After dealing with one of the more scary offseason events in recent memory – a kidnapping in his native Venezuela – Ramos had to deal with a horrific injury in May. When he was going to pick up a ball that got by him, his knee stayed in place and buckled. He was placed on the disabled list for the remainder of the season forcing Ramos to under 100 at bats for the season after what was a very promising rookie season.
2012 Projection (ZiPS): .266/.338/.453, 119 games, 406 AB, 17 HR, 55 RBI
2012 Actual: .265/.354/.398, 25 games, 83 AB, 3 HR, 10 RBI
Ramos, when in the lineup was pretty similar to the pace he was on last season, raising his on base percentage slightly but seeing a slight dip in average and slugging percentage, but it was a very small sample. Ramos actually had to undergo two surgeries for his knee, and there is a question to how quickly he will be able to rebound. Luckily, the Nationals have a pretty good insurance policy as Kurt Suzuki is under contract for 2013 should Ramos either need more time or struggles out of the gate.
Ramos is young, and one of the bright spots on this Nationals team and with Suzuki the team has the luxury not to rush him back to hinder his development or the team’s performance. It also allows the team to rest Ramos throughout the year knowing that they have a capable backup who knows the pitching staff after working with them through the last part of the season and the playoffs.
A catcher’s knees, obviously, take a lot of strain so it remains to be seen how the injury will affect him going forward and Spring Training will be interesting to see how his knees respond.
Season Highlight: His second career walk-off hit (the first, of course being that grand slam against the Mariners) was a pinch-hit single on May 5 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Chien Ming Wang