Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Miss Wilson Ramos...

Ramos celebrates a homerun (Photo: Getty Images)
There was one prospect that I latched onto during over the last couple seasons as he showed continual improvement in the Twins minor league system. Wilson Ramos moved quickly through the Twins organization and made it all the way to the MLB level in 2010 at age 22. Throughout his minor league career, he has shown the rare ability to combine hitting and defense at the catcher position.

As the trade deadline loomed last July, the Twins decided to trade the rights to Wilson Ramos in order to obtain the services of Matt Capps. In the offseason, the Twins had signed Joe Mauer to a multi-year contract to be their catcher for the better part of the next decade and this made Ramos expendable. The Twins needed help to solidify the back end of the bullpen and Matt Capps was a player that could satisfy that need.

Mr. Ramos is now 23 years old and has spent the 2011 season splitting time at catcher with Ivan Rodriguez with the Washington Nationals. His numbers do not jump off the page at a person but they are solid for a player splitting time in his first full season at the MLB level.

2011 Stats Summary (through 6-14-2011)
BA: .248
OBP: .320
SLG: .410
G: 49
2B: 9
HR: 5

The Twins bullpen has been a sore spot for different parts of the '11 season but Matt Capps has been one of the most relied upon sources in a late inning role. This has come with some good and some bad from Capps but overall he has been the player the Twins expected when they traded a top prospect for him. The team did not know what kind of output to expect from Joe Nathan coming off of Tommy John surgery and Capps has fit nicely into the closer role that Nathan formerly occupied.

That being said...

I miss Wilson Ramos.

The Twins never could have imagined the injury situation that would plague their star catcher. In my perfect Twins world the team would have held on to Ramos and found a way to fit him into the future of the Twins organization. In hindsight, a line-up with Mauer and Ramos splitting time at the catcher position seems like a wonderful option. Both hitters could be used in the DH spot against specific pitchers and they could give each other a break from the riggers of the catching position.

The Nationals are not winning games at an overwhelming clip but there continues to be games that the team wins with the multi-faceted help of Ramos. This does not happen on a nightly basis. But when a player is only in the line-up every other game, there are only so many opportunities to lead the team. Ramos has used his opportunities to impact the Nationals and this is shown up in his WAR rating.

In Mauer's absence, the Twins have turned to the services of Drew Butera, Rene Rivera, and Steve Holm at the catcher position. Here is a look at their individual and combined WAR (a single number that presents the number of wins a player adds to a team above what a replacement player would add) during their 2011 season.

Wins Above Replacement (WAR)
Drew Butera: -0.1
Steve Holm: -0.3
Rene Rivera: 0.4
Combined WAR: 0.0

During the 2011 season, Ramos has a WAR of 1.4 for the Washington Nationals. This might not seem like a huge number of wins added to a team, but consider these numbers for the Twins:

Wins Above Replacement (WAR)
Denard Span: 3.3
Michael Cuddyer: 1.1
Jason Kubel: 0.9

Wilson Ramos would have the second highest WAR on the Minnesota Twins. His offensive and defensive skills could have been a calming force in a line-up that had been struggling to score runs early in the season. 

At this point, I am relegated to being a closet Nationals fan. Scanning their box scores for the latest update on the former Twins prospect that is now a member of the National League. As Wilson Ramos continues to succeed in his new location...

I will continue to miss Wilson Ramos.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Good post. Boy, hindsight being 20/20, this is a tough pill to swallow. I understand that we more or less needed a closer last season, since we were going "all in," but Capps didn't even have a save opportunity in the playoffs. Oh well, good luck Wilson.