Jose Ramirez Joins Elite Company In MLB History

Jose Ramirez is on fire right now for the Cleveland Guardians and his hot start has his name on a list with two of the greatest to ever pick up a bat.
Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels
Cleveland Guardians v Los Angeles Angels / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

For fans of the Cleveland Guardians, success for Jose Ramirezis just expected. Since he broke out in Cleveland, he's been akeycog in the organization's strides toward a title. When Ramirez opted to stay in Cleveland for less money, making it work with what the organization could give him, he immediately entered uncharted territory in the eyes of the fans, choosing to stay in Cleveland over anything else. Now, he'sonceagain putting Major League Baseball on notice of what he can do.

It's not often a team intentionally walks a batter with the bases loaded. Barry Bonds is the name associated with the action, and there are others on the list. Jose Ramirez just became the most recent inductee, receiving the treatment against the Angels. Ramirez, embracing the action, made a somewhat controversial quote. Although, you'll see no argument from this writer and semi-baseball purist.

""I'm better than Barry Bonds.""

Jose Ramirez to Paul Hoynes

The decision by the Angels was no accident or fluke. Jose Ramirez has earned this level of respect from teams this season. Through 52 games, Ramirez joined a very short list. Only three players in MLB history have posted 15+ home runs, 50+ RBI, 7+ stolen bases, and 25 or fewer strikeouts through the first 52 games of the season. Jose Ramirez, Ken Griffey Jr. (1999) and Babe Ruth (1930). That's it. That's the list. (No Barry Bonds.)

On the surface alone, this is an incredible accomplishment for any player. To join a list with two of baseball's greats would be enough. However, we have to remember that Ramirez had a slow start to the season for the Cleveland Guardians. On May 4, Ramirez saw his season slash line dip down to .227/.273/.394 after an 0-for-3 day. Since then, he's been absolutely electric.

Channeling his inner force powers since May the 4th, Ramirez has registered a slash line of .329/.389/.768 with 10 home runs, six doubles, 29 RBI, and 17 runs scored over a 21-game stretch. His bat has been unstoppable, and it's erased the memory of his slow start, instead placing him in a group of baseball's best starts.

It isn't just MLB lore that Ramirez has joined. His strong stretch in the month of May has put him in Cleveland baseball history as well. Since 2000, only four players have put together a 20-game stretch like the one Ramirez is in the midst of, consisting of 10+ home runs and 27+ RBI over 20 games. The list? Manny Ramirez (2000), Jim Thome (2001), Travis Hafner (2004), Travis Hafner again (2005), and now Jose Ramirez (2024).

So, what's next for Ramirez? Well, history would tell us a lot more. Over his career, Ramirez has performed his best in the months still to come. March/April has always been his worst month statistically, he usually slumps in August, and then next is May. But this time around, May has been what put him on this list. For his career, Ramirez in June slashes .291/.358/.517 and then pushes it up to .296/.365/.542 in July. He's just as good down the stretch in September/October with a line of .296/.374/.520.

If we're to believe history, this is just the beginning for Ramirez. The hottest part of the season for him is still ahead despite the incredible start. He's always been a second-half player anyway, but to have this month of May we've seen him post can only make fans excited.

As for the group he just joined, it's promising for sure. The 1999 season for Griffey resulted in an All-Star selection, an American League-leading 48 home runs, and an American League-leading 17 intentional walks. As for Babe Ruth in 1930, he blasted an American League-leading 49 home runs, drew an MLB-leading 136 walks, and led the American League in on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Now, we'll have to see if Jose Ramirez can live up to the hype of The Kid and The Bambino, but he is well on his way to etching out a part of baseball history for himself. If he produces this season the way he has historically in the months of June and July, we should have a pretty strong MVP case ready to go for him in early August before he catches fire again down the home stretch of the season.