Player Profile: Manny Ramirez

Background

After a disappointing 2007 season, Manny Ramirez was a big question mark coming into 2008. However, Manny hit more or less like the Manny of past for the Red Sox before having an interesting run of events with them. After being traded to the Dodgers, he had one of the hottest stretches in recent memory, helping lead the Dodgers to the playoffs. Manny will be a tough player to evaluate for teams and fantasy owners alike. Fantasy owners will have a little easier time since they don’t have to worry about defense, but he still remains a difficult player to value.

Skill Set

YEAR     AGE  TEAM    PA    CT%     UBB%   ISO      GB%     FB%     LD%     HR/FB%
2006     34   BOS     558   81.8    15.1   0.298    35.2    35.2    23.1    23.9
2007     35   BOS     569   83.8    10.2   0.197    30.6    30.6    24.8    12.9
2008     36   BOS     425   79.8    10.4   0.230    31.9    31.9    20.8    18.8
2008     36   LAD     229   83.4     8.3   0.347    35.3    36.6    24.8    30.6

Most of Manny’s skill indicators remained the same during his ridiculous run with the Dodgers. However, he was doing incredible damage when he made contact with the ball, including a .373 BABIP and 30.6% HR/FB with the Dodgers. Manny hasn’t really shown an ability to sustain a BABIP this high and that should obviously regress. While Manny’s skills haven’t really shown any growth, they haven’t shown any serious decline either, which is a good thing when you’re talking about a 36 year-old player.

If Manny stays healthy, you should be able to expect 25-30 HR and 100+ RBI from him. However, given his age, there is the chance of a sudden and sharp decline, which we’ll talk about a little later. The problem with Manny is that other owners are going to be expecting something similar to his 2008 season. Manny is a great hitter but that might be expecting a little too much. Manny’s 2008 season would probably be a better estimate of his upside rather than his mean expectation.

Risk

Manny’s risk lies mainly in two areas: age and burnout.

Experience: Very low risk. We don’t really need to worry about this with Manny.

Playing time: Very low risk. If Manny stays healthy, he will get almost all of the at-bats at his position with the occasional day off to rest.

Skill risk: Low risk. As mentioned before, there haven’t really been any indicators in his skill set that suggest Manny might drop off.

Age: Very high risk. While Manny hasn’t really shown any signs of aging, he will still be 37 next year. As he continues to age into his late thirties, the chances of a performance or health collapse will continue to grow higher and higher.

Burnout: High risk. Manny’s age contributes to his burnout risk. While Manny seems like a guy who coasts at times (okay a lot of the time), this is a guy who has been bothered by nagging injuries in the past. Manny did manage to come to the plate 654 times last year but let’s not forget 2006 and 2007, when he averaged only 564 plate appearances.

Overall risk: Medium. I wouldn’t be too worried about Manny’s skill set. However, I would worry about Manny’s age and the chances of a burnout, which might be too much risk for someone to take Manny early, depending on their risk aversion. There is also the “Manny being Manny” risk. We really don’t know what attitude Manny will bring next year when he’s no longer playing for a new contract.

Conclusion

Manny still, obviously, has very good skills. He does, though, have some risk to him. Ramirez is a guy who will probably garner some first round consideration next year, depending on how many teams you have in your league. I would be wary of going too high for him, however. Manny is the kind of guy I don’t like to take too early. If everything goes right, you get what you paid for; however, there is a lot of downside risk and not that great an upside.

Print Friendly
 Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone
« Previous: Why the Phillies beat the Rays
Next: This annotated week in baseball history: Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 2008 »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>