Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers Third Baseman
Career to Date
Aramis Ramirez, born on June 25th, 1978 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates on November 7, 1994 and made his major league debut on May 26th, 1998 with the Pirates. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs (with Kenny Lofton) on July 23rd, 2003, where he remained until he opted out of his contract with the Cubs and signed a three year, $36 million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers in December 2011.
Ramirez played in his first full season in 2001, finishing with a .300 BAV, 34 HR, 112 RBI. Over his major league career (6 years with the Pirates, 9 years with the Cubs) Ramirez has averaged .284-30-108. Ramirez was an All-Star in 2005 and 2008 and won the N.L. Silver Slugger award at third base in 2011. He has only once finished in the top 10 for MVP voting (2004) despite have 6-100 RBI seasons, 4-30 home run seasons, and 9-20 home run seasons. Although healthy for most of his career, Ramirez missed a large portion of the 2009 due to a dislocated shoulder suffered against his current team (Brewers) on May 8th. He has also suffered a number of calf and hamstring injuries that has led to him only being able to play 140 games twice since 2006, and only once (2011) since 2008.
At The Plate
Ramirez had a TPR (total player rating) of 77.2 in the hitting department during the 2011 campaign. As the numbers above show, he can flat out rake when at the plate.
Ramirez’s’ batting stance allows him to generate power by moving his back hip into the pitch. When he swings, his hips rotate ahead of his hands to give strength to his core muscles, increasing bat speed. The back shoulder rotates with the back leg and hips which increases the leverage of his swing.
He is able to keep his swing short by keeping his front knee bent forward when his back toes comes down, then straightening the front knee as he moves closer to the contact point of the bat with the incoming pitch. This has the added effect of increased bat control, allowing him to easily adjust in mid swing.
Ramirez’s running TPR comes in at -12.2. He has below average speed and is not a base stealing or base running threat when he is out there. He is not very aggressive on the base paths, which while minimizing base running mistakes has drawn some frustration of both the organizations he has played for and the hometown fans when he fails to take an easy extra base.
Defense is definitely Ramirez’s weak point, checking in with a fielding TPR of -35.2. As his career has progressed the number of mental mistakes he makes on the field have come down to almost zero which has improved his defense overall, according to the SABR zone rating. His biggest asset on the field is his arm; it is both strong and accurate.
He has an overall lack of range and seems out of position at times. The lack of range has led to speculation that the Brewers, should Mat Gamel fail at first and Taylor Green show he is ready for third, would entertain shifting Ramirez to first. The cause for Ramirez to appear of position could be more of a coaching/managerial call than Ramirez himself. I feel this will be proven this season, as Brewers skipper Ron Roenicke loves positioning his fielders to give them better chances of being successful with the glove.
Early in his career Ramirez was seen as being a lazy, immature player but has worked his way towards shedding those early career observations, becoming a more humble, but competitive player. While he is not a gym rat, he has put forth more effort in recent years as he struggled with a number of injuries since 2008. The only incident I could find was a dugout fight with Cubs teammate Carlos Silva, during a spring training game on March 2nd, 2011 after Silva started blaming his teammates for their lack of defense.
As mentioned earlier, Ramirez has only once appeared in 140 games since 2008, making his recent injury history concern #1 for not only himself, but for his new team, Brewers fans, and fantasy baseball players.
Most of Aramis Ramirez’s community works comes as a part of MLB-DDA (MLB Dominican Development Alliance) and USAID (United States Agency for International Development), which provides and supports for a number of programs, including “The Bank Of Hope”, “There Is Power In Learning”, Hope and Life”, and “Spaces To Grow”.
Ramirez’s hitting method should allow him to remain a productive hitter into his 40’s, with an expected slow slippage of power. His defense at 3B will eventually make it necessary for him to move to first, or will send him to the A.L. as a DH. He will continue to be an above average player if he stays healthy.
Ramirez is married, has two boys, and is represented by agent Paul Kinzer.