In this new series here at CST, we will be individually previewing each projected starting player on the 2015 Cleveland Indians’ team, culminating with a full season preview in mid-March. Now batting: shortstop Jose Ramirez

 

The Past

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www.cleveland.com

2014 Stats: .262 BA, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 10 2B, 2 3B, 10 SB

While he made his professional debut with the Tribe in the final weeks of the 2013 season, Ramirez really got a feel for the Majors this past season, particularly after the trade of SS Asdrubal Cabrera. The 21-year-old seemed to fill Cabrera’s spot with ease, outplaying the veteran at the plate and in the field.

Ramirez’s .262 batting average in 237 at bats is a respectable mark for a rookie shortstop. Additionally, he allowed just 4 errors in his 56 games played the shortstop position.

Ramirez, who stole 39 bases in his 2013 season at AA, even showed some speed at the MLB level, going 10-for-11 on stolen base attempts in addition to flexing some nice range at short.

All in all, Jose put together a solid rookie campaign, showing great potential to be a good contact-hitting shortstop in the MLB.

 

The Present

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Ramirez enters Spring Training knowing that he will be the Opening Day shortstop for the Terry Francona’s club. However, there are no guarantees as to how long he remains in that position. It is no secret that Francisco Lindor is the Tribe’s shortstop of the future and it is only a matter of time before he gets his long-awaited call up to the Bigs.

Even still, Ramirez has the chance to be the starter at short for the coming season and will inevitably be called upon to do big things for the Tribe this year.

The Domincan native is 3-for-12 this spring with a pair of RBI.

 

The Future

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Whether or not he remains the starting shortstop for the duration of the 2015 season is certainly up in the air, but Ramirez will undoubtedly receive his fair share of at bats in the coming year.

With a .305 career batting average in the Minors and a healthy dose of MLB action under his belt, Ramirez seems to be in for a solid season of contact hitting, likely from the two spot in the batting order. He has a short, sweet swing that should work well from the left side of the plate.

Here is what you can expect from Ramirez in the 2015 campaign:

.282 BA, 4 HR, 47 RBI, 26 2B, 5 3B, 23 SB.

A high .200’s batting average is not an unreasonable standard for the shortstop by any means. He has hit as high as .340 for a full season in the Minors, so a high batting average is obviously not a foreign concept to the 21-year-old. His production in that area should only increase as he continues to mature in the MLB.

Of course, Ramirez has never been, nor will be, a big run producer, but he will likely be the one scoring a lot of the runs that the Tribe plates this season. He has a great combination of contact hitting and speed to fit the two hole, and should find himself as the table setter for guys like Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana and Brandon Moss.

Ramirez has the potential to be one of those speedy, contact hitting shortstops that makes a long career for themselves at the professional level. Think: Elvis Andrus, Alcides Escobar, etc.

I am expecting a bit of a breakout season from Ramirez in 2015, and he certainly has the capability and opportunity to accomplish just that.

 

On deck: Michael Brantley

 

By Jay Cannon

 

Featured image credit to: www.letsgotribe.com

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