(Born October 3, 1974) -- It’s easy to wonder what Alex Ramirez would have done with 500 at-bats in the major leagues. We know what he could do with Triple-A pitching: mash it.
Ramirez grew up in Venezuela and was part of the Indians’ organization. He hit .329 in 1996 for Canton-Akron, and was promoted the next year to Buffalo.
The outfielder was a good player in 1997, and a superb player here in 1998. Ramirez hit .299 with 34 homers and 103 RBIs in only 121 games.
He split 1999 between Buffalo and Cleveland, and it seemed like he was ready for a shot at full-time duty. But in 2000 he was traded to the Pirates with Enrique Wilson for Wil Cordero, and didn’t do much the rest of the year.
Ramirez obviously got a nice offer at that point to play overseas, and he was off to Japan. He’s been there ever since. Ramirez had 49 homers there in 2010, and he was still playing in 2012 at the age of 37.
--- Budd Bailey