Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ramon Nivar Report

Ramon Nivar, 2B/OF, Baltimore Orioles
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 1998, Dominican Republic
Bats R/Throws R
25 YO, 5'10", 170 lbs

The Orioles traded away Jerry Hairston in the Sammy Sosa deal, but they may have found a player who can play the same kind of role when they acquired Nivar from the Rangers for Matt Riley, who they had finally had enough of.

Nivar is similar in that he's a second baseman who was thrown into the outfield. He's different because he's actually seen as a future utility player right away whereas Hairston was seen as a potential starter and only started playing the outfield when Brian Roberts outplayed him and took the job.

2004 Oklahoma: .264/.290/.374, 21 2B, 10 HR, 14 BB, 43 K, 15 SB, 14 CS, 462 AB
2004 Texas: .222/.211/.222, 0 2B, 0 HR, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 SB, 1 CS, 18 AB
mL Career: .293/.332/.397, 129 2B, 18 3B, 33 HR, 123 BB, 260 K, 120 SB, 2545 AB

His plate discipline is erratic at best, cratering in 2004. He has a little pop, but not nearly enough to counteract the way that his walk rate would cause him to be an absolute anchor tied to the team's OBP. He's a burner, but he gets caught stealing almost as often as he is successful. And while he's good defensively, he's neither the flycatcher in center that you'd expect him to be, or the rangy second baseman that you'd imagine. To put it generally, he's a talented athlete who still has a lot to learn about playing baseball. He's Alex Sanchez with the ability to play second base. If he can catch on just a little bit with the plate discipline and get better reads on the pitcher when he's on the basepaths, he can be a useful utility player. If he doesn't develop those skills, he'll remain a career minor leaguer who gets an occasional callup when things get desperate.

ETA: Late 2005
2 Stars

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