by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Expectations had been that Ian Desmond would ultimately be signed to be the Padres’ shortstop, but the organization obviously had different plans. Instead, while Desmond is still on the hunt for a job, the Padres yesterday inked Alexei Ramirez to a one-year contract. To an extent it makes sense, as San Diego held onto their draft picks and Ramirez can act as a bridge until Javier Guerra (acquired from the Red Sox as part of the Craig Kimbrel trade) is deemed ready.
The question is what can we expect from Ramirez in San Diego? First let’s look at his numbers from a year ago:
583 At Bats
.249 Batting Average (145 Hits)
10 Home Runs
17 Stolen Bases
.285 On Base Percentage
.357 Slugging Percentage
.264 Batting Average on Balls in Play
He’s now hit 10 HR or less in three of the past four seasons, despite calling a hitter’s park home (where he hit 7 of his 10 HR last season). The move to Petco Park simply is not going to do him any favors. Seeing him hit single-digit home runs should almost be expected (think something in the 6-9 range).
While he does make consistent contact (11.7% strikeout rate for his career), he has never generated much in the way of line drives (19.3% for his career). That said he’s actually been better in two of the past three seasons:
- 2013 – 22.1%
- 2014 – 19.7%
- 2015 – 21.4%
Last season’s poor average came courtesy of a .264 BABIP, something the numbers don’t backup. A career .273 hitter, there’s reason to believe that he’ll get back into that type of range (.265-.276) once again.
While he doesn’t profile as a top of the order bat, thanks to a lack of walks, he has stolen 17+ bases in four straight seasons. There is value to that, though if it comes at the bottom of an NL lineup where he’s not going to score many runs it’s not a tremendous selling point.
At the end of the day Ramirez is what he is, with the move doing little to help his appeal. A .270 hitter with no power and 15-20 SB upside, who may not score many runs? There are simply better value picks at the position to gamble on.
Source – Fangraphs
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