Max Ramirez, Former Texas Ranger Top Prospect, Claimed By Boston Red Sox

deleteth accounethCorrespondent IIIJanuary 5, 2011

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 02:  Max Ramirez #51  poses for a portrait during the Texas rangers Photo Day at Surprise on March 2, 2010 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Max Ramirez is on his way to Boston, according to's T.R. Sullivan.

The move comes after the Rangers designated the former top catching prospect for assignment in order to make room for Brandon Webb and Arthur Rhodes.

Theo Epstein's interest in the young catcher have been well documented. Ramirez was the player involved in the Mike Lowell deal that was and then wasn't last offseason after Lowell failed the Rangers' physical.

Ramirez, now 26 years old, was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Atlanta Braves in 2002 and has also spent time in the Cleveland Indians organization.

In seven total minor league seasons, Ramirez has appeared in 563 games, making 1,989 at-bats while hitting .298/.396/.476/.872 with 72 HR and 358 RBI.

However, Ramirez has struggled mightily in his two brief Major League stints in 2008 and 2010. He's just a .217/.343/.357/.699 hitter with four HR and 17 RBI in 115 MLB at bats.

Also, Ramirez didn't have a great 2010 in the minors. He hit just .286/.373/.381/.754 with just three HR and 29 RBI in 189 at-bats while playing with the Texas Ranger Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City Red Red Hawks.

Ramirez has typically been cast as a power hitting catcher with the ability to hit in the middle of a team's lineup. However, his defense, arm strength and foot speed all leave much to be desired. 

Max was ranked as the No. 84 prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2009 season. However, he's regressed in the eyes of many since that time after producing two lackluster seasons.

Ramirez now joins the throng of young catching prospects—including Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Lavarnway, Mark Wagner Luis Exposito and Tim Federowicz—who the Red Sox hope will produce an heir to Jason Varitek.

The group has a great deal of potential, but they lack the Jesus Montero-esque figure who is a lock to inherit the job in the future. The Sox seem to be taking the "law of averages approach," in the sense that they've got to hit the talent jackpot on at least one catcher.

Just to be clear, there's almost no chance Ramirez sees any time of significance in Boston this season. At this point, it's hard to consider him little more than a "Theo Project."

Dan is a Boston Red Sox featured columnist. For more news, stories, and opinion, follow him on Twitter at danhartelBR.