Who: Wilson Ramos
How Acquired: Minor league Free Agent
Highest Level Reached in 2009: AA
What’s not to like about Ramos? He has had one professional season under a .340 OBP, and his worst season was a 120 wRC+. Ramos is in every top 100 prospect, and for good reason. Ramos has raw power that scouts rave about, but it hasn’t translated into game power yet as the catcher’s career high in ISO is just .149.
Ramos has had uncharacteristically high BABIP’s (for catchers anyways, given their generally slow speed). He has generally hovered around the .340 mark. After a couple of low line drive rates in the first two years of his career, Ramos’s LD% have been 21%, 16% and 18% the last three years.
Although his offense generally gets all the publicity, Ramos has been good defensively as well. In each of the last three seasons, the catcher has thrown out at least 40% of base stealers.
Ramos’s walk rates are very low, which for me is a huge red flag. His strikeout rates have traditionally been very high, around 20%, although last year that was cut almost in half. Given that a lot of his season was lost to injury, who knows if that will continue or it was just a sample size anomaly.
Walk rate red flag aside, Ramos is a tremendous prospect and one who could either bring great return in a trade, or allow Joe Mauer to move to a position better showcasing his bat.