Outside of Paulie, Alexei Ramirez is the player we can feel most at ease about. He came to the southside fresh off of a Cuban League HR title and showed a knack for hitting grand slams. His power dipped off slightly in the following seasons but he seems to have found a consistent home in the 15-18 range. Defensively we watched him go from sure handed at 2nd base, to not so sure handed at shortstop and finally to one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. He’s not going to challenge any walk records but he’s certainly fighting Hawk Harrelson and his Cubans can’t walk stereotype showing acceptable walk rates in alternating seasons. He’s consistent sometimes, and sometimes not, so clearly I cannot choose the wine in front of you.Alexei Ramirez
The projections have built up an immunity to Alexei’s inconsistencies! If they have anything to say about it, we’re looking at Alexei remaining in that 15-18 HR range, walking a reasonable amount of times (you know, for a Cuban) and hitting in the .270s. The stolen bases hopefully are all gimmes. Alexei gets thrown out a lot and I’d just as well see him sit tight and wait for the bat to hit the ball before he takes off. Heading into 2012 I didn’t feel like I had anything to worry about in terms of our shortstop and it’s relaxing to see that projections are in agreement.