Seven players on the rebound
March, 9, 2012
By Jim Bowden | ESPN Insider
AP Photo/Alan DiazHanley Ramirez looks happy at third base, so a return to All-Star form could be in his future this season.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Spring training is obviously crucial for all players, but it's of particular importance for two kinds of guys: those coming off injury and those coming off surprisingly bad seasons. During spring training, teams watch these players most closely to try to get a sense of whether these players can get back on track.
I've been spending the last three weeks traveling around camps observing and talking to players, coaches and execs, and here are seven players who I think are poised to bounce back in 2012 and return to top form:
Hanley Ramirez, 3B
Ramirez became the first Marlins player to hit a home run in their new ballpark in a 7-6 exhibition win over the University of Miami. Sure, it was off a college pitcher, but it was a shot the opposite way, which is a good sign. Ramirez’s transformation from a shortstop to third base has been incredibly smooth. His soft hands, quick first step and phenomenal hand-eye coordination are making this position change a lot easier than many people predicted. Ramirez has even gone so far as to say he likes the position. Based on that alone, I don’t think his new position will affect him at the plate.