Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Ramos Is A Ground Ball Machine
Wilson Ramos is not a fast runner. He is a large catcher. He wasn’t fast before he went through his series of hamstring injuries over the last several years. Now, needing to protect his hamstrings and avoid injury, he is even slower.
When Ramos hits the ball on the ground in the infield, it is either an out or a double play. To be effective, Ramos needs to drive the ball.
Ramos doesn’t strike out a lot. What he does is hit ground balls in the infield for outs. Ramos has been punching the ball down into the ground with distressing regularity this season.
Since Ramos isn’t driving the ball, he isn’t hitting many home runs. The Buffalo only has nine home runs so far this season, and he hit two of those against position players serving as relievers in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. So really he has seven homers this year.
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In last night’s game, Wilson was 0-4. All four plate appearances resulted in ground ball outs.
Ramos drives the ball when he keeps his swing more level through the zone and gets his arms extended. For the last several months Ramos has been swinging down through the zone, which chops the ball into the infield. This needs to be corrected.
Until Ramos starts driving the ball, perhaps Matt Williams should give some thought to swapping him and Taylor in the batting order. Right now Ramos has been batting seventh and Taylor eighth. If Taylor is batting in front of Ramos and gets on first he has a better chance of beating out a Ramos grounder to second and avoid the double play. If Taylor hits a ground ball with Ramos on, it’s a guaranteed double play.