Back in the spring training, I remember reading another fantasy writer, from a well known fantasy site, tell his readers to stay away from Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez because he was moving out of the hitter friendly Wrigley Field and moving into Miller Park in Milwaukee. He also opined that Ramirez was not a good hitter on the road.
I was a bit shocked at his piece as Ramirez, when healthy, is one of the more consistent hitting fantasy third baseman in the game. ARam is good for 25-30 home runs and 85-100 RBI year in and year out, and he doesn't hurt you in the batting average category either, as he is a career .285 hitter. So, with that in mind, how can you stay away from Ramirez because he was leaving Chicago to call Milwaukee home?
Here are his career stats, courtesy of Baseball-Reference:
|162 Game Avg.||162||607||85||173||37||2||30||109||2||2||48||92||.285||.343||.503||.847||116|
|CHC (9 yrs)||1124||4232||651||1246||256||14||239||806||8||9||373||578||.294||.356||.531||.887||126|
|PIT (6 yrs)||559||2061||222||542||117||5||76||316||8||6||128||380||.263||.312||.435||.747||90|
|MIL (1 yr)||146||562||92||168||50||3||27||103||8||2||44||81||.299||.360||.543||.903||137|
Ramirez is hitting .299-.360-.543 with 27 HRs, 92 runs, 103 RBI and a career high 8 stolen bases. But please don't start planning on Ramirez added the stolen base to his fantasy value, because he won't. He is 34 years old, so the steals are just a one year aberration. But, he will continue to hit, and hit for power. He is putting up his best power season since 2007, when he slugged .549 with 26 home runs and 35 doubles. This season, he has hit 27 home runs, an NL leading 50 doubles, and his highest ISO (.244) since 2007.
Ramirez has never been a hitter to strikeout or walk a lot, but continues to hit for a solid batting average on a yearly basis. There are no wild fluctuations in his batted ball data or his HR/FB ratio, as his HR/FB rate is consistently in the 12-13% range every year.
I drafted Ramirez in 6fh round of my NL-only redraft league this season after the following NL third baseman:
Ryan Zimmerman ( by me in the 2nd round)
One can argue that he has been the second most productive fantasy third baseman in the NL this season, behind Padres third baseman Chase Headley. Headley has more home runs, RBI and stolen bases than Ramirez this season, but can he repeat this performance in 2013?. Amongst fantasy third baseman, Ramirez ranks 5th in HRs, and third in runs scored and RBI. For me, Ramirez consistently gets ranked behind guys like David Wright and Evan Longoria, but neither has been as consistent as Ramirez over the last few seasons. Wright's power fluctuates every other year, and Longoria is hurt frequently.
Heading into 2013, I can make an argument that he is the No. 1 ranked fantasy third baseman in NL-only leagues, but I am sure many (including me in my updated Top 50 Hitters for 2013) will rank him behind David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman and possibly Chase Headley in 2013. But I think that could be a mistake, as Headley appears to be having a career year, Wright's power has off years, and Zimmerman seems to get injured every year.
Let other owners draft the David Wrights and Evan Longorias, and wait on Aramis Ramirez who could, again, outperform several of the third baseman drafted ahead of him in 2013,