Red Sox: Can Hanley Ramirez replicate last season’s production?
By Sean Penney
What about the RBI production?
Fans are enamored with the long ball, but the number of runs batted in that Ramirez piles up will be vital to the success of this lineup regardless of how he drives them in.
The 111 RBI Ramirez produced last season was a career-high and only the second time he’s ever topped the century mark. Since his first full season in 2006, Ramirez has averaged just over 74 RBI per year.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
Generally when analyzing a veteran that has been in the league as long as Ramirez, you would put more stock in the larger sample size rather than singling out a particular season. Recency bias can fool us into assuming what we saw last year is the new normal, yet that’s often not the case. However, with Ramirez there are factors that would lead us to believe otherwise.
As we discussed, the number of games Ramirez has missed over the course of his career has limited his run production. If becoming a full-time DH helps keep him in the lineup then the same argument for why that will boost his home run rate applies to his RBI total.
Until he came to Boston, Ramirez had never hit in a lineup this stacked. The Red Sox led the league in runs scored by a mile last year and should remain among the elite offenses even without Ortiz.
Ramirez is expected to hit fifth in a loaded lineup that projects to have Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts ahead of him. All four of those hitters at adept at getting on base, producing an OBP north of .350 last season. Ramirez, who owns a .294 career average with runners in scoring position, will be salivating over the ample opportunities this lineup affords him to drive in runs.