Pujols praises Hanley

From the best, Hanley Ramirez is said to have the talent to eventually be the best.

But don’t take our word. You may want to believe Albert Pujols.

The Cardinals slugger, arguably the top player of his era, believes the Marlins shortstop has the ability to carve out his own place in baseball history.

pujols3a1.jpgIn an interview with Josh Friedman of 790 The Ticket, the Marlins flagship radio station, Pujols sang the praises of Ramirez.

“When it’s all said and done, he has the talent to be the best player in this game,” Pujols told Friedman. “To ever play this game, because of the ability that he has. That he doesn’t even know yet. He’s just a young, talented guy who plays the game.”

Pujols is offering similiar advice to Ramirez as he did for Miguel Cabrera during his days with the Marlins.

“The thing I always try to remember is no matter how much money that you make, always respect the game,” Pujols said. “Play the game the right way, and just never change. Be the same kid. You can’t let this game change you. Stuff like that.”

In Spring Training in 2009, when Ramirez was switched to batting third, Pujols offered some tips on his approach with runners in scoring position.

“Hitting wise, I always try to tell him different things that I do,” the Cardinals All-Star said. “The same way I did to Miguel Cabrera about five or six years ago before he went to Detroit. That’s the way I am. I try to help when guys approach me and want to talk baseball, hitting. I’m open because I believe the Lord has blessed me and I want to be able to make a difference to players, no matter what uniform they wear.”

After Ramirez signed his six-year, $70 million contract in 2008, Pujols talked to the shortstop about humility.

“He has matured a little better than he was,” Pujols said. “Now he is kind of realizing and learning from the mistakes he has made. That’s how you get better in this game.”

— Joe Frisaro

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