Jose Ramirez has remained an important player for the Cleveland Indians all season. He just took some extra time to heat up in 2019.
Ramirez is off to a hot start halfway through August after a solid month of July. He is slashing .333/.388/.783 this month and has hit six home runs to get his season total of dingers to a respectable mark of 20.
That is a bit of a surprise after he entered July with only five to his name.
It’s not like Ramirez was striking out a ton earlier in the season. He only has 71 on the year. He just simply wasn’t getting on base at his normal levels. This is a guy who came in third in American League MVP voting the past two years.
The past ten games have seen Ramirez return to his expected play. He has double-digit hits in six of the past ten games and has five home runs in that span. Three of those home runs have come in the past two days.
His six-RBI game in Thursday’s monster win was a vintage Jose performance. Or at least as far as a young player like Jose can have a “vintage” tag to his name.
The Indians desperately needed Jose to get going again. His 2.9 WAR, according to Baseball-Reference, is not great but is better than what it was earlier on this year. He finished 2018 at a mark of 7.9, which explains his finish in the MVP voting. Though the 2.9 WAR is still the third best on the team. So even with his struggles, Ramirez has been a valuable piece.
Jose never stopped being a MVP-caliber player. The skills never disappeared and no one should have thought his run of success magically ended. He just had a down first half, which happens.
He is still only six doubles away from tying his mark of 38 from last year and is only 41 hits behind his 2018 total of 156. His walks are down to 50, compared to 106 in 2018, but he only had 52 in another MVP-level year back in 2017.
His OPS is at .789 and that number is rapidly rising. Evaluating a player’s season requires a full sample size of games. After 162, Ramirez’s year shouldn’t look all that out of the ordinary.
Now he just needs to perform in October.