Hanley celebrates 27th birthday

Thursday is a big day for Hanley Ramirez. The three-time All-Star is celebrating his 27th birthday, which for him is another reason to celebrate during the holiday season.

hanley_92.jpgAlready one of the top players in the game, the Marlins shortstop is also moving closer to reaching the prime of his career. If he keeps continuing at the pace he’s been at in his first five big league seasons, he will be well on his way to posting Hall of Fame credentials.

What Ramirez has done from ages 22 to 26 certainly is impressive, and you wonder just how much more he will accomplish.

He’s already been the NL Rookie of the Year, a Silver Slugger Award winner, a batting champion, an All-Star and a second-place finisher in the MVP voting.

Since 2006, his rookie year, he tops all players in the game in runs scored with 562, and he’s sixth overall in total hits (934).

Among shortstops, his 124 home runs are the most of any player at his position. And his .313 batting is second only to Derek Jeter’s .314 average in the same time frame.

Across the board, Ramirez’s overall numbers have made him the most impressive player — at least offensively — at his position since he broke in as a rookie. His on-base percentage (.385) ranks first among shortstops in the past five years. He is first in home runs with 124, and he paces his position in doubles with 198.

Ramirez’s 196 stolen bases are second most of any shortstop since his rookie season. Only Jose Reyes, with 239, has more.

In Marlins’ history, Ramirez will enter 2011 within striking distance of Dan Uggla’s franchise home run mark of 154. With 30, he will pull even.

Ramirez currently ranks fourth in Marlins’ history in hits, fifth in home runs, second in runs scored, second in doubles, and tied for first in career batting average. Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera each have a .313 average as Marlins.

By his own high standards, Ramirez is coming off a disappointing season, where he batted .300 with 21 homers and 76 RBIs.

At age 27, Ramirez will be looking for a bounce back year in 2011.

– Joe Frisaro

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