If you don't already know everything about Jose Ramirez, it's time to fix that
You might be forgiven if you didn't know the name Jose Ramirez prior to the 2018 campaign. Sure, he had an All-Star campaign in 2017 that saw him finish third in American League MVP voting, but before that, he only had 19 homers in 332 career games across four seasons. He was never ranked among MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects -- maybe 2017 was a fluke.
Well, at this point, Ramirez has squashed that notion. He's an MVP candidate again, he's surpassed several career-highs from last year, and there's still over a month to go in the 2018 campaign. It's time to recognize.
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To help, here's your quick study guide for Jose Ramirez 101.
He's been one of the hottest hitters in baseball
Entering July, Ramirez was already having a strong follow-up to 2017 by hitting .291/.398/.603 with 24 homers in 80 games. That was good for an OPS of 1.000 on the dot. Surely it was time for a slump?
Well, Ramirez has somehow gotten better by batting .311/.432/.676 with 13 blasts since, vaulting him into a neck-and-neck race with Khris Davis and J.D. Martinez for the most dingers in baseball (37 to their 38). Ramirez nabbed AL Player of the Month honors in July, and with a 1.020 OPS in August, he has his sights set on the prize once again.
He has his own salsa
Clearly, Matt Carpenter doesn't have a monopoly on the MLB salsa market just yet.
He's quick to lend a hand to his teammates
At third base, Ramirez quite often finds himself involved in all manners of plays -- even when the ball doesn't appear to be headed his way:
Ryan Merritt had to appreciate that pickup.
He's always had swagger
It took Ramirez a little while to come into his own. The 2015 season was his nadir, when he only managed to produce six long balls and a meager .631 OPS in 97 games. You'd probably guess that would mean he wasn't a very confident player just yet.
Even in a late September game during a lost season, Ramirez found time to show off his proficient bat flips.
He was the 2017 Time Magazine Person of the Year*
Postseason pressure takes a backseat for hair care
The setting was Game 3 of the 2016 ALDS against the Red Sox. The Indians were on the verge of clinching their first postseason series victory in nine years.
So, what was Ramirez worried about in the seventh inning? His hair, naturally:
The Indians finished the sweep a couple innings later, so who are we to argue with results?
He's never afraid to show off his style
No matter if it's clothes ...
... cars ...
... or glovework.
Most importantly, he has his priorities in order
When the Indians traded for Padres reliever Brad Hand, Ramirez just had one crucial question:
Do you play Mario Kart? https://t.co/N9TR4ENM6Z- Jose Ramirez (@MrLapara) July 19, 2018
Never change, Jose.