Fans were skeptical when the Milwaukee Brewers signed Aramis Ramirez to a three-year deal wondering how he was supposed to replace Prince Fielder in the cleanup spot. Truth be told, no one person can replace Fielder but Ramirez is making Brewers general manager Doug Melvin look good for going with his instincts.
Ramirez is having a phenomenal season and it is certainly a shame it is being wasted on a year the Brewers will not even get close to making the postseason. Milwaukee’s third baseman leads all of baseball with 37 doubles and is seventh in the National League with 68 RBI. In fact, Ramirez’s numbers are not too far off from Fielder’s as he leads him in doubles and triples.
He may not be having career numbers as of right now, with the exception of his doubles and triples, but there is plenty of time left to pick up the pace. The fact that Ramirez is even on pace is incredible considering how slow he started the season out. Many fans thought he was a bust right out of the gate and wondered if the Brewers had made a colossal mistake signing him. However, Ramirez would be the first one to say that he has historically started his seasons out slow but always managed to pick it up when it mattered most.
If Milwaukee were in the hunt for the division as they were this time last year then Ramirez would be getting hot at the right time and considered to be a savior by many. Unfortunately, the Brewers bullpen had a different idea in mind, which has forced the team to trade away their best starter and bring up prospects in preparation for next year.
The important thing is that Milwaukee knows what they got in Ramirez, and although he is not getting any younger, he can clearly still hit with power and play solid defense at third base. The Brewers must understand that they cannot waste his talent as well as the primes of Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, and Yovani Gallardo on seasons like 2012. They must capitalize on having these gifted athletes as they almost did last year.
The Brewers will have plenty of money to spend and loads of talent among their numerous pitching prospects to make a run at the division next year. If they are unable to accomplish securing a playoff spot next season than the future may become bleak as players such as Hart and Gallardo will be up for a contract renewal.
For now, even though many players did not pan out in 2012 that were supposed to it is nice to know the one person that did is the player Milwaukee will need most to protect Braun when they make a run at a World Series berth in 2013.