In a bad week at the hot corner, 3B/SS Hanley Ramirez hurt his thumb in Tuesday’s World Baseball Classic championship and is out for at least two months. He becomes the third 3B to suffer an injury in the tournament, a development that has made drafting the hot corner in Fantasy Baseball a very different proposition. His dual eligibility may cause a ripple effect at both positions in drafts.
Tests revealed torn ligaments in Ramirez’s thumb. Fantasy owners should virtually remove him from their draft sheets or identify how late in the draft you’re willing to assume that risk. Even when he returns, he may not be in baseball shape; and a thumb injury tends to sap a hitter’s power, so you might look for Ramirez closer to the middle of your draft now.
According to the National Fantasy Baseball Champion’s Average Draft Position (ADP) rankings, Ramirez was, on average, being drafted in the 20th spot in Fantasy drafts – taken as high as 10th and as low as 32. In the coming days, those numbers will definitely tumble. Consrevative drafters may want to totally pass him by.
Hanley Ramirez will miss two months with torn thumb ligaments. Photo credit: Rob Tringalo, Getty Images
The Dodgers were anxious to get Ramirez back into camp; with just 10 days before Opening Day, they very much wanted him to get re-acclimated with his natural shortstop spot (he played 3B in the WBC; Jose Reyes manned the SS position) in that time. Chase Headley of the Padres broke the tip of his thumb while baserunning in the WBC; Mets’ 3B David Wright suffered a moderate muscle strain in the rib-cage area in the tournament.
Expect third basemen Evan Longoria (21), Adrian Beltre (22), and Ryan Zimmerman (34) to be drafted a bit earlier than their ADPs thus far. Wright is resting his injury and is hoping to be ready for Opening Day. His ADP is 25 and should hold there with the news that Terry Collins expects him to be ready for the start of the season.
Shortstops in the top portion of the draft include Troy Tulowitzski (ADP: 15), Jose Reyes (23) and Starlin Castro (35).
A Ramirez injury now boosts Reyes and Castro’s draft value, so Fantasy owners should plan accordingly. Tulowitzski is considered a risk due to his history of injuries, including last season’s groin injury that cost him four months of the season. His ADP should not be affected.
In other notable infield news, Derek Jeter’s recovery from a broken ankle has forced him out of the lineup this week. He’s suffering mild inflammation of the ankle. He is 3-for-11 this spring since returning to game action on March 9. He has an ADP of 150, so his injury won’t have much impact on the SS position, unless an owner was specifically targeting Jeter in the middle of the draft. There is some speculation, though, that he could begin the season on the DL.