It would not be hard to argue for Jose Ramirez to be considered the Indians’ MVP for his play during the regular season. After starting the year as a utility man, Ramirez finished as the starting third baseman of the future.
He appeared in 97 games in 2015, finishing with a slash line of .219/.291/.340, leading to his status of not having a concrete starting role. But Brantley’s absence, along with Juan Uribe‘s struggles on defense allowed Ramirez to get significant playing time all season, and he took advantage of it.
His slash line in 2016 jumped to .312/.363/.462, a season in which he led the team in batting average and doubles. He also finished second in stolen bases with 22, a respectable mark compared to the 43 swiped by Rajai Davis.
Ramirez received a single ninth-place vote, which came from Jim Ingraham of The Chronicle-Telegram, based in Elyria. So yes, the vote came from an Indians writer, but it wasn’t unwarranted.
Ramirez is only 24 years old, so like Lindor, the 2016 season should only be an example of what is to come. And if the left side of the infield for the Indians only continues to improve, the postseason will be a regular occurrence in Cleveland.