Key Stats: With 44 doubles a season ago, Aramis Ramirez set a new high in the forgotten, but important category. This article from Sabernomics indicates that home runs are highest at around age 28, and Ramirez is turning 31 in June. The fact that he had 27 home runs last year can be attributed to the unusually high doubles total so give him 30 for next year.
Skeptics Say: Ramirez went from hitting .395 against lefties in 2007 to .239 versus south paws last year. He also really struggled on the road hitting just .254 versus .324 at Wrigley Field. Over the length of his career the home/road and left/right splits are even, so perhaps Ramirez could head back in that direction. Still a 150 point or 70 point drop off is tough to just write off as a fluke.
Peer Comparison: Ramirez, Evan Longoria, and Kevin Youkilis are all somewhere in the top 5 among third base. Depending who you ask they are in different places. Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove has never been wrong about player rankings for third basemen (never been right either) and this is where they would be ranked by the Hot Stove:
Longoria is the best because of what he did with only limited action and the size of the prospect tag that he comes with. If he had the same number of at bats as Ramirez, Longoria would have finished with 33 home runs – 6 more than Ramirez.
Ramirez has been much more consistent than Youkilis. Ramirez has had three straight seasons of at least 26 home runs and 100 RBI, while Youk has only achieved this once in his career.
Lineup Outlook: Derek Lee is a weakness to some extent – especially with the power. As long as he can keep his on base percentage respectable, Aramis might even wind up being helped in his fantasy stats as Lee’s slugging percentage crawls downward.
What They’re Saying: MLB.com: #4 Third Baseman and #16 Overall; CBS Sportstline: #5 Third Baseman and #41 Overall; Mock Draft Central ADP: #31 Overall; Fox Sports: #3 Third Baseman; ESPN: #5 Third Baseman; Yahoo: #5 Third Baseman and #39 Overall
Projection: Poor Alex Rodriguez can’t get a friend anywhere these days. Hopefully Aramis takes it out on him in fantasy circles in 2009.
91R 30 HR 111 RBI 1 SB .300 AVG .905 OPS
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