Wilson Ramos – Age 24 – Under team control until 2016
How he became a Nat: Acquired from the Twins, along with Joe Testa, for reliever Matt Capps
The Raw Numbers:
Games – 113
HR – 15
OPS+ - 113
CS% - 32%
Key Stat: WAR 3.1 Among non-pitchers, it’s basically a toss-up between he and Danny Espinosa as to which rookie contributed more to his team. Catching is infinitely harder and more important than second-base (no offense Espi). Splitting WAR into oWAR and dWAR we see that while his offense was better, his defense is in the positive. Catcher is the single most important fielder, he is in on every play and can change a game with a throw. Solving the catcher situation is way more than 1/9 of making a great team. Just for fun, Pudge’s rookie WAR was 1.0.
Best Game: In terms of stats, its April 26th against the Mets when he went 3-4 with 2 HR and 3 RBIs. But June 21 vs. the Mariners really has to stand out. Ramos punctuated a five run ninth innings with a walk-off three run bomb. What it must be like to hit a walk-off home run to cap the biggest comeback in your team’s history…at age 23.
Worst Game: May 13 against the Marlins. It seems like a whole lot of Nats have had their worst game against the Fish. Wilson went 0-5 with 2ks in an extra inning loss. He also left a runner in scoring position and grounded into a double play.
Capball Grade: A. Given a nebulous pitching staff and being faced with stealing playing time from a Hall-of-Famer as well as a Rule 5 pick, Ramos turned the catching question into a no-contest. Handling pitchers, young and old, like a pro, as well as showing significant promise at the plate has led to Ramos being declared the long-term solution at catcher.
2012 Nats Status: Opening day, your starting catcher, Wilson Ramos. The Nats should plan to have him start 120-130 games. He is young and talented and there is no reason to give him more than 40 games off. If he gets off to a hot start, there is no reason he won’t warrant All-Star consideration. It’s also invaluable that he gets to grow up along-side Strasburg, Zimmermann, Peacock, Milone, Storen, H-rod, etc.