Aramis Ramirez: Underrated Fantasy Third Baseman

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Ray Guilfoyle takes a look at Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez, and thinks he is underrated by the fantasy community.

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:

Year Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1998 20 72 251 23 59 9 1 6 24 0 1 18 72 .235 .296 .351 .646 68
1999 21 18 56 2 10 2 1 0 7 0 0 6 9 .179 .254 .250 .504 29
2000 22 73 254 19 65 15 2 6 35 0 0 10 36 .256 .293 .402 .695 74
2001 23 158 603 83 181 40 0 34 112 5 4 40 100 .300 .350 .536 .885 122
2002 24 142 522 51 122 26 0 18 71 2 0 29 95 .234 .279 .387 .666 72
2003 25 159 607 75 165 32 2 27 106 2 2 42 99 .272 .324 .465 .788 102
2003 25 96 375 44 105 25 1 12 67 1 1 25 68 .280 .330 .448 .778 99
2003 25 63 232 31 60 7 1 15 39 1 1 17 31 .259 .314 .491 .805 105
2004 26 145 547 99 174 32 1 36 103 0 2 49 62 .318 .373 .578 .951 139
2005 27 123 463 72 140 30 0 31 92 0 1 35 60 .302 .358 .568 .926 134
2006 28 157 594 93 173 38 4 38 119 2 1 50 63 .291 .352 .561 .912 126
2007 29 132 506 72 157 35 4 26 101 0 0 43 66 .310 .366 .549 .915 128
2008 30 149 554 97 160 44 1 27 111 2 2 74 94 .289 .380 .518 .898 127
2009 31 82 306 46 97 14 1 15 65 2 1 28 43 .317 .389 .516 .905 130
2010 32 124 465 61 112 21 1 25 83 0 0 34 90 .241 .294 .452 .745 95
2011 33 149 565 80 173 35 1 26 93 1 1 43 69 .306 .361 .510 .871 136
2012 34 146 562 92 168 50 3 27 103 8 2 44 81 .299 .360 .543 .903 137
15 Yrs 1829 6855 965 1956 423 22 342 1225 24 17 545 1039 .285 .343 .503 .847 116
162 Game Avg. 162 607 85 173 37 2 30 109 2 2 48 92 .285 .343 .503 .847 116
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
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
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/30/2012.

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)

Pablo Sandoval

David Wright

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,

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