Hanley Ramirez returned to Boston older, wiser and much, much bigger.
Ramirez, listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, looks more like an NFL linebacker than an MLB outfielder these days. The Red Sox are hoping Ramirez’s new physique will lead to better durability and more power, but for now, the 31-year-old’s teammates can’t help but marvel at the size of his muscles.
“Look at that guy,” David Ortiz recently told WEEI.com’s John Tomase. “I have 19 inches in my arms, and they look like toothpicks next to his.”
Ramirez always has had pop. He has six seasons with at least 20 home runs and he boasts a career .873 OPS. The three-time All-Star might reach new heights in his second stint with the Red Sox, though, as he’ll play his home games at a hitter-friendly environment and bat in front of Ortiz within a deep lineup.
Changing positions also could benefit Ramirez, who figures to be Boston’s Opening Day left fielder. Ramirez’s body went through plenty of punishment during his time as a shortstop. Shifting to a less demanding area of the field could help him stay fresh and perform at his optimum level more consistently, especially given the physical shape he’s in this spring.
“Oh my God. I saw him for the first time at Dodger Stadium and he was really big, but he’s even bigger now,” Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts told WEEI.com. “He’s always had big biceps, and he wears those cutoff sleeves, and it just makes him look that much bigger. I hope I wouldn’t get that big — I would always try to stay in the 210, 215 area to remain as quick as possible. He was an offensive shortstop. That’s a pretty jacked body.”
Ramirez said back in November at his introductory press conference at Fenway Park that he’s now a much different player and person than he was when Boston traded him in 2005 to land Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. The slugger wasn’t referring to his physical build, specifically, but staying in shape over the offseason and arriving at camp in peak condition suggests he’s evolving as a leader.
“You don’t get a full appreciation for …Read More