2011 MLB Preview: Looking at Hanley Ramirez and the Florida Marlins ‘On Paper’

Founded in 1993, the Florida Marlins took little time to make an impact as they won the 1997 World Series crown in seven games over the Cleveland Indians.  Due to financial issues that team was blown-up, restocked with young talent and once again struck gold by winning another World Series in 2003.  Just look at some of the young stars on that team; Derrek Lee, Miguel Cabrera, Josh Beckett, Juan Pierre and Brad Penny to name a few.

The Marlins have shown more financial commitment since 2003 with contract extensions to Hanley Ramirez in 2008 and Josh Johnson before the start of last season.  It’s been now eight years since their last Championship, so the young talent they’ve acquired over the years are ready to blossom. 

ATLANTA - JULY 02:  Pitcher Josh Johnson #55 of the Florida Marlins against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on July 2, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Josh Johnson)

  • C-  John Buck 7.25 
  • 1B- Gaby Sanchez 7.25
  • 2B- Omar Infante 7.25
  • SS- Hanley Ramirez 9
  • 3B- Matt Dominguez 7

John Buck (31) 409 AB .281 BA 53 R 20 HR 66 RBI 0 SB 

  • After years of mediocrity Buck broke out last season in Toronto hitting a career-high 20 home runs.  More impressive than his home run total was his average.  His previous career-high was just .245 in 2006.  Was last season a one-hit wonder? 

Gaby Sanchez (27) 572 AB .273 BA 72 R 19 HR 85 RBI 5 SB

  • At 26, Sanchez had a solid rookie year.  He’s not the prototypical power hitting first baseman, but he has solid patience at the plate.  He’s also an underrated defender. 

Omar Infante (29) 471 AB .321 BA 65 R 8 HR 47 RBI 7 SB

  • If you want to talk about a guy who’s earned his stripes, Infante is it.  In 2008, the Braves acquired Infante for Jacque Jones from the Tigers.  Infante struggled at the dish in Detroit.  He’s come a long way since his.222 batting average in 2005. 
  • In Atlanta, the coaching staff shortened Infante’s swing and he’s reaped in the benefits; he was selected to his first All-Star Game last season. 
  • He was seventh in the NL in batting average.  Uggla’s a big loss, but Infante is a very solid replacement.  Oh, and he’s got a great glove.

Hanley Ramirez (27) 543 AB .300 BA 92 R 21 HR 76 RBI 32 SB

  • Ramirez has said during Spring Training that he’d like to steal more bases this season.  I guess he’d like to equal his 51 stolen base totals in 2006 and 2007. 
  • Ultimately if the Marlins want to be successful, Hanley needs to mature and be the leader of this young team.  He was benched for several games in May due to his inadequate effort and hustle in the field.

Matt Dominguez (21) ROOKIE

  • Everyone in Florida is making comparisons to Mike Lowell.  The 2007 First Round pick has a stellar glove.
  • LF- Logan Morrison 7.25
  • CF- Chris Coghlan 7.25 
  • RF- Mike Stanton 7.25

Logan Morrison (23) 244 AB .283 BA 43 R 2 HR 18 RBI 0 SB

  • I’ve yet to see Morrison swing at a bad pitch; his plate discipline is remarkable.  He’s not going to hit a bunch of home runs, but he makes solid contact and does possess gap power (20 doubles and seven triples). 

Chris Coghlan (26) 242 AB .268 BA 30 R 6 HR 24 RBI 7 SB

  • The 2009 Rookie of the Year is coming off a pie mishap, which caused season-ending knee surgery.  We’ll see how the knee holds up this season because he’s a main cog at the top of the lineup. 
  • Entering year three, Coghlan suffered a sophomore slump after a stellar rookie year where he hit .321 and scored 84 runs in 128 games.

Mike Stanton (21) 359 AB .259 BA 45 R 22 HR 59 RBI 5 SB

  • Stanton’s a big boy!  Only four players have hit more home runs at 20 or younger than Stanton; Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson.  This is a future home run leader here.   

Josh Johnson- 9

  • 2. Javier Vazquez- 7.25
  • 3. Ricky Nolasco- 7.25
  • 4. Anibal Sanchez- 7.25
  • 5. Chris Volstad- 7
  • Josh Johnson (27) 184 IP 11-6 2.30 ERA 1.11 WHIP 186 K

    • Last season’s ERA winner is the most underrated pitcher in baseball.  The key to Johnson is his health as he missed several starts last year due to numerous nagging injuries.  He led baseball in quality start percentage; 23-of-28 starts (82 percent).
    • I’ve said it before; he could turn in a 2003 Postseason version of Josh Beckett if he gets the chance to pitch in October.

    Javier Vazquez (34) 203 IP 10-11 3.33 ERA 1.17 WHIP 173 K

    • This may wind up to be a key offseason signing if Vazquez can forget about last season.  After a phenomenal 2009 season with Atlanta where Vazquez was 15-10 with a 2.83 ERA, he blew up with the Yankees.  He had a 5.32 ERA last year.
    • How can we possibly explain this?  Well, some guys just don’t have what it takes to pitch mentally in the Big Apple.  Now, Vazquez gets to pitch in front of 549 people each night in Florida.  I think Vazquez bounces back.

    Ricky Nolasco (28) 158 IP 14-9 4.51 ERA 1.28 WHIP 147 K

    • After a great 2008 season where Nolasco went 15-8 with a 3.52 ERA, he was anointed as the next big thing.  He’s shown the potential to become an “elite” pitcher with some dominant outings, but at 28, Nolasco has yet to fulfill the elite designation.  He hasn’t shown enough consistency, but when he has that curveball going, he’s tough to hit.

    Anibal Sanchez (27) 174 IP 13-12 3.55 ERA 1.34 WHIP 157 K

    • Sanchez is fully back from a torn labrum he suffered in 2007; he struggled mightily in 2008 with a 5.57 ERA.  His 91.3 MPH fastball average was the highest of his career.

    Chris Volstad (24) 175 IP 12-9 4.58 ERA 1.41 WHIP 102 K

    • Volstad showed promise as a rookie in 2008, but it seems like he has regressed each season since. He does eat up quite a few innings for a fifth starter.

    RP- Ryan Webb- 7

    RP- Edward Mujica- 7

    LRP- Randy Choate- 7

    SU- Clay Hensley- 7

    CP- Leo Nunez- 7.25

    Ryan Webb, Edward Mujica, Randy Choate

    • Mujica and Webb come over from San Diego in the Cameron Maybin trade.  They were solid pieces in the Padres bullpen.  The 35-year old Choate is a solid lefty.

    Clay Hensley (31) 75 IP 3-4 7 SV 2.16 ERA 1.11 WHIP 77 K

    • Hensley is another former Padre.  He found his way in Florida, but let’s see if he can duplicate last season’s success.

    Leo Nunez (27) 73 IP 4-3 25 SV 3.60 ERA 1.28 WHIP 67 K

    • Nunez throws hard, but his changeup is his best pitch.

    Projected Lineup

      1. Chris Coghlan- 7.25
      2. Omar Infante- 7.25
      3. Hanley Ramirez- 9
      4. Mike Stanton- 7.25
      5. Gaby Sanchez- 7.25
      6. Logan Morrison- 7.25
      7. John Buck- 7.25
      8. Wes Helms
    • 1-3- 23.5
    • 4-6- 21.75
    • 7-8- 14.25


    1. Josh Johnson- 9

    2. Javier Vazquez- 7.25

    3. Ricky Nolasco- 7.25

    4. Anibal Sanchez- 7.25

    5. Chris Volstad- 7

    RP- Ryan Webb- 7

    RP- Edward Mujica- 7

    LRP- Randy Choate- 7

    SU- Clay Hensley- 7

    CP- Leo Nunez- 7.25

    Bench- Emilio Bonifacio, Scott Cousins, Wes Helms, John Baker 7.25

    Manager- Edwin Rodriguez 7

    INF- 37.75

    OF- 21.75

    SP- 37.75

    RP- 7

    CP- 14.25

    MISC- 14.25

    Hitting- 59.5

    Pitching- 59

    TOTAL- 132.75

    This team has talent, but it’s up to the Marlins to translate that talent on to the field. 

    The loss of Uggla in the middle of the lineup hurts, but I think the acquisition of Vazquez will ultimately be a positive one.  This is a potential wild card team this year. 

    89-73 2nd NL East

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