Tampa has craved a catcher of Ramo’s skillset
This past offseason, the Rays scooped up catcher Wilson Ramos on a two-year deal. Unfortunately, he went on the DL with an Achilles injury to conclude his 2016 season. Before his season ended, he was raking with a .307 batting average and 22 home runs. The backstop can rake and has a good defense. Ramos blew up before his season abruptly stopped, and Tampa hopes to get that production from him soon. That slash line resulted in a 3.5 WAR, and the year before he only put up a 0.4 WAR. Ramos should look to cut down his strikeout rate, which is at 18.2% this year. Furthermore, there aren’t many holes in his offensive game, as he is a presence in the lineup. With him and players such as Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison, this lineup can match up with the best of them.
On the defensive end
We know that Ramos can mash, but how well does he do as a backstop? Well, the last season he caught produced a .997 fielding percentage. The catcher makes clean plays when he has the chance. That year, he picked off 19 out of the 32 runners that were attempting to steal; which amounts to about 60% of the time that he throws guys out. He only made three errors that whole year as well. Ramos will make the routine play, and very rarely makes a mistake. Albeit no errors behind the plate, he did have three throwing errors that year. Other than that, he was sound defensively. Hopefully, he gets to catch this season and can vault the Rays into a playoff spot. Anything Tampa can get positively out of Ramos is a plus because came back from injury.
The playoffs are in reach
Losing Kevin Kiermaier was a massive blow to this team, but getting Ramos back makes it sting less. Kiermaier was a vital player defensively and isn’t known for his bat. However, the backstop has a positive value with the glove and has a much better swing. He is best of both worlds and could be more as we progress through 2017. The 29-year-old signed a two-year deal so that he will be back for a full season next year. Focusing on the now, Tampa has plenty of meaningful baseball ahead. Ramos will be able to mesh with the pitchers and find their comfort zones. The catcher knows how to balance a pitching staff, due to him playing with the Nationals. Overall, when Ramos comes back to full strength, the AL East should take notice.