Who is Alexei Ramirez? Is he the outstanding defensive shortstop who has averaged 16 homers, 72 RBIs, a .276 batting average and .316 on base percentage in his five seasons with the Sox or is there room for him to get better?
Ramirez, for one, seems to think there is room for growth.
"I felt really good and comfortable defensively, but offensively I could have done more," Alexei admitted through an interpreter at SoxFest about his 2012 season. "I could have hit more home runs. I could have driven in more runs. I could have gotten more hits. I can say I could have done more. And this year is going to be different. I'm going to try to contribute more."
To me, Ramirez's perspective is fascinating food for thought. When the Cuban Missle arrived prior to the 2008 season with his electric brand of play, he energized the fan base. Whether he was at second base, centerfield or short, he has always involuntarily encouraged great expectations.
I think most will agree that Alexei has been a great find for the Sox, seemingly coming out of nowhere on the radar and even winning the Silver Slugger award among the league's shortstops. But at the same time, there's always been the question, the 800-pound gorilla in the room if you will, about his ceiling.
Based on Ramirez's comments at SoxFest, 2013 very likely will be the year that we defiinitively answer the question about the Sox shortstop.
Is that all there is (which certainly hasn't been bad) or is there more (which would be very good)?
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