There Are Better Cases Elsewhere
We have covered multiple times the ways that Ramirez has made an impact for the Indians. He is as clutch as it gets with runners on and his defensive versatility makes him the perfect Terry Francona player. But the AL MVP? No, not quite.
There are at least two guys in Baltimore with stronger cases (Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo). Two more cases may be in Toronto (Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson). What about Houston’s Jose Altuve or Boston’s Mookie Betts?
Heck, even Cleveland’s Mike Napoli might have a better case. We all love Ramirez, but an AL MVP candidate? Really? No, not right now.
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No one in their wildest dreams though Jose Ramirez would be this good for the Indians. He won’t win the AL MVP, but his numbers are certainly worthy of consideration.
His season kind of reminds me of Michael Brantley’s 2013 campaign. That season, Brantley finished third in the voting. He was lights out hitting in clutch situations back then, slashing .364/.432/.500 with runners in scoring position and two outs. In the same scenario, Ramirez is slashing .423/.464/.596 entering August 19th.
He is also similar to Brantley in that he’s not a big home run hitter. Brantley had just 10 moonshots when he made his run at the MVP. Ramirez has nine.
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Like Brantley then, Ramirez now just impacts the game differently. He gets on base, is a threat to steal (20 stolen bases also entering Aug. 19th), and is an assassin in the clutch. Plus Ramirez helps at two positions of need: third base and left field.
The MVP will probably go to a player in a bigger market with bigger power numbers. Options include Mookie Betts in Boston who just slugged his 28th homer of the year and perennial favorite and current WAR leader Mike Trout, who’s stuck on a woeful Angels club. However, if voters wanted to think outside the box, they could give the hardware to Ramirez, and he’d certainly be deserving.
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