Is Aramis Ramirez’s power gone?

Aramis Ramirez, who will turn 37 in June, will make $14 million in 2015. Aramis Ramirez, whose isolated power has dropped each of the last three years, will make $14 million in 2015. Aramis Ramirez, who has missed a combined 99 games since 2012, will make $14 million in 2015.

Think about those statements before you continue reading.

Now, this isn’t a post about how the Milwaukee Brewers are overpaying Ramirez. I already sang that song about Yovani Gallardo, and I don’t like repeating myself (just ask my girlfriend). I just wanted you, the reader, to know that Ramirez is making that much money at that age even though his power has disappeared.

Instead of the usual table I present to get my point across, here’s a bar graph.

isolated

Clearly, his ability to hit for extra base hits is dissipating with age. But what about his home runs? Here comes another table.

Year Games HR
2012 149 27
2013 92 12
2014 133 15

Even though Ramirez played 41 more games in 2014 than 2013, he only managed to hit three additional dingers. A reason for Ramirez’s lack of power in 2014 was his uncharacteristic poor patience at the plate. He whiffed at his highest rate since 2003 and swung at 39.5% of pitches outside of the strike zone (his career O-Swing% is 29.7%). By swinging at non-strikes, Ramirez put himself in a hole and therefore, struggled to produce. He only manufactured nine percent more runs (109 wRC+) than league average; not exactly what you expect from a cleanup hitter.

So, what can we expect from him next year? Steamer projection system is anticipating Ramirez will hit 17 home runs and have an ISO of .164 in 122 games. But I must say, if he’s only going to be playing in 122 games, there’s no way he’s going to hit north of 15 homers.

I’ll be running out my own projections when spring training comes around, but I’ll take a swing at Ramirez’s now. If he’s able to play 130+ games (which is doubtful at his age), I think he’ll hit 15 home runs and post a .330 wOBA, 110 wRC+ and .155 ISO. His days of hitting 20+ home runs are over, especially if he keeps chasing pitches.

This may be Ramirez’s last year as a professional baseball player and is surely his last year in Milwaukee. Here’s to hoping he exceeds expectations, but don’t put any money on it.

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