It’s an interesting question, as people have speculated that he is being overvalued heading into 2013. He certainly has the makings of a player who could put you in that trap:
- He has been a dominant player in the past
- He has moved to a new, high-powered offense (he’s no longer going to be asked to be the star)
- He showed an overall rebound in 2012 (.257, 24 HR, 21 SB)
Those who feel like he should be considered among the top players in the game look at his power/speed combination, with the potential to go 100/100 hitting in the middle of the Dodgers lineup.
While there is concern with his overall average, he did hit .271 after his move to Los Angeles courtesy of a seemingly realistic BABIP of .319. If he can replicate that average, along with the other numbers, what exactly is there not to like?
The detractors are going to focus on the average, and their reasoning makes sense. Overall he posted a strikeout rate of 19.8%, his highest of any full season in the Majors. That number actually regressed after his trade, with a 22.1% mark in LA.
You couple that with a decreased walk rate of 8.1%, and it makes sense…
However, one could also argue that Ramirez was simply pressing to impress his new team. As with the strikeout rate, the walk rate dropped upon his trade. While the average was worse in Miami, he had posted rates of 18.2% and 9.4%, neither of which would’ve made us bat on eye as compared to hs career rates.
He was also driving the ball into the ground in LA, wtih a 54.7% grounball rate. That is a scarier number, as he was over 50% the prior two years as well, though with his speed it shouldn’t be the biggest issue. While it will limit the power potential, it shouldn’t cripple his average.
He has never been a consistent line drive hitter (18.3% for his career), but there is no reason to think he can’t hit .270+ (he is a career .298 hitter after all). While the concerns about his strikeout and walk rates are legitimate, it could easily be explained away with moving to a new team. Since they weren’t issues in Miami, we can’t harp on them too much.
Throw in the potential to go 20/20/90/90, at a minimum (he has been 20/20 for five out of six years), and the potential to produce in a loaded lineup and it is hard to call him overrated. If you want to say he is the top shortstop, or the second best, he needs to be valued as one of the better options at his position.
What are your opinions of Ramirez? Do you think he is being overrated heading into 2013? Why or why not?
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