Ramirez will likely bat third
News: The Miami Herald reports that Hanley Ramirez will likely bat third in the lineup in 2009. Ramirez told two reporters Saturday that he expects to be batting third this season. "I've got to change my approach now," Ramirez said. "Me, [Dan] Uggla and [Jorge] Cantu, we've got to drive in runs." Assuming Ramirez drops to third in the order, Cameron Maybin would become the leading candidate to hit leadoff, with Emilio Bonifacio considered another possibility for that spot.
Analysis: Ramirez has previously batted third, but the results haven't been great. Ramirez hit 33 home runs last season, but just two -- along with a measly four RBI -- in 56 at-bats in the third spot. And he hit just .239 with runners in scoring position last season. Ramirez attributes the drop-off not to undo pressure that he placed on himself, but to how pitchers threw to him differently. Hitting in a run-producing spot in the lineup should obviously lead to more RBI, but also less steals and possibly runs scored. If he takes a different approach at the plate, it could also lead to more strikeouts and a lower batting average as he attempts to drive in runs as opposed to getting on base. Don't fret too much, though, as Ramirez will still be an elite Fantasy option. The dynamics of his production may just change a bit.
First Reyes, now Hanley? This is changing up the dynamic of a couple of first-rounders quite a bit. Anyone want to update their projections?