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2021 Arizona Diamondbacks Reviews, #17 : Noe Ramirez

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He will likely pitch as the eighth inning setup guy for Mark Melancon.

Noe Ramirez pitches from a low arm slot.
Noe Ramirez pitches from a low arm slot.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
  • Rating: 4.75
  • Age: 32
  • 2021 Stats:

Angels, ...3.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, _91 ERA+, 2.70 HR9, 0.0 SO9, 2.7 BB9

Dbacks, 32.2 IP, 2.76 ERA, 156 ERA+, 0.61 HR9, 8.0 SO9, 3.0 BB9

  • 2021 Earnings: $570,500 from Dbacks, plus $284,274 from Reds for terminating their arbitration contract during spring training, plus $15,335 from Angels before he was traded to the Diamondbacks (via Spotrac)
  • 2022 Status: Signed contract with the Diamondbacks for 2022.

Introduction:

A remarkable streak in the minors highlighted his high potential. From 6 August 2013 to 17 June 2015, he pitched 96.2 innings (59 appearances) without allowing a homer.

From 2015 to 2017 in the Majors he pitched 30.2 innings of relief for the Red Sox.

In August of 2017, the Angels selected him off waivers. From 2017 to 2021, he pitched 183.2 innings of mostly relief for them (he was an opener for them in 8 games). Interestingly, in December of 2020 he was traded to the Reds, who released him in March. In March, the Angels re-signed him.

In February of 2019, he was interviewed by Jeff Joiner of Halos Heaven (SB Nation). He said that in the offseason he works with technology to improve his pitching. He said when a specific pitch was great and his delivery felt good, he looked at the video to see his finger positions on the baseball when he released it.

2021 Review:

In May of 2021, the Angels granted him free agency, and the Diamondbacks signed him to a minor league contract. In June, the Diamondbacks promoted him to the Majors.

“Ramirez throws his three-pitch repertoire with good command and control of each offering. He features a deceptive delivery from a low three-quarters arm slot and hides the ball well until the point of release, making him especially tough for right-handed hitters to pick up his 89-92 mph fastball, and is considerably effective at getting left-handed hitters out with his solid 82-84 mph changeup, which he can throw in any count and uses it to keep all batters off-balance.” — Wikipedia

This season, he pitched 32.2 innings for the Diamondbacks with an impressive ERA of 2.76. In that context, his biggest strength was preventing home runs. In 2021, pitching for the Diamondbacks his homers per 9 innings was a career best 0.55 (minimum 10 innings pitched).

His pitched better at Chase (ERA of 2.25 at Chase vs ERA of 3.60 elsewhere), possibly because Chase enhanced his homer prevention strength.

This season the Diamondbacks relief innings were pitched by 35 different pitchers. In that context, it’s noteworthy that Noe Ramirez stood out in 5 statistics (minimum 20 innings pitched and minimum 100 pitches thrown).

  • His 5.0 hits per 9 innings (H9) was the best of the Diamondbacks.
  • His .221 wOBA against was the best of the Diamondbacks.
  • His .184 BABIP against was the best of the Diamondbacks.
  • His 156 ERA+ was the second best on the team, behind Luis Frias.

He reached his potential as a homer prevention pitcher. As a Diamondback, his 0.55 HR9 was a career best. Of Diamondback relievers, his HR9 was second best, behind Joe Mantiply’s surreal 0.23 HR9. His HR9 compared well to other relievers, such as:

  • 0.83 HR9, Taylor Clarke
  • 1.16 HR9, Stefan Crichton
  • 2.22 HR9, Kevin Ginkel

Confirming his skill in preventing homers, comparing fastball hard hit % per Baseball Savant, his 25.0 hard hit % was the third best fastball on the Diamondbacks, behind 0% for Joe Mantiply and 16.7% for Miguel Aguilar.

2022 Outlook:

The ZiPS projection (published November 23rd) for 2022 was an ERA of 4.25 over 53 innings, with a HR9 of 1.4. My view is that Noe Ramirez will have an ERA of 3.0 largely because his strength of preventing homers. I’m confident his HR9 will be half or less of the ZiPS projection.

In arbitration, Noe Ramirez was expected to make about $1.8 Million in 2022. Instead he signed for $1.25 Million. Because he was arguably the best reliever last season, and because he was signed for less than the expected arbitration amount, his signing was a great move by the Diamondbacks.

With the signing of closer Mark Melancon, let’s compare candidates for the eighth inning setup role: Noe Ramirez, Stefan Crichton, and Taylor Clarke. Let’s compare their reliability by looking at three criteria (for more explanation of the last two criteria see this AZ Snake Pit article):

  • Homer prevention.
  • Got-the-job-done.
  • Broken goose egg percentage.

Noe Ramirez’s 0.61 homers per 9 innings (HR9) is the lowest of the three (1.16 for Crichton and 0.83 for Clarke).

The following table was updated by adding full 2021 season data for Noe Ramirez, Stefan Crichton, and Taylor Clarke. The following table shows that of the three candidates, Noe Ramirez is the most reliable.

Results of Process Control Charts from DBacksEurope’s AZ Snake Pit article. Remainder of data from Baseball Reference.

Summary. Two takeaway points:

  • In 2021 Noe Ramirez was the best Diamondback reliever based on 5 stats. His biggest strength is homer prevention. I’m confident he will outperform his ZiPS projection for 2022.
  • In addition, his homer prevention, got the job done, and broken goose egg prevention show he will shine in his role as the eighth inning setup guy. In 2022, the Diamondbacks’ bullpen will have a powerful back two innings.