José Ramírez (infielder)
Ramírez with the Cleveland Indians in 2017
|Cleveland Indians – No. 11|
|Born: September 17, 1992|
Baní, Peravia, Dominican Republic
|September 1, 2013, for the Cleveland Indians|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2019 season)
|Runs batted in||391|
|Career highlights and awards|
José Enrique Ramírez (born September 17, 1992) is a Dominican professional baseball third baseman for the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB). He signed with Indians as an amateur free agent on November 26, 2009, and made his MLB debut on September 1, 2013.
Ramírez was selected for the MLB All-Star Game in 2017 and 2018, and also won the Silver Slugger Award for both years. He became the 19th player in history to hit at least 56 doubles in one season, while leading the major leagues in 2017. Ramírez is under contract with the Indians until 2021.
Born in Baní, Ramírez played baseball in the Dominican Prospect League. In 2009, at the age of 17, Ramírez and other unsigned prospects traveled to the Cleveland Indians' Dominican facility in Boca Chica, where an Indians scout noticed Ramírez. He signed with the Indians, receiving a $50,000 signing bonus.
Ramírez sat out the 2010 season and made his professional debut in 2011 with the Arizona Indians of the Rookie-level Arizona League. He batted .325 in 48 games played. He then played for the Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League. In 2012, he played for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League and Lake County Captains of the Class A Midwest League. The next year, he started the season with the Akron Aeros of the Class AA Eastern League.
The Indians promoted Ramírez to the major leagues on September 1, 2013, and he made his MLB debut that day. He came into the game as a pinch runner during the ninth inning and scored on a game-winning grand slam by Mike Avilés. He recorded his first Major League hit on September 9 against the Kansas City Royals, when he lined a single to left field off of Royals starter Ervin Santana during the third inning. September 9 was also his first multi-hit game, as he singled during the seventh inning off of Royals reliever Wade Davis.
Ramírez began the 2014 season in the minor leagues and had a batting line of .319/.363/.484 in 105 plate appearances. He was promoted to the major leagues on May 1, as Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis went on the disabled list. Ramírez was sent back to the minors on May 20, after Kipnis was reinstated. However, Ramírez was recalled before July 23.
Ramírez began to get regular playing time at shortstop on July 31, after the Indians traded shortstop Asdrúbal Cabrera.  He hit his first home run on August 9, in his first career three-hit game. Ramírez finished the 2014 season by hitting .262 in 237 at-bats. He compiled 62 hits and also had 10 steals, tied for fourth-most on the team.
In 2015, Ramírez made his first Opening Day roster. He started on Opening Day, batting ninth and playing shortstop. He also started the Indians home opener on April 10. Ramírez went 1-for-4 in the team's first game at newly renovated Progressive Field.
Ramírez, and the Indians, struggled during the first half of the 2015 season. The team fell to last place in the AL Central during June, and Ramírez would be sent down to the Columbus Clippers of the Class AAA International League during that span. After being called back up for the second time on August 3, Ramírez would play much better, hitting .250 over the second half of the season. He closed out the 2015 season by hitting .280 in September and October with 21 hits. He also had a power surge in September, hitting four home runs while setting his career high for home runs in a single month.
In 2016, Ramírez hit .312/.355/.423 as of July 8, 2016. Ramírez had become the first player during 2016 to hit in every spot in the lineup, when he batted fourth on June 28. Ramírez had also played four positions this year: second base, third base, shortstop, and left field. When asked about Ramírez's play, Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo noted that Ramírez "has done a great job all year." He also concluded that with the Indians missing Michael Brantley, Ramírez has really stepped up in the heart of their batting order and "been a real shot in the arm" for the organization.
As of July 14, Ramírez was third in the American League with a .377 batting average with runners in scoring position. He backed that up on June 19, when he hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning against the Chicago White Sox, which gave the Indians a 3-2 win. That win was the third of 14 straight wins for the Indians, which is now a franchise record. Their 14 straight wins from June 17 to July 1 is not only a franchise record but also the longest win streak in baseball since 2013. During the streak, Ramírez batted .298 while compiling 17 hits and 9 RBI. On September 17, his 24th birthday, Ramírez hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Indians a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. In the fifth game of the 2016 World Series, Ramirez hit a home run, giving Cleveland a 1-0 lead against the Chicago Cubs.
On March 28, 2017, Ramírez signed a five-year contract extension worth $26 million. In June, he collected nine consecutive multi-hit games, the longest such streak for an Indians player since Roy Hughes in 1936. He was named AL Player of the Week for the first time in his career on June 18, after batting .516 with 16 hits, three home runs, seven RBI and a stolen base. He raised his average from .265 to .320 over his previous 22 games. When Jason Kipnis sustained a hamstring injury on July 9, the Indians placed him on the 10-day DL, and shifted Ramírez to cover second base to replace him for much of the remainder of the season. Ramírez was selected by fan voting as the starting third baseman for the American League in the 2017 MLB All-Star Game.
On September 3 versus the Detroit Tigers, Ramírez tied a major league record with five extra-base hits, which included three doubles and two home runs. Incidentally, both home runs received "help", as both were catchable. For the first home run, Mikie Mahtook pushed the ball over the fence with his bare hand. On the second, the ball bounced off Alex Presley's glove and touched the yellow stripe of the fence for a home run. That game was also the 11th of a 22-game win streak spanning August 24−September 15, which surpassed the 2002 Oakland Athletics' 20 consecutive wins for the American League record, and was the second longest all-time to the New York Giants' 26 consecutive in 1916. In that streak, Ramírez made the strongest offensive contribution, batting .423/.462/.944. He was named AL Player of the Week on September 5.
In 152 games played in 2017, Ramirez finished with an MLB-leading 56 doubles, a .318 batting average, .957 OPS, 29 home runs, 83 RBI, and 107 runs scored. He totaled 91 extra base hits, the second-highest total in one season for a switch hitter in major league history. He became just the 19th player to hit at least 56 doubles in one season. His .957 OPS is the highest-ever in one season for a player who made at least 60 appearances at both second base and third base. Of the 74 major league batters to hit at least 25 home runs, Ramírez struck out the fewest times (69).
End of season awards for Ramírez included selection as designated hitter on Baseball America's All-MLB Team, and his first career Silver Slugger Award, as the top-hitting AL third baseman. He received a nomination as one of three Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists at third base. He placed third in the AL Most Valuable Player Award balloting, behind winner José Altuve and Aaron Judge.
On May 29, 2018, Ramírez hit his 17th home run of the season in a 9–1 victory versus the Chicago White Sox. He joined Albert Belle as the only hitters in Cleveland Indians to have hit at least that many home runs before the end of May, and for the month had batted .336, 11 home runs and 25 RBI. He had 18 home runs on the year at that point, second to Belle in 1996 with 21 home runs for most at the end of May in franchise history. Further, Ramírez and Francisco Lindor became the first Cleveland teammates to both hit at least 10 home runs in one month since Jim Thome and Karim García in 2002.
Slashing .292/.395/.590 with 24 home runs, 59 RBIs, and 19 stolen bases, Ramírez was named the starting third baseman for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. For the season, he batted .270/.387/.552, and led the major leagues in walks-per-strikeout at 1.33. He also led the American League in power-speed number (36.3), and had the highest number of pitches per plate appearance in the major leagues (4.30). However, he batted .302 before the All-Star break and .218 after. Ramírez batted 2-for-20 (.100) in the 2018 ALDS, as Cleveland lost to the Yankees.
Ramírez began the 2019 season continuing the slump that he endured towards the end of the 2018 season. He batted .218 with a .308 OBP and .344 SLG in the first half of the season. On August 15, 2019, Ramírez hit his first career grand slam in the first inning against the New York Yankees. In his next at-bat, he hit a two-run home run as the Indians won, 19-5. After the All-Star break, he was second in MLB with 32 extra-base hits and third with 40 RBIs, when he broke the hamate bone in his right wrist on August 24, requiring surgery.
Ramírez has a brother, José Báez Ramírez, who also signed with the Cleveland organization.
- Cleveland Indians award winners and league leaders
- List of Major League Baseball doubles records
- List of Major League Baseball players from the Dominican Republic
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