As the Padres season draws closer, the shortstop position is still owned by Alexi Amarista, who is coming off a terrible season at the plate. AJ Preller has been determined to get a “captain” for his infield, but so far, he has come up dry. The Cubs have 2 shortstops in Javier Baez and Addison Russell but have refused to part with either and they may wait until the end of Spring Training before making a move. The Padres don’t have one that is ready to come up this season from the minors, with both Jose Rondon and Javier Guerra probably ticketed for AA San Antonio. Where does that leave the Padres for 2015? Well, there are 2 good (not great) shortstops available in free agency in Alexei Ramirez and Ian Desmond, both who won’t be returning to their former clubs. Mickey talked about Ian Desmond yesterday, so we’ll talk about Alexei Ramirez.
Since he moved to shortstop full time in 2009, Ramirez has shown he is durable player averaging over 150 games played a season since 2010. He is a contact hitter who has never struck out over a hundred times in a season, and has shown the ability to hit for some power as well as hit a lot of doubles while with the White Sox. He can steal the occasional base but isn’t someone you’ll bat at the top of the lineup. His fielding % has been between .969 and .982, which isn’t bad, but his range isn’t what it use to be He is older than Ian by 4 years, and would be turning 36 by the time Rondon or Guerra would be ready to play in the majors. Alexei would also be a mentor to Cory Spangenberg at 2B, which would be an asset to the Padres in the long term as then Cory could mentor either Rondon or Guerra when they come up to the majors.
While Ramirez doesn’t offer the upside that Ian Desmond brings to the table, he does bring the Padres stability at a position they haven’t had in a long time.
Wayne – Padres360