BOSTON — Hanley Ramirez’s power may have dipped so far this season, but his confidence certainly hasn’t.
The Red Sox first baseman entered Wednesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles with just four home runs, 35 RBIs and a lackluster .378 slugging percentage, which would be the lowest of his career if the season ended Wednesday afternoon.
Ramirez’s blast, which came on a slider from Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, was his first homer since May 10. Yet the Red Sox slugger insisted his slump-busting shot is a sign of good things to come.
“Get ready,” Ramirez said after the game. “Get your ticket. First class, whatever, coach. It’s about to get hot.”
The Red Sox obviously would benefit from Ramirez putting more balls in flight, and there are signs the 32-year-old veteran is on track to start hitting for more power.
“He’s got some moving parts in his swing, but I think he’s controlled them a little bit more,” Farrell said of Ramirez. “… We’re just seeing more consistent timing and swing path probably in the last five to seven days.”
Ramirez has hit the ball with more authority of late and now has two extra-base hits in his last three games after going 17 games without an extra-base hit between May 17 and June 4. He believes that’s a result of quicker hand movement at the plate, which has him confident he can provide more pop in the coming days.
“I’ve been working on my timing and trying to stay back and just move my hands,” Ramirez said. “… (My) hands were coming out quick and short. That’s it. That’s hitting, as a hitter, you know even one swing is like, ‘Wow, I felt something right there.’ And you just go from there.”
One home run does not a turnaround make, although Ramirez did add a single in the seventh inning to finish 2-for-3 with a walk. But his third-inning blast, which cleared everything in left field, was enough to make a believer of teammate David Ortiz.
“You see where that ball landed? Exactly,” Ortiz said. “That’s what had me excited.”
Farrell, of course, also wouldn’t mind a power surge from Ramirez’s spot in the No. 5 hole.
“To have that type of middle-of-the-order bat — which, we still have a lot of confidence in Hanley and his capabilities of doing that — it would certainly add an extra-base threat to the middle of the order,” Farrell said.
“And the way other guys are going around him right now, particularly David ahead of him, the way Jackie (Bradley Jr.) has come on this year, it makes that middle of the order even that much more formidable.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images