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…Chicago White Sox. Another fantasy baseball love child of mine has always been their shortstop, Alexei Ramirez. I had to settle for him late in one draft a couple years ago, and he responded with a near-.300 average and 20+ home runs. From that season on, he became my sleeper shortstop.
So this year, I figured it would be a good idea to give him a little more responsibility and put expectations of a 20/20, 90 RBI year on his shoulders. Those skinny little shoulders (no, seriously…he’s 6’2” 175. His bat might be harder to snap in half than he is) couldn’t handle that weight.
Ramirez seriously underachieved, hitting 15 home runs, stealing seven bases and only driving in 70 runs. Looking back at the stats, those aren’t far off from his averages. But you’d think a fourth-year player in a loaded offense might come through for me this year! Alas, it wasn’t to be.
He’s still a good fantasy sleeper pick for a shortstop and plays outstanding defense for the White Sox. He just might not be ready for a 20/20 season, let alone a 20/10. If not now, when? Possibly never. He is already 30 years old and if this season was any indication, he may already be over the hill.
I will probably still make him a late-round choice with the thought that Ramirez is going to be consistently average. One last fantasy plug here...there is another guy I will not stop drafting as long as he’s playing baseball. He’s like a Rich Harden-type, in that he’s immensely talented with filthy stuff, but likes to spend time on the DL. If he ever gets healthy, he’s a real ace for the…