The Mets have received solid production from Wilson Ramos to start the season, which has been a welcome change of pace from the catcher position of recent years. Last year the club received a combined stat line of .202/.309/.353 with a .9 bWAR from their catchers. The hope is that the 31 year old Ramos can remain relatively healthy and provide a steady bat throughout the season. As a reference point, Ramos produced a 2.7 bWAR over 111 games and was voted into the All-Star game between Tampa Bay and Philadephia last year.
So far to start 2019, Ramos has 8 hits in 18 at bats including some timely hitting with runners in scoring position. On Saturday against Steven Strasburg, Ramos knocked an opposite field two run double off the wall, a few inches away from being a homerun. On Sunday, he knocked in a two out bloop hit in the eighth to bring the Mets within one run. This has been good for .444/.474/.500 slash line which is an encouraging line of the very young season. Ramos has also showcased his contact rate and plate discipline as he has only struck out once thus far. However with his contact propensity and slow foot speed, the downside to his game is how often he grounds out into a double play which he has done once so far this season.
Defensively, Ramos has yet to throw out an opposing runner on four attempts, all of which have been against Trea Turner. His throws have looked a bit inconsistent, and it will be interesting to see how he matches up against other runners. Ramos was part of the nifty double play on Opening Day in which Robinson Cano threw home and then Ramos calmly caught the runner in a rundown. He has yet to commit an error behind the plate over five games.
On his off day, the Mets started Tomas Nido with Travis d’Arnaud rehabbing in Port St Lucie. The club is currently in a bit of an awkward situation with Devin Mesoraco reportedly considering retirement in lieu of reporting to the minor leagues. The Mets recently signed former veteran backup catcher Rene Rivera, but their catching situation is a bit murky beyond Ramos. The oft injured d’Arnaud is returning from Tommy John surgery and Nido has yet to prove that he can handle big league pitching.
What has yet to be seen is Ramos’ ability to pitch frame (data is not yet available this early in the season) or his synergy with the Mets starting pitchers. Historically, he has not been known as a plus pitch framer, however with their dominant starters the Mets can afford the lack of production in this regard.
Ramos has been referred as a professional hitter several times by the Mets broadcast. While cliché, it is an appropriate designation as it seems the veteran is not easily overmatched and can barrel up against any pitcher. Ramos fits into this roster construction nicely, as another leader among young players; although he has only appeared in one playoff series in his career. Above league average production from the catcher position will compensate for the lack of production out of their shortstop and center field position; and this is withstanding any bonus value should d’Arnaud come back healthy.
All that being said, it is certainly nice to have Wilson Ramos behind the plate for the Mets this season as his bat has delivered as advertised.