The Rangers announced they’ve signed catcher Wilson Ramos to a minor league contract. The club plans to assign him to Triple-A Round Rock.
It’s the first landing spot of 2022 for Ramos, who has lingered on the free agent market. The veteran backstop was playing for Cleveland last August when he tore the ACL in his left knee. That required season-ending surgery, and Ramos has seemingly spent the past year rehabbing. The 35-year-old is apparently now healthy enough to get back to game action, and he’ll look to work his way back to the big leagues for a 13th consecutive season.
Ramos split last year between the Tigers and Indians, tallying 163 plate appearances over 44 games. He hit .205/.248/.397, the worst offensive showing of his big league career. That was in large part due to a career-worst .213 batting average on balls in play, however, and he still connected on eight home runs. Ramos hit .239/.297/.387 during the shortened 2020 campaign as a member of the Mets, offense that aligns with the league average for catchers.
Of course, Ramos has been a well above-average hitting backstop at points in his career. He’s a two-time All-Star who won a Silver Slugger Award and picked up down ballot MVP support with the Nationals in 2016. That season saw Ramos connect on 22 homers and hit .307/.354/.496 through 131 games. By measure of wRC+, the Venezuela native has posted five above-average hitting seasons over the course of his career.
Texas has gotten good work from its catchers this season. Jonah Heim has seized the starting job with a .249/.321/.439 showing through 91 games. Offseason minor league signee Meibrys Viloria has impressed in 20 contests since being called up two months ago. Ramos adds an experienced veteran presence to the upper minors, where one of the organization’s more promising prospects, Sam Huff, figures to assume the bulk of the playing time behind the dish.