Wilson Ramos smells of Salvador Perez. A catcher that could be drafted as a fringe top ten catcher with the chance of performing as a top five catcher. I take my Latin catchers’ abuelitas seriously, and so should you after Salvador Perez lost two months last year when his Maw-Maw passed. Luckily, Wilson Ramos has two extremely healthy abuelitas. One abuelita just did the Baja California 5K, and his other abuelita likes to cook fattening foods, but she will be staying with me all next summer if I draft Wilson so I can keep an eye on her and her health. Lupe Ontiveros, his maternal abuelita, said, “I feel as good as a mule piñata stuffed with nails and could probably live for another twenty years.” Let’s not push it, Lupe! Just get us through 2014, that’s all we ask. Last year channeling the strength from his two healthy abuelitas, Ramos put on a show, hitting 16 homers in only 78 games, while ranking in the top ten for all of baseball in home run distance. Didn’t have any negatives, other than the one thing that has haunted him for his whole career. Unlike his abuelitas, he has a hard time staying healthy. It’s been about three years since he’s played a full season, and he’s never played more than 113 games in a major league season. So, what can we expect from Wilson Ramos for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
As mentioned briefly in the lede, his homers weren’t of the fluke variety. He’s hitting bombs. He’s also 26 years old, so if he’s going to hit homers now is the time. It makes sense for his power to peak in the next year or two. He also cut his strikeout rate to its lowest career number above Double-A, all the way to 13.9%. If he qualified with at-bats, that would place him 35th for all of baseball. He’s allergic to walks. In fact, one time he had a sneezing fit while facing Jonathan Sanchez. Ramos does make solid contact (19.5% line drive rate). For batting average, he’s not going to sniff much higher than .280 without some serious luck. Everything is pointing to terrific, except that whole nagging nagging (stutterer!) injury history. It will probably happen. Can’t necessarily project an injury for a player unless we’re talking about Tulowitzki. We can’t totally discount the chance though, either. To project him for more than 113 games (his highest game total) is silly. But, if we were to be silly, he could hit 22+ homers easily, and challenge the top three catchers for fantasy value. In reality, he has a solid chance for a top five catcher season and I’ll project him for 52/19/67/.269 with solid upside.