Red Sox fans should be wary of a hot start for Hanley

Hanley Ramirez probably won’t win a gold glove this season (or any other for that matter.)

If he’s adequate at first and mashes the ball at the plate, then his team and the fans should be quite pleased with him.

Hanley is 4-for-8 this spring, small sample size, but 4-for-8 is a lot better than 1-for-8. Plus we all know that in spite of the small sample size, if Hanley were 1-for-8 then there would be panic alarms going off throughout Red Sox nation.

Clay Buchholz has only faced 11 batters this spring, but already there’s chatter that he’s not looking so good. 

No major pro sport has a longer season, with more games than Major League Baseball. That is why it is so difficult to get too high, or too low on any one individual’s performance, until that player has got a fair amount of at-bats, or starts under his belt.

You like Hanley’s start and so do I, but before we all start to envision what Hanley Ramirez with a hot bat will end up producing in 2016, I’d urge you to think back to May 1, 2015.

When Hanley Ramirez woke up on May 1, 2015 he had a slash line of .293/.341/.659. He had hit 10 home runs, scored 16 and driven in 22. He probably couldn’t keep that pace up, but it did appear that Ramirez was on-pace for a monster year at the plate.

For the remainder of the 2015 season Ramirez hit 9 home runs, drove in 31 runs and did just about as little or even less than any Red Sox fan could have expected on May 1st.

Of course that was last year, and this is a new year. There’s nothing at all wrong with Hanley getting off to a good start in spring training, or in the regular season. That being said, when the Red Sox, and Red Sox fans eventually evaluate this season, they’re going to look at the entire statistical sample. Not just spring training, not just April and ideally not just the regular season.

Enjoy Hanley’s hot start to spring training. It is encouraging, but it is critical to remember just how long a baseball season is. What a player does in March or April has little or no bearing on what that player might do in July, August, September and beyond.

All baseball fans know that, but it sure is easy to get a little too up or a little too down on a player based on what that player did last night, last week, or even last month.

When it comes to Hanley Ramirez, an extra-dose of caution is required.

 

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