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Max Ramirez Peripherals and Sample Size

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Per request, here’s a quick rundown on what Max Ramirez has done this year and what to make of it.

Max (54 plate appearances) has only been up long enough this year for us to get a handle on one thing, and that’s his swing rate. But, he is actually swinging 5% less often than he did in 2008 (38.8%). That selectivity could explain, in part, an improved contact rate, up almost 10% to 85.9%, and not that far from being reliable.

Now, here are some good signs, with 2010’s rates first against his (really small) career on the right. . .
LD%: 14.7% vs. 15.6%
GB%: 55.9% vs. 45.3%
FB%: 29.4% vs. 39.1%
K%: 26.7% vs. 29.7%
BABIP: .281 vs. .279
wOBA: .339 vs. .333

At this point, it’s more likely Max is what he’s always been than what he’s been so far, and what he’s been as far as peripherals has been largely the same, save putting the ball on the ground a lot more often. And yet, he’s producing very well, better than his acceptable rates in his short showing in 2008. He’s been a solidly above-average hitter at a position where that’s a serious bonus.

Now, of course, this really doesn’t tell us much. It’s very little information, and it’s split between two seasons separated by a year. This would be better supplemented with quality scouting, but from what I can tell seeing him every day and looking at what he’s done data-wise, I’m beginning to feel very confident that if Max Ramirez can just stick at catcher, he could be a legitimately above-average player in the future. And we wouldn’t have to deal with three major busts at one position.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.