Jose Ramirez is arguably in the conversation for the greatest position player in Cleveland Guardians’ history.
When we talk about Jose Ramirez, he’s really done a lot for the club in a short amount of time. He’s been a full-time player since 2016 (100+ games), and since then, he’s led the club to a playoff birth in five of the seven years he’s been a full-time player, won four Silver Sluggers, and was an All-Star selection four different times.
Well, Ramirez got one more note to his byline today, when he finished fourth in the AL MPV voting, marking it the fifth time he’s finished in the Top 10 in his career. So while it may seem rather rash to say Ramirez has worked his way into the All-Time conversation for position players in Cleveland Guardians history since he’s just turned 30 years old, it’s really not.
Let’s look beyond the MVP stuff for right now and just focus on stats.
He’s 8th all-time in doubles, 10th in home runs, 7th total extra-base hits, 7th in stolen bases, he’s 6th in intentional walks, he’s 3rd all-time in success rate for a stolen base, he has the highest power/speed number in club history, and for you WAR lovers, he’s 9th in positional WAR and 9th in offensive WAR.
That’s just the Top 10. Top 50? He’s 12th in slugging, 16th in OPS, 22nd in games played, 25th in at-bats and plate appearances, 15th in runs scored, 16th in RBIs 22nd in hits, 20th in walks, 14th in total bases, and 15th in runs created.
In three or four more years, he may be in the Top 5 of all of those categories. Yet, none of that is why Ramirez is in the conversation for the club’s best position player.
Jose Ramirez is an MVP candidate every year
Jose Ramirez has done something only one other Cleveland Guardians position player has done dating back to the introduction of the MVP award in 1911, and that is finish in the Top 10 five different times.
To date, only Lou Boudreau has had more than that as a position player for the Guardos, finishing with eight Top 10 MVP finishes. To be fair to Ramirez, however, Boudreau did it in an era where there were only 16 teams, not 30.
There were a few more players who finished with more than five, both were pitchers, however. Those two are the Bobs; Bob Feller and Bob Lemon. Each finished with six Top 10 finishes and in Feller’s defense, he missed three years due to serving in the military during World War 2.
Others who came close are “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Albert Belle, Earl Averill, and Joe Sewell who had four. Rocky Colavito had three, along with more modern legends in Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez.
A lot of players had one or two, but some of the notable two-time Top 10 MVP finishers include Carlos Baerga, Francisco Lindor, Robbie Alomar, and Travis Hafner.
So with all that being known, it’s fair to say that Ramirez is an All-Time great already for the Guardians. Just look at the company he keeps. The only member of the squad with five Top 10 finishes in MVP voting are Boudreau, Lemon, and freaking Feller.
Those are the icons of this franchise. So yeah, Ramirez gets to have a seat at the table.