Jose Ramirez went from being in the MVP conversation, to the AL front-runner with one at bat.
Can the MVP be won off one at bat? Cleveland Indians slugger Jose Ramirez is going to find out.
Ramirez helped the Indians clinch a spot in the postseason by belting a three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to live the Tribe over the White Sox, 5-3.
Obviously, Ramirez has the numbers to even be in the conversation. Sabermetricians were trying to out-tweet each other to make the public aware that Ramirez’s is the best among AL position players in WAR, (according to Fangraphs). He’s batting .289 (.979 OPS) with 17 home runs and 44 RBIs.
This was Ramirez’s signature moment though–and those should still count for something. Cleveland was destined for another gut wrenching loss due to a power outage on offense. Plus, it was against Chicago, the new popular pick because of their young sluggers who are under contract for the foreseeable future.
Ramirez’s biggest competition were playing in this game. Jose Abreau hit a fifth-inning homer off Adam Plutko to tie the game 1-1. Sox shortstop Tim Anderson will be be most remembered for getting ejected in the beginning of the 10th for arguing a called third strike on teammate Luis Robert.
Speaking of that fWAR category–The ABJ’s Ryan Lewis updated the list, and Ramirez (3.2), is in the lead. Trailing him are teammate Shane Bieber (2.9), Jose Abreau (2.8), Anthony Rendon (2.6) and Tim Anderson (2.5).
For old-school stat lovers: Ramirez is bating .500 in his last seven games with six, I repeat, SIX, home runs. Haven’t checked with Fan Graphs yet, but word is that’s really, really, really good.
If Ramirez wins the MVP, he’ll be the first to claim it since Al Rosen back in 1953. Lou Boudreau won it in 1948 en route to the Tribe’s last championship. George Burns was the first Indian to win the hardware, setting the league on fire in that memorable 1926 season when he led the league in hits (216) and doubles (64).
-On another note, even though the postseason has been expanded, it still means something for the Tribe to make the dance. There’s still a lot of fans out there who went without postseason play from 1955-1994.