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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEPEER: WILSON RAMOS CATCHER WASHINGTON NATIONALS

                                                             Wilson Ramos

For those who wisely follow my lead when it comes to waiting on selecting catchers until at least the middle rounds of fantasy baseball drafts, the key to still coming out with a solid hitting backstop is to look for the sleepers who have the chance to vastly outplay their expected draft slot.  Whether it is a young catcher coming up from the minors for his first shot to stick in the majors or a veteran who is coming back from injury or a down season.  One such player who fits the latter category is Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos who comes off a 2013 season that once again was severely undermined by injury but also contained some very impressive hitting when he was on the field.  Once a top catching prospect in the Minnesota Twins organization, Ramos is still only turning 28-years-old as we enter the 2014 season.  While Ramos has yet to put in a full major league season to this point, the potential is there for him to be a very good hitting fantasy baseball catcher if he can get even a little bit of health luck going forward.  Let's dig in and find out why I do believe Ramos can be a very interesting sleeper. 

First let's look at Ramos' 2013 season stats:

.272
16 HR
59 RBI
29 R
0 SB
287 at-bats

What jumps out right away is the 16 home runs in only 287 at-bats and that number is not so fluky when you consider Ramos also hit 15 home runs in 2011 in 389 at-bats in his first full season.  More experienced and stronger as he moved into his prime years, Ramos is very capable of 20 home runs if he again can stay healthy.  Another 80 RBI is also possible under that scenario.  What is also interesting about Ramos is the fact he is a career .270 hitter which is very solid for a catcher.  Of course you won't get much help at all in runs and steals but you also can say that about 99 percent of the catching class. 

Putting things all together, Wilson Ramos is the type of classic catching sleeper that can pay off big for pennies on the dollar.  We all know the power is there and so is the pedigree.  All he needs to do is pray to the health gods to stay on the field.  If he can net 400 at-bats, we could be looking at an easy top ten catching season.

2014 PROJECTION:  .273 17 HR 67 RBI 45 R 1 SB

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