If the Milwaukee Brewers want a model of consistency, perhaps they should look no further than third base. Aramis Ramirez has been that image of a consistent ball player. Only once since 2001 has Ramirez played in less than 100 games and that’s saying something. Not to mention, the productivity he has put forth in each year has been stunning. However, Ramirez will be 35 in June, so will that play into a decline? I’d say it’s doubtful and hopefully Milwaukee sees another great year from him.
Needless to say, 2012 was quite the outstanding year for Ramirez. What shocked me is that you never heard his name much at all. Sure there are guys like David Wright, Adrian Beltre and the AL MVP Miguel Cabrera, but Ramirez went for the most part unnoticed. Even with his .300/.360/.540 slash line in 2012, Ramirez still had a pretty decent glove in the field with a .977 fielding percentage and an UZR rating of 8.2. Ramirez can play both sides of the ball well.
So, can he repeat in 2013? Well, by looking at Bill James’ predictions for this upcoming season, Ramirez will be right around where he was in 2012. James has for Ramirez a predicted slash line of .286/.350/.498 with 27 home runs, 102 RBIs, 81 runs scored and 38 doubles. That’s a pretty realistic expectation and or projection for Ramirez as he’s always been a solid power hitter with a lot of contact.
Now placing Ramirez in this line-up was something Ron Roenicke was able to do with ease. Ramirez found his niche in the heart of the order with guys like Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, Corey Hart and even to some degree Rickie Weeks. Now with Hart out to start the season, I’m not exactly sure how Mat Gamel will effect Ramirez’s production, but hopefully it’s all for the better.
Even still, the 34 year-old looks far from slowing down. In 2012, he led the NL with the most doubles (50) and was fourth in RBIs (105). Though Ramirez may not be the flashiest player out on the field, I think still he was a legitimate candidate for MVP, in which he came in 9th for the voting after Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel. Not to say that Ramirez’s Cub days flew under the radar, but I don’t think there’s a more underrated third baseman than this man.
The Brewers did well in signing Ramirez through the 2014 season. After then, who knows, a 36, going on 37 year-old Ramirez could be back in Brewer Blue to maybe help out some of the younger guys like Hunter Morris and Scooter Gennett. Ramirez has a lot of fight left in him so I definitely feel that he can repeat his consistent and solid career long production in 2013.
Stats courtesy of FanGraphs.