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Over/Under 2021 Preview: Harold Ramirez

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Will Harold Ramirez be worth more or less than -0.9 fWAR in 2021?

MLB: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Based on ZiPS projections, Harold Ramirez is expected to finish 2021 with the following stats:

514 PA, 10 HR, 5 SB, 4.7 BB%, 20.2 K%, .302 BABIP, .253/.296/.372, 77 wRC+, -0.9 fWAR

Read what our writers think, then vote in the poll below and drop your own opinions in the comments and on the Let’s Go Tribe Discord.

Matt Lyons’s Prediction: OVER

Do I think Harold Ramirez can be better than costing his team nearly a win over a full season’s worth of at-bats? I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes.

ZiPS does not project Ramirez to be terrible on offensive, just very bad. He is projected to have the worst offensive season of his professional career anywhere, at any level. That’s not atypical for players in their first couple of seasons after they raked in the minors, but the projections for Ramirez seem extra harsh. I say this also knowing that Ramirez made some swing changes late in 2019 that could help him — something that has come up a lot in discussing player potentials versus projections this offseason.

Ramirez’s launch angle in 2019 was a Yandy Diaz-esque 3.9. Coupled with an 88.8 average exit velocity, he finished with a 6% barrel rate, putting him in the 32nd percentile — not great. He hit the ball on the ground a staggering 57.4% of the time. Even when you’re as fast as Ramirez, that’s not going to get it done.

But there is hope. Over the course of his rookie season, he made measurable adjustments to his launch angle, shown in research over at Fish Stripes. He didn’t barrel anything in his eight batted balls of an injury-plagued 2020, but he did raise his launch angle to 10.6 degrees in that short span.

Combined with a sprint speed rated in the 92nd percentile two years ago and now, hopefully, a better swing that can showcase some of the power potential he had in the minors, I think he can be worth at least something to Cleveland if given playing time. The big question is if that playing time would come, and where.

Assuming Eddie Rosario stays in left and Cleveland is serious about keeping Josh Naylor in right, that would leave center field as his only chance to start if Oscar Mercado and Bradley Zimmer can’t hack it. I would hope, at least, that Ramirez would get the call over Billy Hamilton, but who knows at this point. Ramirez is not a great defensive center fielder — his more natural place right now might just be as a fourth outfielder that can be popped in anywhere as needed.

No matter what, though, I think Ramirez sees some time in Cleveland this year. He still has an option left and could very well start the season in Triple-A. But if he can prove that he has reworked his swing to get the ball in the air more? Get him up and get him hitting.

Poll

Will Harold Ramirez finish 2021 with an fWAR over or under -0.9?

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    Over
    (78 votes)
  • 30%
    Under
    (34 votes)
112 votes total Vote Now