If the first two weeks of the season have told us anything about Hanley Ramirez, is it’s going to be an entertaining season.
Ramirez has five home runs over the first 12 games of 2015, but he’s also played some pretty poor left field at Fenway Park. Playing left for the first time in his career, in the first homestand of the season, Ramirez saw multiple balls hit off the wall and go over his head, missed what should have been a routine fly ball against the wall, did a backwards somersault after falling down after a ball hit off the wall and even once covered his head and ducked for cover after a ball hit off the wall and he didn’t know where it was.
“We knew it was going to be a transition for him,” manager John Farrell said. “There was going to be work to be done. The wall here is going to be different than what we had the ability to work with in Fort Myers just because of the way it’s constructed. To me, there’s nothing alarming and the more games played, the more comfortable he’s going to get.”
As for Ramirez himself, he’s not too concerned either.
"You just have to come back tomorrow and win the game,” he said. “We’re playing pretty good baseball right now. There’s nothing we have to be concerned about. We take everything as a positive. Everybody is just happy we’re here, we’re going to keep working and give 100 percent every game. There’s nothing we have to be concerned about right now.”
With as suspect as his defense has been, he’s been swinging one of the hottest bats in the lineup. As of Monday, Ramirez is hitting .255, but slugging .574 as he’s belted five home runs, the second-most in the American League. It’s the fastest he’s ever taken to get to five home runs in his career.
In just a week at Fenway Park, Ramirez has showed the damage he can do – figuratively and literally. During batting practice Friday, the 31-year-old hit a ball so hard into the center field wall that it made a dent. Both of his home runs at Fenway have got gotten out of the park in a hurry.
With the Green Monster just 307 feet away down the line, Ramirez could put up scary numbers, providing he stays healthy. His career-high in home runs is 33 back in 2008, and with him already bashing five, 33 is certainly not out of the question.
Even though it’s been two weeks, Ramirez has already drawn comparisons to a former Red Sox left fielder named Ramirez. So the next time he makes you shake your head in left field, it’s just Hanley being Hanley.