He is a bonafide star in this league and has been a key piece to the Indians’ success in recent years.
But fans know very well that some players are regarded in a way that makes them seem better than they actually are.
Does Ramirez fit that description?
The answer is simple: no.
Here is why.
3. He Is A Solid Defensive Infielder
Ramirez is an above-average defender.
He registered three defensive runs saved over the COVID-shortened 2020 season (a 162-game pace of about nine) and is on pace for six defensive runs saved this season.
He has registered a positive defensive WAR in every year of his MLB career except one.
Jose Ramirez with the best defensive play you'll see all day 😱
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 6, 2020
Having an outstanding offensive third baseman is one thing, but when you have a guy who can add value on both sides of the ball, that’s when you know you have an excellent all-around player.
2. He Hits The Ball Hard, Which Only Ever Means Good Things
Ramirez rarely has trouble barreling the ball.
He is currently enjoying a barrel rate of 9.2 percent, which ranks 16th in all of baseball.
This would mark the best barrel rate of his career.
He is almost always above average in this category.
Players who consistently barrel the ball are far less susceptible to unlucky outcomes, which makes sense considering Ramirez’s perennial offensive success.
Considering everything we just touched on, it’s no coincidence that he is a sneaky good power-hitter.
Since 2017, he has averaged 36 home runs per 162 games, and he’s on pace for 38 homers this season.
On that note, let’s get into Ramirez’s offensive prowess.
1. His Production Is Consistent Year In And Year Out
You know exactly what you’re going to get from Ramirez on a yearly basis.
He is a career .279 hitter with an .851 OPS, and his individual seasons tend to look just like his career numbers do.
Ramirez’s first few seasons at the big-league level were abbreviated ones, so let’s throw those out.
His first full season came in 2016.
Since then, he has posted an OPS above .800 in every year of his career as well as an above-average OPS+.
In the same span, he has finished in the top-three of the American League MVP race three times and has been named a Silver Slugger three times.
Now let’s talk WAR.
If you extrapolate his WAR from the COVID-shortened 2020 season to a full 162-game slate, then Ramirez has averaged 5.8 WAR per year since 2016.
For context, the threshold for an All-Star-caliber season is typically 5.0 or better.
That’s the player the Indians get virtually every season without fail.
What’s not to like?
Ramirez has developed into one of the most reliable players in the American League.
There are very few (if any) data points that suggest Ramirez is an overrated player.
The 28-year-old is having another All-Star-caliber season, and he may very well receive a few MVP votes when all is said and done.
José Ramirez having ANOTHER MVP level season pic.twitter.com/ZIvvRt2YxL
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 17, 2021
At a certain point, we have to consider the possibility that Ramirez hasn’t even reached his ceiling yet.
Indians fans hope that Ramirez is able to bring the team to the promised land before he eventually calls it quits many years down the road.