Hanley strengthening lower body

In preparing for the 2009 season, Hanley Ramirez did extensive workouts for his upper body, seeking to get stronger because he was moving into the third spot in the batting order.

A leadoff hitter his first three big league seasons, Ramirez bulked up for the power spot in the lineup.

To get ready for Spring Training this year, Ramirez’s focus was to strengthen his lower body.

These past few months, at his home in the Dominican Republic, the Marlins All-Star spent time conditioning his legs. He did a lot of agility drills, as well as lifting weights. 

“I did more working out my lower body this year,” said Ramirez, the defending N.L. batting title winner. “I think I’m going to need it for the end of the year. I wanted to add something new.

“I was like, kind of running out [of steam] a little bit at the end of [2009]. I was telling myself that I have to do something to help my lower body. Sometimes you are running out of gas and you feel like you’re running out of power in your lower body. I need my lower body. I’m keep doing it right now.”

The Marlins have their first full-squad workouts on Wednesday at the Roger Dean Stadium complex. Ramirez and a number of position players were at camp on Tuesday.

Ramirez didn’t pick up a baseball until January.

“As a player, you need your lower body to do everything,” Ramirez said. “To pitch. To play defense. To run. Everything.

“I haven’t run lately. I feel a little bit heavier, but it’s just the beginning. By Opening Day, I’ll be ready to go.”

Ramirez says the added leg strength should help his speed, quickness and range.

— Joe Frisaro


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