AP – Coming off a career-worst batting average and sizeable drop in production, Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez turned to a new offseason workout routine — he’s following Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady’s TB12 method.
The 34-year-old Ramirez felt like entering the later stages of his career that it was time to make a change. For him, who better to follow than a 40-year-old QB that just captured his third MVP award.
“I went on the Tom Brady side,” said Ramirez, who reported on Friday, a few days before full-squad workouts begin. “I think it’s 100 percent everything he says in the book, the work he does, makes sense.”
I’m on record as saying that I will never read The TB12 Method. I’m more of a Bartolo Colon Big Sexy Cookbook kind of guy. I love my nightshades. But if the TB12 Method works for Hanley Ramirez, I will gladly pour out my Pepsi bottles, dispose of my Frosted Flakes and move to “the Tom Brady side.” If the TB12 Method can work for Hanley Ramirez, that’s enough proof for me that it can work for anyone.
For the sake of this Red Sox season I hope that the TB12 Method does work for Hanley. Do I believe that he has read every word of the The TB12 Method, cover to cover? No. At least he’s saying the right things at the start of spring training, though. It shows that he is focused and that he is motivated. With or without J.D. Martinez the Red Sox need production out of Hanley to compete for a title this year. If Hanley’s 2018 looks anything like his 2017, the Red Sox would be lucky to win even one game in the playoffs.
It also happens to be a contract year for Hanley Ramirez, which might explain his focus this spring. If he makes 497 plate appearances this season his $22 million option for 2019 will kick in. Only three times in 12 years has Hanley failed to make at least 497 plate appearances. All the more reason for the Red Sox to sign J.D. Martinez and keep Hanley’s workload in check. Five years at $25 million a year for J.D. Martinez sounds a lot better if it also allows you to move on from Hanley Ramirez sooner.
Even if Hanley doesn’t make 497 plate appearances a strong 2018 will still allow him to maximize his earning ability as a 35-year-old free agent a year form now. If he’s adhering to the TB12 Method, even if his big-money days are behind him, maybe it’s a sign he would still like to play for a few more years and make some decent dough at the end of his career.
Baseball-Reference is projecting 539 plate appearances, a .255 batting average, 24 home runs and 73 RBIs for Hanley this year. If the Sox don’t add J.D. Martinez, I bet Hanley does make the necessary amount of plate appearances to come back for $22 million in 2019.
While his time in Boston as a whole has been disappointing, Hanley was a 30 HR / 100 RBI guy in 2016. He had offseason surgery on his left shoulder and said he was “hitting with one arm last year” when he hit 23 home runs and still made 553 plate appearances. I wouldn’t be surprised if a healthy, motivated and focused Hanley Ramirez puts up numbers more like 2016 (than 2017 or 2015) this season.
If Hanley has 20 HRs and 65 RBIs by the all-star break, I will head down to Patriot Place and buy The TB12 Method book, the TB12 weighted vest, medicine ball, looped band kit, and all the
salt water electrolytes I can get my hands on.