Guardians’ Ramirez on a tear in season’s first month


Jose Ramirez justifying big contract extension in Cleveland


Jose Ramirez

It’s a familiar story in sports: An athlete signs a huge contract, gets complacent and underperforms. But don’t tell that to Jose Ramirez.

Since agreeing to a five-year, $124 million contract extension in April, the Cleveland Guardians’ three-time All-Star third baseman has been on an absolute tear in the season’s first 11 games that has the team at the top of the American League Central standings and Ramirez leading the league in batting average (.469) and RBIs (20) and in the top five in home runs (four), on-base percentage (.479) and OPS (1.360). Granted, this is a small sample size but the numbers certainly aren’t uncharacteristic of the 29-year-old Dominican slugger.

Clevelanders always knew that they had a superstar in their midst but his torrid start to 2022 is making all of baseball sit up and take notice. His prowess was most definitively on display in an April 20 doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, when his grand slam homer and five RBIs paved the way for a Guardians sweep of their AL Central rivals.

Since becoming a regular in 2016, Ramirez has performed at a very high level, averaging 26 homers and 83 RBIs per year with on-base figures usually in the mid-to-high .300s and an OPS generally north of .900. He’s a legitimate superstar, one that the small market Guardians thought of highly enough to open up their vaults and compensate accordingly.

Ramirez and the Guardians can be seen in action Saturday, May 28, when they continue a three-game road series against the division rival Detroit Tigers in a game airing on FS1.

Player Profile

Full name: Jose Enrique Ramirez

Birth date: Sept. 17, 1992

Birthplace: Bani, Dominican Republic

Height/weight: 5 feet 9 inches/190 pounds

Teams: Cleveland Indians/Guardians (2013-present)

Position: Third baseman

Bats/throws: Switch/right

No.: 11

Honors and achievements: Three-time All Star (2017, 2018, 2021); Silver Slugger Award (2017, 2018, 2020); 30/30 club (2018)

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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