Aramis Ramirez: Wikis

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Aramis Ramirez

Aramis Ramirez in 2008
Chicago Cubs — No. 16
Third Baseman
Born: June 25, 1978 (1978-06-25) (age 31)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
May 26, 1998 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .286
Home runs     264
Runs batted in     946
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • 2x All-Star selection (2005, 2008)
  • 2008 NL Hank Aaron Award

Aramis Nin Ramírez (pronounced /ʌrˈɑːmɪs/ or /ərˈɑːmɪs/) (born June 25, 1978 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is an All-Star Major League Baseball third baseman for the Chicago Cubs. He started his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1998 before being traded to the Cubs in 2003. On November 12, 2006, Ramírez signed a five-year deal with the Cubs with an option for 2012.

Contents

MLB career

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Early years with Pirates

On November 7, 1994, at the young age of 16, Ramirez signed his first contract as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates. On May 26, 1998 at age 19, he made his first major league debut with the Pirates, becoming the youngest player in the MLB at that time.

Although showing great potential, Ramirez struggled in his first three seasons, splitting playing time between the Pirates and Triple A Nashville. Playing with the Pirates for an entire season for the first time in 2001, Ramirez had a tremendous year at bat hitting 34 home runs and an earning an impressive 112 RBIs to go along with a .300 Batting Average. That year however, in stark contrast to his batting performance, Ramirez had 25 errors, ranking second to last in errors and finishing last in fielding percentage at .945, the lowest among all third basemen in the MLB. Ramirez also had the lowest zone rating in the National League at .745. In 2002, His batting performance dipped, ending the season with a Batting Average of .234 and 18 home runs. Notable: On April 17 of that season, he was ejected from a game versus the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park after having charged the pitcher's mound and throwing his batting helmet at Brewers pitcher Ben Sheets, earning him a suspension from April 23 through April 30.

2003 - Trade to Cubs

Ramírez was traded to the Chicago Cubs along with outfielder Kenny Lofton on July 23, 2003.[1] Ramírez finished the 2003 season strong in Chicago, though he led the majors with 33 errors at third base—50% more than the next most error-prone third baseman, Eric Hinske. He also had the lowest fielding percentage of all Major League third basemen (.929). The Cubs made the playoffs and defeated the favored Atlanta Braves, before being beaten by the eventual World Series champion Florida Marlins in a seven-game NLCS. In the series against the Marlins, Ramírez hit three home runs and had seven RBIs in 26 at-bats[2].

2004 season

Ramírez played extremely well during the 2004 season, leading the Cubs in hitting and RBI for most of the season despite nursing a sore hamstring. On September 16, 2004, Ramírez became the 14th player in Major League history to have two different games with three home runs in a season[3] when he hit three homers against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. His other three-home run game came against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30 at Wrigley Field. On defense, however, his range factor of 2.26 was the lowest among all Major League third basemen[4].

2005 season

In 2005 he was elected to play in his first Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Ramirez finished the 2005 season on the disabled list after straining his Quadriceps femoris muscle on August 24, yet still closed the season with a total of 31 home runs and 92 RBIs.

2006 season

In 2006, Ramírez hit 38 home runs while driving in 119 runs. He collected his 1000th hit on July 15 versus the New York Mets.[5] On defense, however, his range factor of 2.41 was the lowest among Major League third basemen for the third straight year.[4] After the season, he was listed as being potentially the biggest free agent in the market with the obvious exception of Alfonso Soriano. In addition to the Cubs, the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Los Angeles Dodgers appeared most interested in his services. However, Ramírez elected to stay with the Cubs, agreeing to a reported 5 year, $73 million contract on November 12, 2006.

2007 season

Ramírez takes a swing.

Aramis hit his 200th career home run off Claudio Vargas on April 23, 2007. On June 29, 2007, Ramírez ended a crucial game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the 9th to cap a five-run comeback win for the Chicago Cubs. This game has been widely viewed as a turning point in the season. Even though the Cubs were still 6.5 games out of first place at the time, it extended their win streak to a season-high seven games.

The Cubs would go on to win the 2007 National League Central division, thanks in large part to Ramírez, whose 101 RBIs led the team. He also finished second on the Cubs in home runs (26) and batting average (.310). The divisional title came only after battling it out with Milwaukee for the final month of September. Ramírez was one of the main reasons of the Cubs' resurgence in September, batting .287 with 8 home runs and 21 RBI that month. He played crucial roles in Cubs' victories against the St. Louis Cardinals on September 10 with 2 home runs and 12 total bases and against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 21 with 2 home runs and 6 RBI. Unfortunately, however, Ramírez failed to contribute to the Cubs' offense in post-season play, going 0 for 12 with 5 strikeouts while leaving 11 on base.

In addition to his offensive contributions, Ramírez made great strides to improve his defensive game in 2007, as he lowered his error total and improved his range factor for the third consecutive year.

2008 season

On June 20, in the bottom of the 9th, during the first game of the 2008 Crosstown Classic against the Chicago White Sox, Aramis hit his 2nd home run of the day for a walk off. He went on to homer in each of the next two games in that series.

On July 7, Ramirez was selected to play in the 2008 MLB All-Star Game as a reserve along with teammates: OF Alfonso Soriano, OF Kosuke Fukudome, C Geovany Soto, P Ryan Dempster, P Kerry Wood, P Carlos Zambrano, and P Carlos Marmol.

On August 28, Ramirez hit a grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies in the bottom of the 8th, making it his 8th career grand slam. The Cubs would win the game 6 to 4.

Prior to game 4 of the 2008 World Series, Ramirez was awarded the Hank Aaron Award as the most outstanding offensive performer in the National League.

Ramirez finished the season with the lowest range factor (2.16) of all major league third basemen.[1]

Ramirez was 10th in the voting for the 2008 NL MVP award, behind Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Ryan Braun, Manny Ramirez, Lance Berkman, CC Sabathia, David Wright, Brad Lidge, and Carlos Delgado.[2]

2009 Season

Aramis got off to a quick start in 2009 with 5 RBI during the Cubs' opening series against the Houston Astros. His first-inning homer in the season opener off of the Astros' Roy Oswalt was the 250th of his career. On April 18 against the St. Louis Cardinals, he hit a walk-off home run in the 11th Inning, after previously being 0-5 on the game.

On May 8, 2009, Ramirez dislocated his left shoulder while fielding a ground ball in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.[6] He was placed on the Cubs' disabled list and returned to action on July 6, 2009. He went 0 for 4.

Third base legacy with Cubs

Between 1960 and 1973, the Cubs relied on All-Star Ron Santo as the everyday third baseman[7]. In the following 30 years, 97 different players started at third for the Cubs, including 18 different starters on Opening Day[7]. Ramírez has started the last four seasons at third, and with the long-term contract appears to have ended the stretch of ambiguity at the position[7].

See also

References

  1. ^ Aramis Bio Page, Baseball-Reference.com, Retrieved on August 17, 2007
  2. ^ Aramis Ramírez Bio, 2005 Chicago Cubs Information Guide, page 137.
  3. ^ Ramírez hits 3 homers on July 30, 2004 and again on September 16, 2004.
  4. ^ a b Aramis Bio on BB Cube, BaseballCube.com, Retrieved on August 17, 2007
  5. ^ Aramis Ramírez Bio, Chicago Cubs 2007 Information Guide, page 141.
  6. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4153416&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines Retrieved on 2009-05-09
  7. ^ a b c Mayer, Larry, A case for the defense, Chicago Vineline, Vol. 22, No. 8

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