The best thing I heard about Alexei Ramirez lately came from the radio commentator, Dan Bernstein. He was commenting on an interview with one of the White Sox coaching staff who said this year Alexei would work on his approach a little more, be more patient, work the count more. Bernstein said, “He is 31. His approach is pretty much set.” Which I think is true. Alexei isn’t going to turn into a different hitter at this point in his career. What is also hard to believe is that Alexei is 31. It just doesn’t seem possible that it’s been five seasons since he first appeared and was given the slightly misappropriate moniker of The Cuban Missile. Alexei is a lot of things, but missile isn’t one of them, good thing the name really hasn’t stuck.
Alexei batted .265/.287/.364 with 9 home runs and only 16 walks. He fell a quite a bit short of his projections of .276/ .329/.414. Alexei isn’t exactly an easy out, but he isn’t exactly a great threat, but has decent speed if he gets on base with 20 stolen bases in 27 attempts. His projections for the upcoming season are a little more positive than last year’s results .269/.309/.389. All things considered, that will be ok especially if he can outdo his homerun projection of 14 and reach for a few higher.
The greatest thing that Alexei brings to the table is his defense. He is considered one of the better fielding shortstops in the American League and his runs above average for 2012 was his highest number of runs saved since playing short full time, 12. I wouldn’t say he is the flashiest of players, but obviously he gets the job done. I’m not sure if it is a good or bad statement but Alexei is the currently the best fielder on the White Sox. Even so with Ramirez locked up through 2015, with a club option for 2016, shortstop is the least of the White Sox worries for the next few years.