Numbers at center of Manny HOF debate

April, 8, 2011
4/08/11
9:04
PM ET
Manny Ramirez
Ramirez
Manny Ramirez announced his retirement today, ending a stellar career that spanned 19 seasons. He was a 12-time all-star, racking up nine Silver Slugger awards and recording 14 straight 20-HR seasons (1995-2008). Ramirez ranks among the top-six home run hitters for two different franchises -- third in Indians history (236) and sixth for the Red Sox (274). His 555 career home runs put him 14th on the all-time list.

He wasn’t just a regular-season compiler either. No one has hit more postseason home runs than Manny’s 29. He appeared in the playoffs 11 times, winning the World Series twice, including 2004 when he was World Series MVP.

Some of the shine has come off of Ramirez’s career as he was suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games for violating the league’s drug policy in 2009.

Let the Hall-of-Fame debate begin:

• He’s one of just five players with 550 HR and a .300 career batting average.

• His career OPS is fourth among outfielders (minimum 3,000 PA), trailing only Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Barry Bonds. That means he's got the highest OPS among right-handed hitting outfielders … EVER.

• Ramirez is ninth all-time in slugging percentage and OPS, and 18th in RBI with 1,831.

• Only Alex Rodriguez (14) has more seasons that Ramirez (12) with 20 HR and 100 RBI.

• In Red Sox history, he’s second in slugging percentage (.588), fifth in batting average (.312) and seventh in RBI (868).

• Since his debut in 1993, only Barry Bonds posted a higher WAR (120.2) than Ramirez did (72.0) among outfielders.

What may stick in Hall-of-Fame voters' minds as hard to ignore is the progression of his power numbers in his final years along with his performance-enhancing drug issues.

Isolated Power (ISO) measures how many extra bases a player averages per at-bat. As seen in the chart to the right, Ramirez’s ISO was .305 in 2004 before it declined in three straight seasons. In 2008, when he was traded to the Dodgers, his ISO surged back up by more than 70 points. Then came declines in each of the next two seasons, starting in 2009 with his suspension.

He’s bounced around between four different teams since the start of 2008 and hasn't been the same player since returning from his suspension. His OPS declined each season since 2008 and he fell from 11th in 2008 in WAR (among position players) to 168th last season.

-- Justin Havens contributed to this report

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