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Marlins Offense: Easy As 1-2-.321

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March 3, 2011

By: Pedro Figueroa

MarlinsBaseball.com Writer


In the offseason, as many of us can remember, our offense did make a drastic change. While many analyze how the change that involved trading Dan Uggla may be good or bad, the effectiveness of the lineup can be viewed in how the first 3 hitters perform – Chris Coghlan, Omar Infante, and Hanley Ramirez.


All 3 of these hitters have had excellent success at some point in their careers involving Top 10 finishes in the batting title race with Hanley winning a batting title. Each has had at least one season posting a .321 average or better and all 3 have done it in the last 2 seasons. No matter the path that these 3 took in those efforts, if they can duplicate that success together, the Marlins may have a 1-2-3 combination hitting at the top of the order that can provide a level of hitting for average that very few teams are able to bring to the batter’s box every game. However, for that to happen, there are some questions that each will have to answer in the process.


With Chris Coghlan, he will have to show what type of player he is. Both of his MLB seasons have resulted in terrible starts and getting better as the season progressed. Unfortunately for him last year, he was freakishly injured well before he was able to get his season average above .300. He will not only have to show that he is healthy, but he will also have to show that he is a legitimate .300 hitter. It would also help if he can be consistent from the beginning of the season on forward and throughout. This will have to be displayed while he also proves to be a legitimate leadoff hitter and answer the biggest question of whether he will be able to hit enough to make everyone ignore moments in the outfield that may remind older Marlins fans of Junior Felix.


Next, Omar Infante, who will be batting second, will have questions of proving himself as well. While he isn’t as young as Coghlan, he will have to prove that he is a legitimate .300 hitter. His situation is that he did spend a good amount of time as a super-sub, who had some decent numbers in starting opportunities, but not showing anything entirely special until last season. He has the most to prove as he attempts to show that last season was not a fluke, but the start of him breaking out as a very good player in his prime. If he comes through, this sets up our table-setters very nicely for what follows.


Finally, Hanley Ramirez is the third and most important piece to this equation. He has been praised for being the best offensive shortstop in the game and, as a result, is among the elite players in this sport. He cannot be content with that. Hanley is better than just being the best offensive shortstop. Last year he posted some of the better numbers for a shortstop. That didn’t help the Marlins. Hanley needs to look at his role in the lineup. He is the #3 hitter. While his numbers were excellent for a shortstop, they were not among the elite or even average #3 hitters and certainly not Hanley numbers. We need for Hanley to be an elite #3 hitter who gives us 25+ homeruns, 100+ RBI, a lot of stolen bases, many more of those extended stats, and flirting with a batting title along with an MVP award. He needs to be a presence that makes his teammates get better pitches and have bigger seasons. We also need him to be better than his stats say as well. He needs to be our franchise player and not accept anything less especially when he’s among the names mentioned after Albert Pujols. Can he be what we all expect him to be? If he does this – watch out for the Marlins in this division.


Can these 3 do this? Yes. Will they? We will have to see this season play out, but if they do, it may make for a very interesting 2011 season.

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I'm just messing with you. That was an awesome article. Welcome to the board, and you'll make an excellent addition to the staff. :)

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Hello Everyone,


I actually used to write articles on this site before. I admit that it's been awhile. I will try to be more active, but I do have my share of writing commitments. I am a big Marlins fan since the inaugural season when I was cheering on the likes of Brett Barberie and Ryan Bowen.


I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback.

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