Player Profile: Jose Ramirez

Ramirez-Jason-Miller-Getty-Images
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

Ramirez grabbed everyone’s attention in 2016, in his first full season of at bats with the Indians. As a key member of their World Series run, Ramirez posted an impressive .312/.363/.462 triple slash line to go along with his 22 steals. Despite the doubts of many, Ramirez has pick up right where he left off in 2016. His career high .840 OPS is surprising but he has more pop in that 5’9”, 165 lb frame than most might imagine.  His 89.38 MPH AEV (Average Exit Velocity) is far from elite but still places him above several powerful hitters like Mookie Betts, Anthony Rizzo, and Nolen Arenado. What could make his slightly above average exit velocity play more like an elite exit velocity, is his improved 15.59 degree launch angle. In fact, if you look at his GB/FB rate over the last 3 seasons he has made noticeable reductions in the amount of ground balls he is hitting (2015 – 0.92, 2016 – 0.70, 2017 – 0.59). Swing changes in young hitters often lead to strikeouts but if you are looking for those, you won’t find them here. This 24 year old is among the top 25 hardest to strikeout and makes contact on an impressive 86% of the pitches he swings at.  Ramirez is a switch hitter like several in the Indians lineup. His ability to move to either side of the plate to hit helps his batting average and lessens his chances of prolonged slumps. Ramirez is a few Home Runs shy of his career best 11 probably will not be slowing down there. If he can match his 2016 stolen base total of 22, I think he has a solid chance at a 20/20 2017.

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