Dan Schwartz

I consider two leagues of mine more…robust than my other leagues – from a passion bucket standpoint. Luckily, in both leagues I can keep Wilson Ramos (one alongside Buster Posey and the other on his own).

 

Wilson Ramos is one – maybe two – okay maybe three features away from being an elite fantasy catcher. I was getting excited, but as I delved, I convinced myself real quick he can’t be a top 5 talent next year…

 

First off, he needs to remain healthy. Lately he missed only a few games due to his hamstring, but missed time in July and most of April due to his hamstring as well. Ramos was to start the season as the Nat’s opening day starter after Davey Johnson wanted to reward him for his hard work after knee surgery…oh boy. Obviously, there’s an issue, but when he’s healthy, he could be a top 10 option.

 

His discipline-related rates leaves something to be desired (80.1 ct%; 11 SwStr%; 4.2 BB%), but he’s currently batting .296 with an associated .302 BABIP because he’s only struck out 13.3% of the time and has a 20.4% Line Drive rate, which is a big step forward (13.4, 14.6 and 13.8 previously). The real problem with Wilson Ramos to date is his groundball to flyball ratio: 3.31 last year and 2.30 this year. The 2.30 GB/FB rate is about the 10th worst ratio for players worth drafting next year (in order: Ben Revere, Everth Cabrera, Norichika Aoki, Elvis Andrus, Jean Segura, Eric Young, Howie Kendrick, David Freese, Peter Bourjos, Michael Bourn and Gerardo Parra), however, unlike the majority of these guys excluding Freese and maybe Kendrick, they all have enough speed to keep their BABIP’s up. Ramos doesn’t have this speed and kept his BABIP up this year because of a big line drive jump and the fact that almost 25% of his fly balls have gone for home runs – not out of hand considering he’s 25 and had a 23.1% HR/FB last year – again more of a reason his GB/FB ratio leaves something to be desired.

 

I ranked him 12th (Kudos to Jason ranking him 9th) in the Fake Teams mid-season rankings. From what I’ve seen (again, with health), I can see Ramos braking into the top 10 next year along these lines (contingent on Travis D’Arnaud, Mike Zunino, Jesus Montero bounce-back or if A.J. Pierzynski or Russel Martin can somehow still work their way in there):

 

1

Buster Posey

2

Yadier Molina

3

Joe Mauer

4

Carlos Santana

5

Jonathan Lucroy

6

Wilin Rosario

7

Brian McCann

8

Salvador Perez

9

Matt Wieters

10

Wilson Ramos

 

For catchers with more than 150 PA, Ramos has the 5th best ISO (.195) and best HR/FB ratio, but again the worst GB and FB rate holding down his value. If this ratio regresses to his 2010 or 2011 rate (1.00 and 1.40), his HR counting stat can really jump, but the LD% may regress giving his BABIP and associated avg. If it’s wasn’t for this GB%, I would prefer Ramos over Rosario without much hesitation:

 

Name

Age

BB/K

OBP

SLG

OPS

ISO

BABIP

HR/FB

Contact%

SwStr%

Wilson Ramos

25

0.32

0.325

0.491

0.816

0.195

0.302

24.20%

80.10%

11.00%

Wilin Rosario

24

0.16

0.313

0.475

0.787

0.19

0.335

16.70%

71.90%

14.90%

All stats from FanGraphs and FanGraphs customizable player profiles.

 

As we stand I would be for the following next year: 350AB; 80.2+% Ct; 30+% FB; 19+% HR/FB = 16-18 HR and a .276-.286 Avg. Even batting in the 7 spot he’ll have enough to drive in next year for ample RBI opportunities – at least from a fantasy catcher perspective. The big contingency here is the AB total.

 

Recommendation:

In a 1-catcher league I’d look elsewhere at every other position if Posey, Molina, Mauer and Santana are off the board knowing you can still land Ramos. In 2-catcher leagues, I might reach on him for the power potential. He has the ISO beyond Rosario and Saltalamacchia while having a better contact rate than both of them.

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