While we aren’t sure whether or not Hanley Ramirez is going to stick around in Miami now that Jose Reyes has come to town to take over the shortstop gig, but if he stays in South Florida, how does the Reyes’ signing affect Hanley’s fantasy value?
It’s a safe bet that Hanley’s HR and batting average aren’t likely to be affected by Reyes’, but other aspects of his fantasy value will undergo some slight changes. Let’s look at them, shall we?
In the short-term, Hanley will be adding third-base eligibility to his resume, but it won’t really matter. Hanley is going to be more valuable as a shortstop, and it will only help owners that have another good shortstop (for some reason or another). In the long-term, Hanley could end up losing his SS eligibility for 2013, but I’m willing to take a chance on Reyes missing at least ten games a year and Hanley filling in for him. Even if he does become solely eligible at 3B, he’ll still be worthy of a top-20 pick if he returns to his old offensive self.
Hanley will almost certainly be hitting behind Reyes, so he should be able to grab a few more RBI when both are healthy and on the field on the same time. We can’t be exactly sure how many more RBI opportunities Hanley will have, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hanley ended up with ten extra RBI in 2012.
Stolen Bases and Runs Scored
Last year, the Marlins hit Hanley third or fourth for a majority of his season, and he still attempted an average of a stolen base every three games in those lineup spots. If Hanley plays 150 games this year, that comes out to over 50 stolen base attempts. As of now, the players batting behind Hanley are the same as last season, so his SB and R numbers should stay in line with his past performance.
There’s a chance moving away from shortstop will help keep Hanley on the field longer. He gave us all a scare with his back problems last season, and playing a less physically demanding defensive position could allow Hanley to stay in the lineup on a more regular basis.
If you own Hanley in a dynasty league, be sure to go out and take a flier on a couple of young SS options, at the very least. Like I said before, I’m willing to bet Hanley will be SS eligible for the next couple of years — assuming he stays in Miami — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared in case he isn’t. Overall, the Reyes signing should boost Hanley’s fantasy value in 2012 in beyond.