LEFT BEHIND NO. 14: Rafael Ramirez

Rafael Ramirez.jpgRighthanded Hitting, Righthanded Throwing SS
Seasons with Braves: 1980-87
Career Stats with Braves: .263/.298/.345, 37 HR, 301 RBI, 387 RS, 93 SBs

He’s 18th in total bases, 12th in SBs, 16th in 2Bs, 22d in RBI, 19th in runs scored, so we need to talk about him. Rafy’s best year was 1983 – he actually got votes for MVP with a .297 average and 58 rbis.

Defensively, Rafy combined pretty good range with a “hard glove.” He wound up being slightly below average as a result. Mac thinks he was worse than I do as a shortstop. The fact that he was getting votes for MVP with not really MVP stats indicates to me that he was thought of as a decent fielder.

Is he top 44? Based on career value, sure. Peak value, not so much.

Destined for the taxi squad, I fear.

At that time, any shortstop who hit nearly .300 on a contender was likely to get some MVP consideration. Ramirez’s range factors are pretty good, but as I’ve mentioned the Braves’ pitching staff was such that there’s a huge number of balls in play, mostly going to the infielders. He wasn’t a bad player exactly, but he was a C- fielder without any offensive pluses.

Rafael Ramirez Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

8 thoughts on “LEFT BEHIND NO. 14: Rafael Ramirez”

  1. I don’t know. I kind of think Raffy deserves to be on the list of 44 (admittedly somewhere in the 40’s). He seemed to have broken the trend that Atlanta had for years of having SS’s who could barely hit their weight. As Mac said, a SS who hit nearly .300 was very rare in the 80’s. He seemed to stabilize a position that was anything but stable for a long time. About his fielding, it seemed like he would make an incredible play and would turn around and boot a slow grounder right at him.

  2. I would have to say that I would take Raffy’s career over Rick Mahler’s any day. Oh well, what do I know. You guys are doing a great job!

  3. As the co-founder of the Rafael Ramirez Fan Club, I’m a little biased here.

    His shortcomings were so obvious: He swung at everything, but he didn’t strike out a lot; he had speed, but was not an especially great baserunner; he had great range, but he booted balls right at him. A real crazy kinda player, but that was his attraction for me & other deluded Raffy fans.

    He also had a weird panache. He was the shortstop on the first really good Atlanta team in a decade, so I guess whatever he did in whatever manner he did it might’ve seemed interesting or forgivable.

    Hell with it: He was a flawed player on a flawed team, but I still like him & he brings back terrific memories. Rock on, Raffy.

  4. I was very happy when they brought in Andres Thomas with his pop and I thought better glove to take over SS. I was not to big on Rafey. Like I said , I was very eager to see Thomas. His numbers a rookie went well, then he hit the wall and forgot to hit and field and struck out way to much. Then I wanted Rafael back again.
    Big bust Andres Thomas- John Mullen in my mind was the reason whay we totally stunk from 85 to 90, he set the franchise back huge. he had a nice front line nucleous, but had no one waiting in the wings and or strategic trades up his sleeve like JS. You can’t rely on the Zuvella’s and Runges to be everydayers when hubby and rammy go down or plainly get old .
    My rant on Mullen as the worst GM in Braves history period

  5. Wasn’t the projected infield going to be:

    Bob Horner – 3b (making Jacoby expendable)
    Andres Thomas – SS
    Miguel Sosa – 2B
    Gerald Perry – 1B

    With Komminsk, Albert Hall and Murph in the outfield?

  6. What do I remember most about Ramirez other than being one of the guys who was a regular when I was a kid? That he always seemed to be on the leaderboard for errors in the newspaper. You know he had to be up there a lot for me to remember it 20+ years later.

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