Monday, May 03, 2010

Catching Up

Well, it was an interesting weekend as far as the Twins' catcher position is concerned.

On Friday night, Joe Mauer started but bruised his heel while running into first base.

The following night, Drew Butera got the nod at catcher while Mauer was thought to be too sore to catch but available in an emergency. We later learned that Mauer was probably not actually available at all since Butera was allowed to hit in several key situations late in a highly-contested game, going 0-for-5 on the night and helping cripple the Twins' chances when he grounded into a double-play with the bases loaded and the game tied in the 11th inning.

On Sunday, we learned that Mauer's injury was without question more serious than the team initially let on, as Wilson Ramos was called up to serve as interim catcher while Butera returned to his rightful spot on the bench. The well-built Ramos wasted no time making an impression, collecting four hits in his major-league debut and flashing his outstanding power by driving liners hard all over the field.

It was fun to see one of the very best prospects in the Twins system make such an immediate impact, but of course Ramos is no Mauer and we'll start to see that as he gets more exposure to big-league pitching. While he has about as much raw power as anyone in the organization, Ramos has very poor plate discipline, which helps explain why he was hitting .179 with a .214 OBP in Rochester prior to his call-up. He is undoubtedly a significant upgrade over Butera while Mauer is out, particularly because he appears to be a better defender, but the 22-year-old Ramos will go through his own growing pains. Count on it.

For the time being, though, enjoy this early glimpse of one of the very best catching prospects in all of baseball. Ramos is quickly showing the baseball world just why he carries that distinction.

8 comments:

Betsy said...

What? you mean we can't be like people and think that the one game means he's a rock-star and very Joe Mauer like? Sadness.
I did like seeing how well he did yesterday...and jitters or nerves he had, he didn't show them at all!

Beau said...

He is undoubtedly a significant upgrade over Butera while Mauer is out, particularly because he appears to be a better defender

And particularly because Nick Nelson could stand at the plate and never lift his bat and produce a better WPA

Anonymous said...

Ramos is a stud no doubt. Also it is not fair to point at his poor AAA performance to start this season because he has traditionally been much better than that, not to mention the fact that he dominated spring ball.

I like Ramos's swing. I like it a lot. He has the swing of a slap contact hitter as he usually just drops the bat and turns it with his upper body. But because he is so strong he still generates good power. Occasionally he'll sit on something and put some body rotation into it.

As his general discipline and eye at the plate improve I think he'll become a solid offensive piece. With that swing I think he can put balls into play as long as he's swinging at the strikes and laying off the balls.

SoCalTwinsfan said...

I would imagine the April weather has a lot to do with Ramos' poor start since he is from Venezuela. Young players from countries near the equator seem to do poorly early in the season because of the cold weather. That's assuming the weather in the International League hasn't been unseasonably warm.

Regardless, he's a young catcher who has to deal with a pitching staff most of whom he hasn't played with before since most of them were in AAA, the majors or not in the organization last year. I'm sure his hitting has been taking a back seat to more important matters.

Anonymous said...

He batted .400 in spring training but still didn't get called up - front office didn't want him sitting on the bench for 80% of the games, I guess. He went back to AAA and was a little disappointed and had fall off in his production. Big whoop. Ramos had seven hits in his first two major league games - that's more than ANYONE in the history of baseball. Let's see what he does tonight (he's playing, right?) before we start talking about what he can't be.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this has been discussed on this blog before, but hypothetically speaking, let's say he continues this fantastic production at the plate throughout the season. What do you think the Twins will do with him, Nick? Put Mauer over at third? Major trade bait?

Nick N. said...

See tomorrow's post.

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,
酒店經紀,
酒店工作,
酒店上班,
酒店打工,
禮服酒店,
禮服公關,
酒店領檯,
華麗幻想,
夢世界,