Before I get into our 1st schmohawk post (I’m including you, because without you there’s no me; wanna hug? I’m kidding, don’t touch me), a quick remembrance. One loyal Razzball Reader, Simply Fred, kept a running tally of how many times I nailed my schmohawk posts. I think at last tally I was 25 for 27 over the last five years. Something like that. The point is I don’t know the number, because around Christmas time of this year, we lost Simply Fred. He passed suddenly around the holidays. He was one of our most loyal readers, and he will be missed, especially around the time of the yearly of the schmohawk posts. In his honor, MattTruss, who runs our Razzball Commenter Leagues, is changing the championship trophy of the ECFBL league that Simply Fred was a part of to the Fred Barker Memorial Trophy, a worthy gesture for a worthy man. Any hoo! Jose Ramirez is a schmohawk. This is so freakin’ obvious to me that it almost makes me question myself, because literally no one else is saying this about Jose Ramirez. Could I really be the only one that recognizes how obvious this is? I feel like Queen Isabella when she used cover her giant bosoms with bras that were hand-painted with round globes and Spanish men would be like, “She ain’t flat, but the earth is, so her luscious breasts are factually incorrect.” Thankfully, Christopher Columbus recognized the beauty of Isabella’s chest, raised his mast and sailed west. Anyway, what can we expect from Jose Ramirez for 2019 fantasy baseball and what makes him overrated?
Here’s what I said in the top 20 for 2019 fantasy baseball, “The Indians got rid of Chief Wahoo at the end of last year, because he was problematic. The liberals are also saying kids playing ‘Cowboys and Indians’ is problematic, they want them to play ‘Tops and Bottoms!’ However, Chief Wahoo isn’t the only thing problematic, Jose Ramirez’s 2nd half is too. He hit 10 HRs and .218 in the 2nd half. Could the league have finally figured him out? His strikeouts were identical in the 2nd half, and his walks actually went up. His SLG, OBP, hard contact and line drives went way down. His BABIP bottomed out, but I can’t write off everything on luck. Looks like he was biting on opposite field strikes (and balls) a lot more. Okay, so bad 2nd half, can we just write it off? Let’s take a step further back to the full season. His infield fly balls were terrible. That says bad contact. It’s not everything, but he was 26th worst in the league, and no one worst than him is above him in the rankings. His fly ball rate was 45.9%, easily a career high. He was 8th in the league for fly balls. Above him, you see home run hitters and guys who regularly hit .250 or lower. He had a 18.8 degree launch angle, that’s 7th highest in the league (sorted by 300 batted ball events). In conclusion, he hits a lot of balls in the air. Fine for a home run hitter, but is he? His home run distance on average was 388, easily the worst for a guy who hit 39 homers last year. He’s either going to continue to hit fly balls at a 46% rate and hit under .250 or he’s going to curb his fly balls and hit 27 or fewer home runs. He cannot do both. Right now, the nearest comp I can think of is Ian Kinsler in his prime, that was 30/30/.255, but I’m not convinced Ramirez’s 2nd half was just a blip. I was all about Jose Ramirez last year, I had him ranked higher than anyone else, but this year, he seems to be going way before I have him ranked, and I won’t be in again.” And that’s me quoting me! That’s everything, guys and five girls, but let’s see if we can’t conjure up some more blech to round out the yuck. His exit velocity was 88.8 MPH, good for 104th overall, tied with Hosmer and Gleyber. Sound good? It’s not. He actually compares similarly to Gleyber Torres in other ways; they both have identical launch angles. I am also out on Gleyber this year, I just don’t believe the power, even less so from Jo-Ram. Gleyber’s 22 years old, he might have an extra gear. Jo-Ram turns 27 this year, and seems to have found his gear. Steamer hitter projections has Jo-Ram down for 28 HRs, down from 39 last year. I believe we’re going to see even fewer homers, projecting him for 25. He had a 87.7% contact rate last year, which was 7th in the league and his career rate is 88%. That is the type of player he is. Does a 87+% contact guy sound like a 30+ homer hitter? He can be, but it’s rare. Any guesses why? When a guy is making lots of contact, it’s not always gonna be the best contact. Over the last three years, 87+% contact and 30-homer hitters? Two, Jo-Ram and Bregman with 31 homers last year. So, lots of contact, lots of fly balls, and not deep fly balls? Jo-Ram sounds like he could hit .218. Wait, I just thought of something! He did hit .218 in the 2nd half of last year. I haven’t even bothered to mention the Indians’ lineup is not going to be great this year, except for mentioning it while not mentioning it. Jo-Ram, as currently positioned, feels like a 25/25/.260 hitter and not a top 3 overall pick, so spritz him with some Begone Schmohawk Spray and be done with him!