Jose Ramirez is once again showing that he is one of the best power hitters in the game and most influential ones toward his team.
He was marred in one of the biggest slumps possible. At one point, it appeared that Ramirez’s strong play was just a mirage from 2016 and ’17.
In the last two month-plus of the season last year, Ramirez hit just .210 with 18 extra base hits. Then, in the first half of the season this year, Ramirez hit just .218 with a .652 OPS. This included just 24 extra base hits in 317 at bats.
On the contrary, the good Ramirez has returned in the last two months for the second half of the season. In that span, he has hit .321 with a 1.068 OPS. Over this 134-at bat span, he has 16 doubles and 12 home runs.
In July and August, the Indians record is 28-11 and the team has moved into division contention again. When Ramirez was struggling at the start of the season, Cleveland’s record through the end of June was 45-38. Ramirez is leading the charge for the Indians, who appeared to be out of the race a couple of months ago.
When he was going well, Ramirez is a two-time All-Star and finished third in MVP voting twice. When he is off, Ramirez cannot hit for average or power. Even when he is down, Ramirez still doesn’t strikeout much. During his worst month, he fans just around 15 percent. In his best, it is around 11 percent. The issue comes down to hard contact and squaring the ball up.
The issue this season is he only hit .239 as a left-handed hitter. From the right side he hit .270. While the average is there, his OPS is nearly the same for both. Basically, his power is slumping from both sides of the plate.
Ramirez made his name by hitting .315 with 102 doubles and 40 home runs in 1,150 at bats. Even with the late season slump last year, Ramirez still finished with 39 home runs and a .939 OPS. This was a following act to his .957 OPS in 2017.
As one of the most feared power hitters in the game, Ramirez’s return to prominence is nice to see. Even while only hitting so well over the past two month, he still has a 2.3 offensive WAR on the season.
The Indians are primed to make a run for the division title and Ramirez has returned to his peak at the right time for it.