls that are hit in his direction, a shortstop's biggest impact on the game is made with his glove.

And in that department, Hanley was pretty bad last season. I'll agree that he has major potential, but I wouldn't go around crowning him the NL's best after his performance last season.
 

bobbob1313

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You realize that shortstops have to play defense, right?

Because of the sheer volume of balls that are hit in his direction, a shortstop's biggest impact on the game is made with his glove.

And in that department, Hanley was pretty bad last season. I'll agree that he has major potential, but I wouldn't go around crowning him the NL's best after his performance last season.

Reyes is an overrated gloveman, and the two of them are so far above all other SS in the NL that even if they are only avg with the glove they are head and shoulders above the rest.
 

Hammerhead

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Hanley>>Reyes.


Not by much, but thats just my opinion. Reyes did his thing in a proven lineup. Hanley did it in an unproven lineup.
I dunno. I think Reyes' defensive skills are better right now
 

anotherrealfan

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So, the Braves just locked up Mcann-what about our ownership locking up Hanley-would have made a great April fools joke.
 

catchoftheday

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Hanley>>Reyes.


Not by much, but thats just my opinion. Reyes did his thing in a proven lineup. Hanley did it in an unproven lineup.

easy now
 

Wild Card

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You realize that shortstops have to play defense, right?

Because of the sheer volume of balls that are hit in his direction, a shortstop's biggest impact on the game is made with his glove.

And in that department, Hanley was pretty bad last season. I'll agree that he has major potential, but I wouldn't go around crowning him the NL's best after his performance last season.

Reyes is an overrated gloveman, and the two of them are so far above all other SS in the NL that even if they are only avg with the glove they are head and shoulders above the rest.

They are not "so far above" Edgar Renteria and Jimmy Rollins.

And I don't understand the Reyes and Ramirez talk. They may be the same player right now, but two years from now they won't be nearly as similar. Within the next two years, Hanley is going to make a big developement; very similar to Alex Rodriguez (obviously I'm not saying he is going to be A-Rod, so don't decapitate me now). He's going to add some mass, and produce lines more like .300, 30, 110 with somewhere around 35 stolen bases. Reyes will still be the little leadoff man that could.
 

Ramp

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little lead off man that could? He had a .841 OPS last season and he is all of 24 years old

some of your severely underestimate what Jose Reyes is capable of doing
 

Iowa

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.931 post-AS Break OPS last year for Hanley....

.931!
 

Mabdul Doobakus

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I think Hanley will be better than Reyes if he stays motivated. As of now, they're pretty equal, or maybe Reyes is just a smidge more valuable than Hanley. Reyes is only listed as being 6 months older than Hanley, but I guess some of you have said that might not be true.

The other thing about Reyes is that he was pretty terrible during his MLB service before last year, so you have to wonder...did he really suddenly improve that much in one year or was it a bit of an aberration? He got very hot in mid-June last year and produced pretty steadily, but even as late as June 11 his AVG was below .250, and his OPS was .722. He's basically played 3 and a half months of good baseball, and it took him 3 years to get acclimated to major league pitching. Hanley was pretty special out of the gate.
 

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