Jose Ramirez is one of the best players in baseball, and has been for some time now. Since 2017, Ramirez has made five All-Star teams, won four Silver Slugger awards and finished in the top-6 of MVP voting five times. That's a pretty good resume, and it might even get him into the Hall of Fame if he keeps it up for a few more years.
A guy like that probably doesn't need extra practice, so what the heck is he doing playing winter ball this offseason?
Jose Ramirez News
Ramirez's choice to play winter ball this offseason in the Dominican Republic (where he's from) is certainly a strange one for a player of his caliber. After all, winter ball is usually reserved for prospects who are trying to hone their skills and over-the-hill veterans trying to prove they can still play.
Ramirez is neither, obviously, so what gives?
One explanation is that Ramirez isn't happy with his performance and wants to stay sharp with game action throughout the offseason. In particular, his power has dipped in recent years, with his slugging percentage falling in each of the last three seasons. It's dropped more than 100 points since 2020, plummeting from .607 to .475. That's hardly an encouraging sign for a 31-year-old who's best years may be behind him.
Time will tell if the extra reps this offseason can help recover some of Ramirez's lost power. The Guardians can use all the pop they can get, obviously, after finishing last in the American League in home runs last year. If Ramirez can hit a few more bombs and get his slugging percentage back over .500, that would give Cleveland's lineup a considerable boost.
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