On the surface, Yohan Ramirez is another one of those so-so additions to the bullpen by David Stearns. Acquired in a trade by the New York Mets for cash considerations from the Chicago White Sox, he’s someone who should have baseball nerds intrigued.
Having zero familiarity with him, like most fans my next step was to check out his statistics. A lifetime 3.99 ERA since debuting in 2020 is pretty good. More than a strikeout per inning but an average of 5 walks per 9 isn’t so hot.
Once you’re able to get through seeing Ramirez play for four teams in the last two years, it starts to make sense why the Mets added him. His age, the cost, and some above-average baseball nerd numbers are there to suggest maybe he is a good match.
The Mets picked up reliever Yohan Ramirez and baseball nerds should rejoice over these numbers
In 124 big league innings, Ramirez has held batters to a .215/.350/.357 slash line. The obvious issue here is an OBP well above the MLB average of .317 over that time period. It’s walks doing their damage. Ramirez didn’t have much luck avoiding hit by pitches last season either, nailing a total of 11 batters in only 38.1 innings. Austin Adams’ record could be in danger.
Ramirez has succeeded in doing all of the other things well we want from our pitchers. He doesn’t give up a lot of home runs and the exit velocity against him is 85.9 MPH compared to the league average of 88.2 MPH. His hard hit percentage is 33.3%.
In the “what have you done for me lately” world of sports, some of these numbers were actually below where he has been in his career. The hard hit percentage stands out most at only 31.9%. A groundball percentage of 59.3% compared to a league at 42.6% is a positive sign.
We all do know how meaningless making the ball travel quickly or slowly in some cases can be. Pitchers lighting up the radar gun are no longer a rarity. A .220 hitter can have the best hard hit percentage in the league and have little to show for it because hitting the ball where someone isn’t is much more important.
The Ramirez trade isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The 28-year-old is all out of minor league options. This has been the case for all of the major league additions the team has made for the bullpen. How quickly will the lack of flexibility catch up?