Friday, July 9, 2010

Card Spotlight 7-9-10

2009 O-Pee-Chee All-Rookie Team #AR3 - Alexei Ramirez

Alexei proved to be among the best rookies of 2008, when he batted .290 with 21 home runs and 77 RBI. His 2009 was an adjustment period. The league caught up with him at the plate and Ramirez was still adjusting to playing his third position for the White Sox since joining.

This year, Alexei has turned the corner defensively. The influence of Omar Vizquel cannot be taken lightly. Ramirez has gone from making the occasional splashy play to amazing acrobatic plays that defy explanation on a routine basis. His defense has jumped light years ahead of where Alexei was at the beginning of the season.

Part of that can be Omar's influence, but a lot has to be the stability of Gordon Beckham as a constant double play partner. They have found a sync that works for them and it is a thing of beauty to witness every game.

Alexei has come a long way from his rookie campaign. He may not be blasting grand slams on a regular basis, as he did in 2008, but he is more selective at the plate, which makes him even more dangerous. The White Sox went on their hot streak in 2010 when Ramirez solidified his defense and started making better contact at the plate. It's no secret that hitting is contagious and Alexei seems to be preparing the team for an offensive pandemic.

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