Baseball / Sports

Jose Ramirez brings energy, enthusiasm to Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- If Jose Ramirez is anything, he's fun to watch. He's an electric ball of energy that's at his most exciting racing down the line after a bunt or heading for home on a ball to the gap. For as long as he's around in Cleveland filling in for Jason Kipnis at second base, that's what he'll bring to the ballpark each night that he's in the lineup.

Manager Terry Francona probably put it best: "That little - - - -'s all over the place," he said after the game Saturday night.

In that game, Ramirez went 1-for-3 with a bunt single that he effectively turned into a double as he wheeled around first and headed for second after Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers had to rush his throw and air-mailed it into right field. That led to a manufactured run after he advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Mike Aviles and a sacrifice fly by Nick Swisher.

Later, he snagged a hard-hit ground ball off the bat of Adam Dunn and made a running throw from short right field to make the play, one that Francona later praised.

Those are the types of high-energy plays Ramirez has been known to make at every spot he's made in the minor leagues and in a brief stint in Cleveland last season, though he hasn't stayed at any one spot for very long.

The energy can be valuable if harnessed in a positive way.

"When younger guys handle it appropriately, it can be very invigorating. The enthusiasm that comes from younger guys can be really good," Francona said. "I know last year, in September, everybody got a kick out of him because of the way he kind of strutted around. I think he's endeared himself to a lot of people quickly because of the way he's played."

When he came up to Cleveland last year, he hit .333 in 15 games. He was hitting .319 with four home runs and eight stolen bases this season at Triple-A before getting the call to the majors.

His poise, even above all that energy and high-octane play, has been the most impressive thing.

"The game doesn't speed up on him too much," Francona said. "That's a pretty big compliment. I don't know if I want to say he has survival instincts, but he's just a baseball player."

When asked if Ramirez could one day fit the mold of a quality lead-off hitter, Francona answered, "He certainly has the tools to do that. Might do that tomorrow."

(c)2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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