First, here’s some color-television footage from Monday’s Indians–Tigers tilt (CLE-DET GameTracker) that provides us with the tidy rationale we need to talk about Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez as an AL MVP candidate:
That’s Ramirez’s going yard the 13th time this season, and that ties with him with a slew of other sluggers for the major-league lead. As of that clout, the 25-year-old switch-hitter is now batting .291/.382/.632 thus far in 2018. Obviously, those are MVP-caliber outputs with the bat, but there’s much more to Ramirez than “just” big numbers at the plate. He grades out as a pronounced defensive asset at the hot corner, and he’s also taken the extra-base an impressive 59 percent of the time thus far while stealing six bags in seven attempts.
It’s those offensive numbers, though, that do the heavy lifting. They’re also looking for real. Ramirez of course leveled up last season, as he authored an impressive OPS+ of 143 for Cleveland and finished third in the AL MVP balloting. This season, though, he’s been even better, and in part it’s because of a refined approach at the plate. The fact that Ramirez in 2018 has worked 20 unintentional walks against just 16 strikeouts while putting up big power numbers tells you that much, but let’s take a slightly deeper
Article source: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/why-indians-slugger-jose-ramirez-is-looking-like-an-mvp-candidate-this-season/
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