José Ramírez (ramirjo01)

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José Enrique Ramírez

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 165 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

José Ramírez hit .342 in his first two minor league seasons, then became a major league star with the Cleveland Indians.

He signed as an international free agent with the Indians in November 2009; the scouts were Ramon Pena and Felix Nivar. He made his pro debut with the 2011 AZL Indians, hitting .325/.351/.448 with 30 runs in 48 games, leading the Indians chain in average. In 2012, he played for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (4 for 11, BB, 2 2B) and the Lake County Captains (.354/.403/.462, 15 SB, 6 CS, 54 R in 67 G). He fielded .993 at 2B for the Captains. MLB.com rated him as the 9th-best Indians prospect.

The Bani native .312/.362/.389 with 22 runs and 22 RBI in 38 games for the 2012-13 Toros del Este. He was among the Dominican League leaders in average (3rd, behind Jean Segura and Oscar Taveras), RBI (tied for 7th), OBP (4th after Ricardo Nanita, Hector Luna and Rhyne Hughes) and steals (10, tied for 4th with Jose Constanza). For the Leones del Escogido in the 2013 Caribbean Series, he was the main second baseman, forming a double play combination with Miguel Tejada. He hit .226/.385/.387 and made four errors, but was named to the Series All-Star team at 2B. He had a couple big plays, both off Luis Ayala. In the 11th inning of the first meeting with eventual champion Obregon, he singled off Ayala and came around with the winning run on a hit by Nanita. In the rematch, he hit a three-run homer off Ayala.

In 2013, Ramírez led the Eastern League with 39 stolen bases with the Akron Aeros. He hit .272/.325/.349 and scored 78 runs in 113 games. He was called up by the Indians when rosters expanded on September 1st and made his debut against the Detroit Tigers that day. He pinch-ran for Carlos Santana in the 9th inning of a scoreless game and came in to score on Mike Aviles' grand slam off Joaquin Benoit that won the game for the Tribe. He went 4 for 12 in 15 games in his first taste of the majors. In 2014, he played 68 games, hitting .262 with 2 homers and 17 RBIs while seeing time at shortstop and second base. However, he slumped badly in 2015 as he batted only .219 in 97 games. He was a utility infielder that year, playing second, third and short. He did show some power, with 14 doubles, 3 triples and 6 homers, and also scored 50 runs in spite of his low on-base percentage (.291).

José had a breakout season in 2016 as he claimed the Indians' regular third base job and the team won a division title. He played 152 games, hitting .312 with 11 homers and 76 RBIs. He also scored 84 runs, hit 46 doubles and stole 22 bases in an all-around excellent season that left him with an OPS+ of 112. He continued to be productive in the postseason, going 5 for 10 with 4 runs scored in Cleveland's sweep of the Boston Red Sox in the Division Series. In the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays, he was only 1 for 17 (.059) but got back on track in the World Series, with a .310 average and one homer in the seven-game loss to the Chicago Cubs. After the season, the Indians rewarded him with a long-term contract.

He had a career game on April 15, 2017 when he hit a pair of three-run homers to drive in 6 runs while going 4-for-4 in a 13-6 win over the Detroit Tigers. On July 2nd, he celebrated being elected to the All-Star team as a starter by hitting a couple of homers in an 11-8 win over the Detroit Tigers. In late August and early September, he set a record with 14 extra-base hits in 7 games, topping that streak on September 3rd with a 5-for-5 performance in an 11-1 win against the Tigers. All five hits went for extra bases, including a homer in the 1st that bounced up on the fence and was tipped over by CF Mikie Mahtook and another in the 6th which bounced off the glove of RF Alex Presley and above the fence before falling back on the field. The other three hits were doubles, and he scored and drive in 3 runs. It was Cleveland's 11th straight win. Two nights later, on September 5th, he had another two-homer game in a 9-4 win over the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland's 13th straight victory. He finished the season at .318 in 152 games, with a league-leading 56 doubles, 6 triples and 29 homers, scoring 107 runs and driving in 83. He won the Silver Slugger Award as the best-hitting third baseman in the AL and finished third in the MVP vote. He cooled down in the Division Series, however, as he went just 2-for 20 and the Indians were eliminated by the New York Yankees in five games.

In 2018, he was back to swinging a hot bat, and it landed him a spot on the All-Star team for the second straight year as he slugged 29 homers in the first half of the season, with 68 runs and 70 RBIs. He was named the American League Player of the Month for July when he batted .322 with 8 homers and 25 RBIs, his first time winning the honor. When he hit his 35th homer on August 13th, he set a new Indians record for a switch-hitter, bettering the 34 hit by Carlos Santana only two seasons earlier. On September 9th, when he stole his 30th base, he became the first 30-30 player for the Indians since Grady Sizemore in 2008 and the third in team history (Joe Carter, back in 1987, had been the first). No one in the majors had done it since 2012, but he was joined by Mookie Betts a few days later. He ended the year at .270 with 38 doubles, 39 homers, 110 runs scored and 105 RBIs. For the second straight year, he finished third in the voting for the MVP Award, behind Betts and Mike Trout; he also repeated as a Silver Slugger Award winner. However, he was kept in check in the postseason, going 0 for 11 as the Indians were swept by the Houston Astros in the Division Series.

Just as spring training was winding down on March 24, 2019, Ramirez fouled a pitch off his left knee. He had to be carted off the field. The Indians feared the worst, but he was cleared to start on opening day. However, he had a very poor first half, as he was hitting .218 with 7 homers and 35 RBIs in 85 games at the All-Star break. Not coincidentally, the Indians got off to a poor start as well and were trailing the Minnesota Twins by 10 1/2 games at one point. His bat began to get hot in July, as he hit 9 homers during the month, with 35 RBIs and a .320 average as the Indians suddenly began to play as well as anyone in the majors. On August 15th, he had a tremendous game against the Yankees at New Yankee Stadium, hitting a grand slam off Chad Green in the 1st and a two-run homer off Jonathan Loaisiga in the 2nd to lead Cleveland to a 19-5 win. However, his hot streak was brutally interrupted on August 24th when he injured himself while swinging, breaking a hamate bone in his hand. He was immediately placed on the injured list. He returned exactly a month later, on September 24th, and celebrated this by homering in his first two at-bats, hitting a grand slam off Carson Fulmer of the Chicago White Sox in the 1st, followed by a three-run shot off Hector Santiago in the 3rd. The Indians went on to win the game, 11-0, but they missed the postseason. For his part, Ramirez finished at .255 in 129 games, with 23 homers and 83 RBIs, his poor first half depressing his overall numbers.

Ramirez got off to a scorching start during the abbreviated 2020 season, hitting .429 during its first month - July, albeit in just 8 games given that opening day was on July 24th. However, he fell into a slump after that first week, and one month into the season, on August 24th, he was down to .230 and had added just 3 homers to the 2 he had hit in July. He was still only at .248 at the end of August, while the Indians were handicapped a three-way race for first in the AL Central by a lack of hitting to support their superlative pitching. It took him until September 11th to get hot, but on that day he started a streak that saw him get a hit in 9 of the next 10 games, with 8 of the games being of the multi-hit variety. He went 19 for 41 over that stretch with 7 homers and 15 RBIs. On September 22nd, with the Indians down to their last out in the bottom of the 10th and trailing the Chicago White Sox, 3-1, teammates Francisco Lindor and Cesar Hernandez reached base on a double that scored the "designated runner" and a walk, bringing José to the plate. He ended the game with a walk-off three-run homer, clinching the Indians' spot in the expanded playoffs as well. He was named the AL Player of the Month for September as the Indians clinched second place, having hit .366 with 10 homers and 24 RBIs in 23 games.

Sources include 2013 Indians Media Guide

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time AL All-Star (2017 & 2018)
  • 3-time AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2017, 2018 & 2020/3B)
  • AL Runs Scored Leader (2020)
  • AL Doubles Leader (2017)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 3 (2017-2019)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2018)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (2018)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 2 (2017 & 2018)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jordan Bastian: "Ramirez revels in unexpected excellence", mlb.com, October 4, 2018. [1]
  • Andrew Mearns: "If you don't already know everything about Jose Ramirez, it's time to fix that", "Cut 4", mlb.com, August 22, 2018. [2]
  • Jose Ramirez: "Me in Real Life", mlb.com, September 29, 2017. [3]

Related Sites[edit]