Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 2/7/12
Cubs_third_baseman_e5c6

Milwaukee, meet Aramis Ramirez, or, as many will come to know him, not Prince Fielder. Ramirez is a nice player, a very good player even. He’s a .300 hitter (when healthy), still has enough pop to hit 30 homers (when healthy) and, if guys do their job and get on base in front of him, he can still drive in 100 runs (when healthy). There’s one problem with Ramirez, though. Sometimes he’s not healthy. He played 149 games last season and 149 games in 2008, but those two seasons bookended years of 82 games (2009) and 124 games (2010). He’s played more than 132 games just twice in the last five seasons. On the plus side, though, he does that cool factor. I mean, he’s one of just a handful of players who fantasy leaguers tend to reference by their first name. Then again, cool isn’t a category. At least not in standard leagues.

Best case scenario: Adrian Beltre (TEX)
Similar players: Kevin Youkilis (BOS), Michael Young (TEX), Corey Hart (MIL)
Worst case scenario: An injury-shortened .280/15/70 season

Strengths

BA, RBI, HR. Ramirez has batted over .300 twice in the last three seasons and has been under .289 just once in the last  eight years (2010 was a fluke). He’ll bat fourth for Milwaukee with Rickie Weeks and Nyjer Morgan at the top, and Corey Hart is pretty good protection. Even though Ramirez hasn’t hit 30 homers since 2006 (38), I think he has a good shot this year (assuming health). Wrigley Field and Miller Park play pretty much the same in terms of home runs, and since Ramirez didn’t switch leagues (or even divisions) he’ll play pretty much the same number of game’s in the same parks he’s been in for the majority of his career (which started out with the NL Central Pirates, too, no less).

Weaknesses

Ryan Braun, injuries, SB. To clarify, it’s Braun’s likely suspension that’s a weakness for Ramirez. When the season kicks off, Ramirez will have to go his first 50 games in the middle of his new team’s lineup without said lineup’s best weapon. At least things can only get better, right? The injuries are a legitimate concern, and I suppose it would be lazy of me to not mention Ramirez is almost incapable of stealing bases.

ADP Report (69.1)

When healthy (tired of hearing that yet?), Ramirez is easily a top 60 player. Health risks push his ADP down, but third base is deeper than I initially realized this season, which means one of two things: you can afford to wait on a third baseman or you can risk taking an injury-prone stud because backups are plentiful. I’m a fan of the latter, so go ahead and draft Ramirez here.

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