The Miami Marlins gave up on their season in 2012 and decided that trading franchise player Hanley Ramirez would be apart of their fire sale. On July 26, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Marlins agreed to a trade that sent Ramirez to LA and hard throwing righty Nate Eovaldi to South Florida.
Ramirez hit .271 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 64 games with the Dodgers and they were hoping his turnaround would continue into the 2013 season.
Regular Season Grade: A+
Ramirez found his stroke again as he showed once again that he’s one of the best hitters in the game, evidenced by his.345 average, 20 home runs and 57 RBI. Limited to just 86 games due to thumb, hamstring and shoulder injuries, the 29-year-old shortstop would’ve been in the MVP conversation if he were able to stay healthy for most of the season.
Between June and July, as the Dodgers were going on their 42-8 run, Ramirez hitting .370 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI as he Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez did the heavy lifting in the middle of the order. Along with being an offensive threat, Ramirez helped mentor Puig along with Juan Uribe as the 22-year-old phenom had some growing pains in his first stint in the big leagues.
Heading into the playoffs, Ramirez was on fire again, hitting .370 with five home runs and 11 RBI in September as the Dodgers were set to face the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
Playoff Grade: A+
Ramirez’s stellar season and turnaround year continued in October as he once again carried the Dodgers offense in the Division Series. He was a monster at the plate, finishing with a .500 batting average, one home run and six RBI.
Unfortunately in the NLCS, the St. Louis Cardinals figured out the only way to stop Ramirez, hitting him in the ribs. Ramirez was hit by a 95+ mph fastball from Cardinals righty Joe Kelly and wasn’t the same player. It was later revealed that Ramirez fractured his eighth rib and wasn’t able to produce like he had all season.
Ramirez hobbled to a .133 average with zero home runs and one RBI in the series, but said he needed to play for the city of LA after giving him a fresh start.
Overall Grade: A+
The Dodgers were hoping that Ramirez needed a change of scenery to recapture his past magic and that happened in 2013. While he wasn’t able to stay healthy during parts of the season, the Dodgers offense went as he did and things look bright in 2014.
Hopefully the Dodgers and Ramirez can get a contract extension in place this off-season and secure his future in LA for years to come. There’s also some talk about possibly moving him to third base, but he wasn’t sold on that idea back in Florida.
If he didn’t get hurt Ramirez would’ve been a top MVP candidate and should be a favorite heading into the 2014 season.
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