With Jose Ramirez, the Cleveland Indians don’t have to worry about 3B.
Terry Francona may have a ton of worries as the Cleveland Indians sort out their depth chart, but the long-time won’t have to count third base as one with MVP candidate Jose Ramirez playing every day.
Ramirez surpassed even Francisco Lindor in the truncated 2020 season as the Tribe’s best player and finished as the runner-up for MVP. That he didn’t win the hardware still the boggles the mind, because he carried the Indians offensively, especially down the stretch.
Everyone’s chalking up 2020 to the weird season that it was, but Lindor and Ramirez will always be compared to each other because they came to the big leagues around the same time.
Lindor always looked destined for super stardom, while Ramirez was the kid the Indians found playing on some field in the Dominican Republic as goats grazed int he outfield.
Lindor worked his way through the minors with the bonus money that comes with being a first round pick. He picked up an endorsement from New Balance and didn’t have to sign the $100 million extension the Indians offered after the 2016 trip to the World Series.
Meanwhile, Ramirez jumped at the chance to sign a four-year, $26 million extension. He’ll earn $9 million this season. Dollar for dollar, he’s the best value in baseball.
Right now, Ramirez is the better player of the two. Three top three finishes in the MVP vote in the last four years? He’s constantly overlooked, but continues to remind the baseball world that he’s pretty darn good.
Meanwhile, Lindor has to prove 2020 was a fluke. He got some bad press by basically admitting he didn’t give it everything he had last season, particularly in the weight room. That lack of effort made him tired down the stretch, as he clearly struggled while Ramirez was busy polishing his MVP resume.
Cleveland Indians options at 3B
With Lindor no longer, here, Ramirez is now the Tribe’s obvious best player.
The only other name worth mentioning when taking about third base is that of No.2. ranked prospect Nolan Jones.
With Ramirez holding the position, the Indians are going to try and look at Jones as an outfielder in Spring Training.
The biggest concern about Jones is his inability to hit left-handed pitching. He hit .167 (.546) against southpaws at Double-A Akron in 2019.