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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: JOSE RAMIREZ 3B CLEVELAND INDIANS

One of the major themes heading into fantasy baseball drafts last spring centered on whether or not the jump to 29 home runs for Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez in 2017 was sustainable or not.  Having made a jump from just 11 long balls to the 29 that year, this became a major topic of discussion since Ramirez was being selected in the very pricey Round 2-3 range.  Well one MVP-type season later, we can firmly state that Ramirez is not only a power-hitting dynamo but also a complete five-tool monster as he absolutely went bonkers in all five standard ROTO categories.  Taking another sizable leap in homers with 39, Ramirez also set career-highs with 106 RBI, 110 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases.  Even though the average dipped a bit to .272, that was a fluke number due to Ramirez suffering from an unlucky .254 BABIP.  Basically no matter where you looked, Ramirez was exemplary and the fact he made a solid run at a 40/40 campaign speaks to how tremendous a player he has developed into.   Already universally acclaimed for possessing one of the best hitting approaches in the game going into the year, Ramirez dazzled in the advanced metrics world as well with a splendid 15.2 BB/9 and 11.5 K/9 rates.  Really, the only issue was the average but we already talked about how unlucky Ramirez was there with the batted ball.  Driving the latter point home, Ramirez has hit .312 and .318 the two seasons prior and with such exceptional patience/contact ability, there is no reason he can't go back to being a .300 hitter.  So while Mike Trout and Mookie Betts are set as the 1-2 picks in 2019 fantasy baseball, Ramirez is every bit in the discussion to go number 3.
2019 PROJECTION:  .304 37 HR 109 RBI 115 R 27 SB

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