Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez may have got off to a slow start in 2012, but he finished with a bang. The slugger will now have to take his performance from last year and try to build off of it this season if the Brewers want to be successful.
Ramirez was among the top players on Milwaukee in every offensive statistical category. His career season included a .300 batting average, 27 home runs, 105 runs batted in, three triples, 92 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 570 plate appearances. Not to mention, his career-high 50 doubles was the best in the National League.
The 15-year veteran has accomplished many goals in his career, but he has never been a World Series champion. This is something he would like to do before the two years left on his contract with the Brewers are up. Milwaukee has a young starting rotation that is loaded with talent led by ace Yovani Gallardo, who is just now entering his prime. The team has rebuilt the bullpen completely, which should prove to be much better than the Major League-worst 4.66 bullpen ERA from a season ago. Not to mention, one of the top ranked offenses in 2012 is still primarily intact with the exception of Corey Hart missing the first few weeks of the season.
Milwaukee is prepared to dominate the division in 2013 and get back into the playoffs. However, in order to do this, players such as Ramirez will have to find a way to repeat their stellar performances to overcome any problems the team could encounter with their young pitchers. The Brewers should be able to take their experience from last season when they were winning at a rapid pace down the stretch and use it towards being successful this year. The players understand what it takes to become a winner and now they will have to do just that for the entire season if they want to pop champagne bottles in the clubhouse.
Team management believes the team is capable of great things, which is why they did not make many offensive moves this past winter. The organization not only expects similar results from last year, but they believe the core group of guys can exceed expectations. If Ryan Braun, Ramirez, Hart and Jonathan Lucroy can be great at the plate again with their teammates chipping in here and there, then Milwaukee has a legitimate shot at doing something special. However, if even one of these players does not meet their own personal goals for 2013 then the team will fail.