Jose Ramirez is a leader on and off the field for the Cleveland Indians
When the 2021 trade deadline was approaching I was a big believer that Jose Ramirez was going to be dealt by the Cleveland Indians for prospects. With each passing day I started to think about it a little more, and it suddenly dawned on me. No way is Jose getting traded!
He is only 28-years old and the odds of a prospect developing into a player of his caliber is not very likely. However, putting aside Ramirez’s on-field talent, I want to focus on what he brings off the field as well. What helped me really notice his ability to be a leader was what he was able to do in the 2019 season. Everyone is aware of the awful first half he had that year, but its how he was able to bounce back despite all the criticism from the media and fans of baseball.
During the first half of the 2019 season, Ramirez logged 364 plate appearances and posted a .218 batting average along with seven home runs and 35 RBI. A deeper dive into his numbers and it looks even worse.
In March and April he had a wRC+ of 47. To put that into an easier way to understand, wRC+ of 100 is considered the average big league ball players stat. May was better with a wRC+ of 91 making him only 9% below the average and in June shot back down to 61. His numbers were flat out brutal.
Many players would not be able to salvage a season after putting up those kind of numbers, but Ramirez went on to have an incredible second half in 2019. July alone he had a wRC+ 156 while slugging .680. Up until July, his best month slugging wise was May where he had a .373 mark.
Instead of diving into every aspect of his 2019 season the reason why this opened my eyes to him being more than just an on-field talent was his ability to block out the negativity and previous months, and finish the year like the Jose Ramirez fans have become to expect. It is a true leadership quality to be able to put aside your personal numbers and continue to grind day in and day out for the betterment of the team and a characteristic he might have to showcase again this season after a below-standard start for the All-Star third baseman.
More from Away Back Gone
- The next week will make or break the Cleveland Guardians’ season
- The Cleveland Guardians offense is suddenly inept
- Could the Cleveland Guardians have an elite bullpen?
- Cleveland Guardians call up Ernie Clement and Cody Morris
- Cleveland Guardians continue to roll as they take down Orioles
The fact that Jose Ramirez remains rostered in Cleveland, in my opinion, was absolutely the correct decision. The skill and leadership of Ramirez would be extremely difficult to match with a prospect. Something I have always been a huge believer in is sometimes a player’s value on the field could be equal to their value in the clubhouse.
Certain players have this ability to boost a ball club without even playing in a game. Luckily for fans, Ramirez not only is a great leader, but a fantastic all around ball player. With him around it could only help the development of prospects such as Bobby Bradley, Nolan Jones, Tyler Freeman and all the other young talented prospects coming through the system.
Ramirez has been a consistent star in the middle of the lineup for years, and now should continue in that role for at least the rest of this season. If Cleveland wants to get back to the days of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle and the teams of the mid-90s, the way they dominated games and the excitement they brought to the ball park each and every night, then Jose Ramirez needs to be the catalyst to drive this team back to that level of play again.
Looking ahead to 2022 for the Cleveland Indians
With Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac dealing with injuries that have sidelined them for a good chunk of the 2021 season. The Tribe absolutely made the correct decision by not making any major team altering moves at the deadline, like keeping Ramirez. Unlike their 2016 World Series opponent Chicago Cubs, who sent every star packing, Cleveland is set up going forward and keeping the status quo.
With the wild thing James Karinchak and Emmanuel Clase closing out games, and the emergence of Civale who at the age of 26 is starting to look like a legitimate major league pitcher. Cleveland could have one of the best starting trio’s in baseball with Bieber, Pleasac, and Civale. Youngster Triston McKenzie has so much upside the the rotation could be elite. Needless to say, the future is still very bright in Cleveland.