Other than the 2015 Major League Baseball campaign, Wilson Ramos was a sure thing behind the dish for double-digit home runs and a .260+ batting average. From 2013-2019, Ramos had double-digit home runs each season, hit at least .300 twice, and only had one season with an average below .260. Outside of his 2016 season, when he hit .307 with 22 home runs, he’s been a decent, but not dominant fantasy catcher.

In the 2019 season with the Mets, he popped 14 home runs and posted a career-low 13.2 percent strikeout rate. Then 2020 hit. His batting average plummeted to .239 and he tied his career-high in strikeout rate. Now, he heads to Detroit where he’ll be the team’s primary backstop, and the lack of competition behind him boosts his fantasy value, but the best outlook for Ramos in 2021 is cautiously optimistic.

As mentioned above, his strikeout rate went up. Non-fastballs gave him major fits. As you’ll see from the graphic below, especially with the blue and green lines, well, you’ll see for yourself.

His O-swing rate remained more elevated than one would like, and his contact rates, both in and out of the zone tanked in 2020. In fact, his zone contact rate of 85 percent was the lowest of his career by nearly two percentage points.

Furthermore, his 12.9 percent striking strike rate was the highest of his career, and a full 2.2 percentage points above his career mark. Increased whiffs in the strike zone were a bugaboo for Ramos in 2020.

Off-speed pitches? Career-high in 2020.

Fastballs? Career-high in 2020.

Breaking pitches? Second-highest mark of his entire 11-year career in 2020.

The 2020 season wasn’t all doom and gloom for Ramos, but admittedly, there were more negatives than positives. After a garbage -0.1 degree launch angle in 2019, it rebounded to 6.5 degrees in 2020, and his 7.1 percent barrel rate is his second-best mark in the past half-decade. If he can at least maintain these marks, that would be welcomed by his fantasy owners, and dare I ask for perhaps a slight improvement? Is that asking too much?

As expected, with an increased launch angle, Ramos’ ground ball rate returned to more normal marks, and he traded grounders in for fly balls. His 1.79 GB/FB ratio in 2020 marked just the second time since 2012 that his mark in this department was under two. As you’ll see here in a bit, good things happen for Ramos when he’s not putting divots in the big man upstairs’ beautiful green Earth.

Unfortunately, his exit velocity fell for the second-straight season, so the increased fly balls didn’t necessarily benefit him too much in the power department. However, his exit velocity on fly balls and line drives stayed relatively consistent with years past.




96.0 mph


94.7 mph


95.4 mph


93.8 mph



Courtesy of Baseball Savant

Does that mean we can potentially get a rebound in 2021? Does that mean he underperformed in the power department in 2020? Well, his 28.4 AB/HR was only slightly off his career mark of 26.1 AB/HR. Anticipating anything more than 11-13 home runs for 2021, even with a presumed starting role all season, is bad practice.

Since the 2019 All-Star break, Ramos has ten home runs and a .279/.332/.411 slash line across 108 games. He won’t play every single day, as catchers get their routine off days, but he could find himself serving as Detroit’s designated hitter on occasion. However, if we’re being honest here, fantasy owners would be ecstatic for this type of line for Ramos in the 2021 season. You have a better chance of the ten home runs than the .279 average.

Ramos is a below-average defensive catcher, and there are questions as to why Detroit wants him handling their staff, but that is beside the point. Overall, at face value, there’s a solid floor for Ramos in 2021. His ceiling is capped as well, but .260 with 10-12 home runs out of your second catcher is reasonable. He’s currently the 18th catcher off the board, per NFBC data, and is a fine selection as your second catcher. Unless you’re in a deeper league, Ramos isn’t a guy you should be targeting as your primary catcher.


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