Ramírez with the Chicago White Sox
|Shortstop / Second baseman|
September 22, 1981 |
Pinar del Río, Cuba
|March 31, 2008, for the Chicago White Sox|
(through 2016 season)
|Runs batted in||590|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Baseball World Cup|
|Central American and Caribbean Games|
|Pan American Games|
|2007 Rio de Janeiro||Team|
Alexei Fernando Ramírez Rodriguez (born September 22, 1981) is a Cuban professional baseball shortstop who is a free agent. He has played for the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays in MLB and Pinar del Rio of the Cuban National Series. His nickname, given to him by former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén, is "The Cuban Missile" due to his tall, slim physique and combination of speed, power, and strong throwing arm.
In seven years of baseball in the Cuban National Series, Ramírez spent most of his time playing shortstop and outfield for Pinar del Rio. He had a batting average of .335 in Cuba, and led the league in 2007 with 20 home runs while posting a .338 average. Ramírez played center field for Cuba at the 2006 World Baseball Classic, collecting 6 hits in 16 at-bats and impressing US scouts in the process. He hits and throws right-handed.
Chicago White Sox
In September 2007, Ramírez left Cuba to apply for citizenship in the Dominican Republic, and also apply to Major League Baseball to enter free agency, according to his agent, Jaime Torres. He auditioned for many baseball teams before coming to an agreement on a four-year contract with the Chicago White Sox on December 21, 2007.
During Ramírez's first season in the Majors, he excelled both offensively and in the field, despite playing second base instead of his customary shortstop position. Ramírez finished in second place in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year honors, losing to Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Alexei hit his first major league home run on May 16, 2008 versus the San Francisco Giants off Billy Sadler. He led the major leagues in grand slam home runs in 2008, with four, and also swung at 59% of all pitches he saw for the season, also the most in the majors.
Ramírez hit his first career grand slam on July 22, 2008. On September 19, Ramírez hit his third grand slam of the season off of pitcher Brian Bannister of the Kansas City Royals, tying an American League rookie record set by Shane Spencer of the New York Yankees in 1998. It was the White Sox's eleventh grand slam of the season, equaling the previous club record from 2006. On September 29, Ramírez hit his fourth grand slam of the season, setting a major-league single-season record for a rookie, off of Detroit Tigers pitcher Gary Glover in an 8–2 Sox victory to qualify the Sox for a one-game tiebreaker against the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central title. This also broke the team record for most grand slams in a single season.
Ramirez was announced to his first All-Star game at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game along with teammates Chris Sale and fellow countryman José Abreu. He replaced Derek Jeter in the field in what was previously announced to be the Yankee star's final MLB season.
On November 4, 2015, the White Sox declined Ramírez's $10 million option for the 2016 season, making him a free agent.
San Diego Padres
On January 22, 2016, Ramírez signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the San Diego Padres, with a $4 million mutual option for 2017. He broke up Steven Matz's no-hit bid with a RBI single in a game against the New York Mets on August 14, 2016. He was released by the Padres on September 4.
Tampa Bay Rays
Soon after being released by the Padres, Ramírez signed a major league deal with the Rays.
- 2008 Major League Baseball PH/HR/Situational Hitting
- Ramirez cracks first career grand slam while Buehrle handles Rangers in win. ESPN.com. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- Ramirez's grand slam, Wise's two homers power White Sox past Royals. ESPN.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "Grand Slam Records". Baseball Almanac. 2008-09-29. Archived from the original on 28 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- Ramirez's grand slam paves way as White Sox force tiebreaker with Twins. ESPN.com. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- "Two descriptions of historic perfection, '09 Harrelson vs. '65 Scully". Chicago Tribune. 2009-07-23. Retrieved 2010-07-21.
- Van Schouwen, Daryl (November 4, 2015). "White Sox decline option on shortstop Alexei Ramirez". chicago.suntimes.com. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "Padres sign Alexi Ramírez". SanDiegoUnionTribune. Retrieved January 22, 2016.