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Hanley Ramirez in the batting order

The guess is right now that Hanley Ramirez will bat third in the order, which doesn't concern him as long as his spot in the order is consistent.

Encouraging sign: Admitting that ''I need to get better at defense,'' Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who has averaged 24 errors the past three seasons, said he spent ''every day'' this offseason working on his fielding, often with a coach in the Dominican Republic.

Ramirez -- who said he wants ''to be a leader and teach the young players'' -- would be content whether he bats in the leadoff spot or third, ``but whatever they want me to do, do it from the beginning.''

Before we start on the batting order, errors aren't exactly the best metric to measure defensive prowess.  That said, Hanley still has a lot room to improve at short.  But being the gifted athlete he is, and if he has the desire, he has the potential to be better in the field.

Now onto the batting order.  As it stands right now, Maybin will probably be leading off with Ramirez in the three-hole.

Historically, Hanley has had better results leading off than batting third.

Batting 1st: .313/.387/.544

Batting 3rd: .290/.347/.430

While there has been a drop off moving him to third in order, up to this point, it has only been a causal experiment in the past.  Hanley needs to get use to batting lowering in the order, it is destiny.  But the real key will be whether Maybin can be a solid lead off hitter for the whole season.  And that is an unknown right now.  If Maybin has a somewhat difficult time adjusting to a full season the bigs, then more than likely Hanley will start leading off again.  Hopefully it won't come to that.

It would be nice to have a consistent batting order, but it never seems to workout that way.