Hanley Ramirez
Hanley Ramirez has taken a new approach to preparing for the upcoming season (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Hanley Ramirez had a down year in 2017 but is entering a contract year in 2018. Ramirez has a vesting option for the 2019 season worth $22 million if he reaches 497 at-bats this year. Ramirez has come to spring training in great shape to prove his doubters wrong. Who needs JD Martinez when you have a fired up Hanley Ramirez, right?

Hanley says the Tom Brady book has done wonders for him:

“It’s working for me,” Ramirez said, “If you sit down and see what he’s saying in the book, it made a lot of sense.”

Ramirez, 34, hit just .242 a year ago but hit .286 in 2016. Ramirez still gets on base on a consistent basis. He also said that he essentially hit 24 home runs with one arm. Hanley struggled with shoulder issues last season and claims that lifting heavy weights was actually a deterrent to his success a year ago.

“You get to that age, you cross 30, you’ve got to concentrate now on the little muscles,” he said here at JetBlue Park on Friday. “Because you’ve got the power from the big muscles. So when you get hurt, most of the time those little muscles stop working. So you’ve just got to keep working on those little muscles. That’s what the bands do. They give you more resistance. Keep the little muscles working.”

The TB12 plan seems to be working for Hanley and looks like he is in great shape. Hanley started his career as a skinny shortstop and has now turned into a big heft slugger at DH. A slimmed down Hanley suits him a little better. Hanley can likely spend more time at first base now after being the full-time DH a year ago. Alex Cora is likely a key component as the first year manager who will bring the most out of Ramirez.