Mookie Betts may be the frontrunner for the American League Most Valuable Player, but he may not even be the most valuable player on the Boston Red Sox. This honor could go to many people, David Ortiz, Xander Bogaerts, even Rick Porcello. But in my eyes, the man that could rival Betts as the most valuable player on the Boston Red Sox this season is none other than Hanley Ramirez.
Ramirez has exceeded expectations at the plate, in the field and in the clubhouse. At the plate he is hitting .292, the highest he has hit when playing a full season since 2010 when he hit .300 for the Marlins. He has hit 28 home runs and could very easily hit two more to join the 30/100 club. He has 107 RBI's, a career high. The most valuable thing that Ramirez has done at the plate is that he has provided protection to David Ortiz by being a formidable threat. Last year, Ramirez was not feared when hitting behind Ortiz, causing pitchers to have to pitch or Ortiz, who is having the greatest final season in the history of sports.
Defensively, I don't think that anyone expected Ramirez to be as good defensively as he has been. All the talk leading up to this year was how much Ramirez would mess up at first base. Now all the talk is about how good he has been at first base, how much he loves to play first because he remains active all the time unlike playing the outfield last season. In 1,064 innings innings, Ramirez has only committed 4 errors, his fielding percentage is .996 which places him tied for 6th in Major League Baseball.
In the clubhouse Ramirez has fully bought into this team. This team is an excellent mix of young guys and veterans. Typically there is a little bit of a a separation between these groups of guys, and guys like Ramirez would be one of the guys that caused this rift. This year, Ramirez is one of the guys that has caused these players to come together and they are peaking at exactly the right time.
While Ramirez may not have the numbers that jump off the page, and he surely isn't getting consideration to be the MVP of the American League, he certainly has had a huge impact on this team and is one of the biggest reasons that the Boston Red Sox are extremely close to clinching a berth in the playoffs. If you were to ask me who the MVP of the Boston Red Sox is this season I would say that Mookie Betts is #1 and Hanley Ramirez is #1a.
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