I have to admit this up front – I have an irrational love for Aramis Ramirez. He is one of just six players that are currently in a Spring Training camp with a career slugging percentage of at least .500 joining Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Alfonso Soriano, and Jason Giambi. In 6 of his past 11 seasons, he has earned at least $20 in single-league formats for players. Over the past five seasons, only Evan Longoria has been more productive offensively at the hot corner. Longoria has a .371 weighted on base average in that time while Ramirez is tied with David Wright at .368.
He also comes with flaws. He has not played in as many as 150 games since the 2006 season. He has missed time on the disabled list in recent years with multiple knee issues, a shoulder dislocation, and hand problems. He also turns 36 years old this summer and that's in the danger zone of the aging curves that Jeff Zimmerman of Fangraphs recently discussed.
A combination of those flaws outweigh his historical production as he is currently the 11th third baseman in terms of ADP in the latest NFBC Average Draft Positions rankings.
I am a bit surprised that Ramirez is going 40 picks after Machado, who is coming off a major leg injury. The latest report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today was not terribly positive about Machado being ready to start the season.
Manny Machado scheduled to see his doctor around March 15 to be cleared to play games and hopes to be ready by early to mid April #orioles
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) February 20, 2014
If we continue to walk that timeline back, we see that Machado is still not even cleared to resume all baseball activities just yet.
Manny Machado is cleared to hit and to start running. He's still not allowed to run bases or take off running after making contact #orioles
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) February 1, 2014
It is one thing to assume an injury with the older Ramirez, but we know Machado is going to miss some time in April and that also required a leap of faith that he won't miss any more time the rest of the season to help make up the gap.
If we use the composite projections that our friend at Fantasy411 posted the other day, Ramirez is quite the bargain if he continues to be drafted outside of the top ten at the position.
11th in ADP, but 8th by roto value based on the composite projections. He comes out ahead of Machado, even with the aggressive playing time projection against the news that he is not going to be ready to start the season.
Simply put, Ramirez is currently being undervalued by the overall community. In the three expert drafts I have either participated in or observed, Ramirez has been gone by pick 130. Perhaps some more attention and love from the experts will drive up his ADP as we get closer to the heavy part of the draft season.