Catcher Profile: Wilson Ramos

Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Wilson Ramos has the potential to be a top option at the Catcher position. But can he stay healthy even to produce?

Wilson Ramos is a tease. He's shown the ability to hit for average, hit for power, take walks and limit strikeouts. The only problem is he hasn't really done them at the same time. Ramos' inconsistency can be blamed, in part, on the fact that he has battled several serious injuries throughout his career. However, as the late, great Andrew Ball once told me, "If a player shows a skill once, it means he possesses that ability." It's for this reason that I keep coming back to Wilson Ramos.

2013 was Ramos' best season yet. Despite amassing only 303 plate appearances, Ramos hit 16 home runs and drove in 59 runs. Although a 5% walk rate held his OBP down at .307, he cut his strikeout percentage by 6% and hit .272. Ramos increased his LD% but fewer than a quarter of the balls he put in play were fly balls and his HR/FB ended up at an insane 27.6%. Having said that, Ramos did post a 23.1% HR/FB rate in 2012 and his average home run and fly ball distance jumped to a 309 feet, good for 4th in the league.

I'm going to throw out possibly the most overused word in fantasy baseball since the terms "sleeper" and "bust". Regression. Some people think that regression is always a bad thing but it simply means to move toward normal. Wilson Ramos has lived at different ends of different spectrums and I think, if he can stay healthy, he will regress toward the middle of those spectrums in 2013. It's hard to project him maintaining his HR/FB numbers from 2013, but the batted ball distance suggests that some of the power is for real. Not much changed in his plate discipline profile to suggest that the strikeouts wont' come back up a little bit or that the walks won't do the same. He will be hitting in a good lineup, albeit toward the end, and I think he has the potential to post decent RBI totals. I feel like a .265/.315/.450 line is a safe projection for Ramos and if the counting stats are there, that's a top 10 catcher.

The Nats, as a team, underachieved last year. I would expect them to bounce back make a run at the Braves for the NL East title. I think Wilson Ramos will be a big part of that run and think that he is an excellent target in drafts. He's a bit difficult to value because of the extreme outcomes that are possible. He could stay health and put it all together, proving to be one of the top backstops in the game. Or he could get injured again and miss an extended period of yet another season. You will need to feel out your draft and weigh the risk/reward potential to see if he's a guy who will fit your team and league.

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