Ramón Laureano

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Ramón Laureano

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shortly after making his major league debut with the Oakland Athletics, OF Ramon Laureano made the highlight reels around the country for an unbelievalble throw on August 11th. He first sprinted 76 feet at full speed to catch a fly ball off the bat of Justin Upton of the Los Angeles Angels, then made a throw clear across the field with pinpoint accuracy to double up Eric Young Jr. at first base. The ball traveled 321 feet on the fly from left field to first, according to Statcast. He quickly became a fixture in the A's lineup as they were battling for a postseason slot. On September 7th, he had the second two-homer game of his career in leading the A's to an 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers, the first having come against those same Rangers on August 20th. That made him the first player in team history with two multi-homer games over his first 30 games. He hit .288 in 48 games, with 27 runs, 5 homers and 19 RBIs. He started in centerfield for the A's in the Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees on October 3rd and went 0 for 3 with a walk in a 7-2 loss.

He displayed his outstanding throwing arm again in an early-season series against the Boston Red Sox in April 2019. In a four-game series, he picked up three outfield assists, each one more impressive than the last. He was a huge factor in the A's winning three of the four games, and some observers began dubbing him "Laser Ramon", a reference to former wresting superstar "Razor Ramon". On April 21st, he added to his reel of highlight plays in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays as he robbed Teoscar Hernandez of a home run by reaching over the fence in the 2nd inning, then whirled around and threw to first base, where he overthrew the bag, but C Nick Hundley was backing up the play, and managed to throw out Justin Smoak at second base for a spectacular double play. On May 7th, he robbed Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds of a home run with a perfectly-timed leap over the centerfield fence at the Oakland Coliseum; it was a particularly important catch as it allowed Mike Fiers to pitch a no-hitter that day. He ended up playing 123 games and hitting .288 with 24 homers and 67 RBIs. His OPS+ of 128 was almost identical to that he had posted in his rookie year. In the Wild Card Game, he went 1 for 3 with an RBI as the A's lost at that stage for the second straight year, this time against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On August 9 2020, he was at the center of a major brawl between the A's and their main rivals, the Houston Astros. After having been hit by a pitch for a second time in that game, he was taunted by Astros' coach Alex Cintrón, initiating a bench-clearing brawl. He later explained that he had not been looking for trouble, but that Cintrón had used an obscenity while referring to his mother and that he could not let that pass. In any case, MLB had already warned everyone that it would punish such incidents severely in a year when social distancing was the by-word, and Laureano was handed a stiff six-game suspension. For his part, Cintrón received an exemplary twenty-game sentence, as he was identified as the instigator of the brawl, and it was underlined that as a coach, he bore a greater degree of responsibility for his actions. In 54 games, he hit .213 with 6 homers and 25 RBIs, also leading the American League with 12 hit by pitch. His OPS+ of 98, the lowest of his career. He then went a combined 5 for 26 in the postseason, with 2 homers and 5 RBIs. He was having a bounceback season in 2021, hitting .246 in 88 games, with 14 homers, 39 RBIs and an OPS+ of 112 when on August 6th, he was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance. He claimed that he had not knowingly taken the banned substance.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2019)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Martin Gallegos: "Laureano robs Votto of HR, preserves no-no: Profar also makes remarkable diving catch to aid Fiers' bid", mlb.com, May 8, 2019. [1]
  • Martín Gallegos: "A's dealt blow with Laureano's suspension: Melvin: A's 'shocked' by 80-game suspension, but 'we have to move on'", mlb.com, August 6, 2021. [2]
  • Matt Kelly: "Laser Ramon strikes again with throw for A's", mlb.com, April 4, 2019. [3]

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