All-’Riders Team: Catcher
2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others. With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-’Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history. Today we start with the RoughRiders’ all-time best catcher.
Michael Damman’s Take: Part of an extremely talented 2008 Frisco RoughRider’s team that won 84 games, Max Ramirez makes the list despite playing just 69 games in Frisco. Still, Ramirez displayed one of the most dominant offensive performances in his short time with the ‘Riders.
A .354 hitter while in Frisco, Ramirez connected on 35 extra base hits, including 17 home runs, and drove in 50 runs over the 69 games while scoring 49 runs as well. Ramirez had a .454 on base percentage in addition to a 1.096 OPS in 289 plate appearances for the ‘Riders. Also of note, his time with the RoughRiders included more multi hit games (23) than hit-less games (19).
Since leaving Frisco, Ramirez has yet to show the same kind of offensive numbers, although two wrist injuries in 2009 and 2010 clearly affected his power and ability in the field. In 140 plate appearances for the Rangers in 2008 and 2010, Ramirez hit .217 with a .340 OBP and .699 OPS. In 2011, he spent time with the Triple-A clubs of the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, and San Francisco Giants. Ramirez began to display some power for the Giants late in the season as he finished with 11 doubles and 10 homeruns in 48 games.
My Take: As you’ll see as we continue to release our list of the All-’Riders Team, Damman pretty much covers it all. However, I’ll try and chime in a couple of thoughts as well.
In the first nine seasons of ‘Riders baseball, there has never been a player with a higher single-season batting average than Ramirez (.354). I love the stat that Michael found stating that Ramirez had more multi-hit games than hit-less games. Think about that for a second. Even over a half-season sample size, that’s remarkable.
For comparison sake, take for example Tulsa’s Wilin Rosario. The Drillers’ catcher entered 2011 as the Rockies’ No. 2 prospect and was known not just as a defensive catcher. This past season, Rosario hit .249 overall, .263 in the first half, .235 in the second. Point is, Ramirez hit approximately 100 points higher than Rosario who, despite having what some would term a “down year,” is know as catcher who can hit.
You can read more from Michael Damman on his Rangers’ minor league blog, Chatter From the Pressbox. You can also follow him on twitter @pressboxchatter.
Up Next: First Base