Wilson Ramos Should Make the All-Star Game
Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals has been given the nickname "Buffalo" by his teammates. Just as the American Buffalo were mistreated in the late 19th century, Ramos is also experiencing mistreatment -- in the form of neglect -- among All-Star Game voters.
Ok, that is admittedly a huge stretch, but nonetheless, the point remains. Ramos deserves to be an All-Star this season.
As of June 23rd, Ramos is currently in third place among catchers in voting. Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals leads the way and is followed closely behind by San Francisco Giants backstop Buster Posey.
Not to take anything away from Molina or Posey, but Ramos is easily the most deserving catcher to make the All-Star game for the National League.
Below is a table of "standard" statistics comparing the three catchers.
Ramos has superior numbers to both catchers in every category except runs scored, despite having fewer plate appearances, as well as serving as his team's seventh hitter for much of the first two months of the season.
Let's see how Ramos stacks up to Molina and Posey in terms of "advanced" stats with this next table.
The walk percentages (BB%) of Molina and Posey are both superior to Ramos', and he also has the worst strikeout percentage (K%), although the difference is minuscule. He and Posey are tied in Wins Above Replacement, but besides that, Ramos has a massive lead in the remaining categories.
Ramos isn't just besting Molina and Posey among the two main statistics aimed at measuring offensive contribution -- Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) and Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) -- but he's also among baseball's best in these two areas.
His wOBA and wRC+ rank 11th and 10th, respectively, this season among all qualified hitters, and he's more than four points better in FanGraphs' Offensive Runs Above Average (Off) category than Posey. Meanwhile, Molina has a negative total in this category, and his -7.7 mark ranks 14th-worst in baseball this season, yet he's received more All-Star votes than Ramos has.
Ramos' impressive season has been due to improvements almost across the board, and he's hitting for both average (his .342 batting average is fourth-highest this season) and power (his .221 ISO would easily be a career high).
His .354 Batting Average on Balls in Play suggest that regression is coming, but Ramos is hitting more line drives than ever, and his hard-hit rate is more than three points better than his career average. This, coupled with an improved approach at the plate, has Ramos in line for a career year.
His BB%, K%, Swinging Strike Percentage, and the percentage of balls he swings at outside of the strike zone are all improvements on his career numbers. Perhaps his first home run of the season should have been an indicator of what was to come.
This was a 445 foot shot, according to ESPN's Home Run Tracker, which the longest tater Ramos has hit this season. His 12 long balls put him just four shy of tying his career high, a number he should easily surpass before season's end.
Ramos' performance this season is worthy of placing him in the All-Star Game. Instead, he's being neglected and passed over by players with bigger names.