April 17, 2014

Remembering Max Ramirez

Max Ramirez, IndiansWhat started as a way to bring you up to speed with former Indians Ryan Church and Ryan Ludwick has turned into quite the feature over here at WFNY.  But some of you may be saying, “Who the heck is Max Ramirez?” 

Max, whose full first name is Maximiliano, is a 23-year old catcher that resides in the farm system for the Texas Rangers.  He was a Dominican League All-Star third baseman in 2003, Appalachain League All-Star as a catcher in 2005, and Carolina League All-Star again as a catcher in 2007. 

In Double-A ball, Ramirez is hitting .360/.451/.650 (1.101 OPS) with 17 home runs and 50 RBI.

Oh, and he’s the guy we traded away last July for three-months of Kenny Lofton.

A horse of a different color, eh?  Through five minor league seasons, Ramirez has hit at a clip of .314/.414/.518 – numbers that translate well no matter how hard you try to tweak splits.  An injury to catcher Gerald Laird has prompted the Rangers to call up the youngster, allowing him to completely skip the Triple-A level.  And to no surprise, Rangers fans couldn’t be more excited.

It won’t be until Friday that most of us will get the chance to see Ramirez wearing Rangers white, but for the next five games we have the chance — along with Kenny Lofton — to grab a couch, tune in, and watch the big league career of one of the most exciting hitters in the minor leagues get underway.

Nice mention of the currently unemployed Lofton there.  And while we also have an injured catcher in Victor Martinez, we’ve since called up a guy that has played 14 seasons in the minor leagues and had a batting average of .159 at the Triple-A level.  He’s since been released, as we traded for Sal Fasano – another journeyman catcher who was the second-oldest player in Triple-A.

While Ramirez may be developing a lot faster than some anticipated, the fact of the matter is that this is another young player that is currently producing.  The fact that we traded him away for three months of Kenny Lofton in left field makes matters that much worse.  Look, I like Lofton just as much as the next guy.  However, you can’t let nostalgia step in the way of reality.  Sure, he had a solid post season, was a vocal leader and got a few more people in the stands that could dust off their 10-year old #7 t-shirt.  But fact of the matter is that he isn’t the same Lofton that patrolled center field in the 90s, and we lost a guy that could have been a key part of this organization once Victor Martinez made the inevitable move to first base. 

As a fan of this team, I hope I’m wrong here.  Perhaps Chris Gimenez is the long-term answer and this will all be forgotten.  Gimenez was hitting .318 with a solid OBP for Double-A Akron before his recent call-up to Triple-A.  He’s struggling to gain some traction for Buffalo, but has excellent potential from a contact perspective as well as power.  But for the 23-year Ramirez old to already get the nod in the bigs, you can understand my frustration.  You can bet I’ll be watching his progress. 

(Interstate high five to reader Frank for the tip)

 Absolute Max. [Newberg Report]

  • Tim

    At least we have Sal Fasano now.

  • Adam

    I’d like to respectfully disagree here. As someone who has gone literally his entire life without seeing a professional Cleveland team win a championship, I have no problem with them making a midseason trade to get better NOW when they have a chance to go all the way. Pro sports are a fickle beast, and the Indians were one Joel Skinner stop sign away from potentially going to the World Series. Now, we are just counting down the days until they trade away the best pitcher I have seen wear an Indians uniform in my 29 years, even though they started the season with almost the exact same roster. Max Ramirez could play in 10 All-Star games, but I still won’t be able to criticize a trade that could have been the difference between a championship and yet another winter spent waiting for next year (.com).

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    Great ending, Adam. And I completely agree. I’m just not sure the Lofton deal actually made us better last year. Yes, he played well and this could be debated for ever (perferably over beers), but I’m just not seeing it. And the ability to debate these things is what makes this so fun…

  • Adam

    Obviously, he didn’t make them good enough to win a championship (since, ya know, they didn’t win a championship), but at the time of the trade they definitely needed some kind of spark and he gave it to them. If the alternative was a full-time gig for Michaels (which I wouldn’t have put past Wedge) that trade COULD have been the difference between another Central Division banner and a real-life World Series banner. As for something to debate over beers, and it may be because I am 0-fer 29 years times 3 professional sports teams, I would go for the Marlins plan of going all out for a WS title every decade in exchange for 9 years of insignificance.

  • http://www.clevelandcurse.com Jay

    A few thoughts about the situation. Did you know we got Max Ramirez for Bob Wickman a few years ago when we sent him to Atlanta? Chris Giminez is a good catcher, I saw him play at Mahoning Valley a few years ago, but I think Wyatt Toreagas is the closest to being ready for the bigs. With Victor and Kelly Shoppach it is doubtful we will need a catcher anytime in the next few years. Obviously other than due to injury. Max Ramirez may have been hitting well, but he was still a few players down on the minor league depth chart. If the Rangers have already promoted him from AA what does that tell you about their AAA catching situation? Could it be that last year in the trade for kenny they specifically said “we want a catcher”? So for the Indians it was a good move to trade their 4th or 5th deep minor league catcher for a potential post season spark plug. I was at the Minnesota game that was Kenny’s first appearance. It was a classic pitcher’s duel between Westbrook and Santana. Kenny came in to pinch hit late in the game and when he came into the on deck circle the Jake was as loud as it ever has been.