Cleveland Indians Spring Training Profile: Jose Ramirez
Jose Ramirez is one of the players that came out of nowhere in 2013, as he was not ranked highly or known of among fans. He made his debut on Sept. 1 as a pinch runner in a 4-0 win against the Detroit Tigers, but he didn’t score his first run until Sept. 9 against the Kansas City Royals. He looked impressive.
Eric Hosmer had a throwing error from first base, which led to Ramirez turning on the jets and scoring all the way from there in a matter of seconds. His speed was uncanny and it had Cleveland Indians fans wanting more. Well, they got it. On Sept. 14, he hit a triple against the Chicago White Sox and showed his speed again.
Can we say Kenny Lofton? Not quite.
Ramirez spent most of the season in AA Akron. He had a .272 average, with three homeruns and 38 RBI’s, and he also managed to steal 38 bases with an OBP of .325. At 5-foot-9, 165 pounds, Ramirez is known as a speed guy and is used mostly as a pinch runner and defensive infielder.
He is still very young in his development, but he does show the confidence and wit that a player needs in the MLB. He was mainly used as a pinch runner, however, he did give Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis relief during some games, and he is also capable of playing third base as well.
Ramirez does not have pop in his bat, but that is not the kind of player he is. He is a top of the lineup, doubles, occasional triple kind of player. He will steal bases and make the amazing play defensively, as well as be formidable. In 15 games with the Indians, he had a .333 average, with four hits and scored five runs. He had an OBP of .429, but it’s deceiving since he played in few games.
One of the things Ramirez must work on is his efficiency on the base paths. He got thrown out 16 times in Akron, which would equal a bigger number in the major leagues. That will come with time and experience, just as it has with Michael Bourn and others.
Ramirez will likely spend the season in AAA Columbus. There are alot of players trying to make the 40-man roster, and he would likely be the odd man out. However, if Cabrera, Kipnis or Lonnie Chisenhall or Carlos Santana need a break during the season, he could easily get called up to fill in for them. His game still needs a lot of seasoning, but the finished product could be worth the wait.