He is playing at an elite level in 2021 and has been a premier member of the organization since 2016.
So is it even possible for him to be considered underrated?
A popular MLB-focused Twitter account seemed to bring that up Monday morning.
The Indians even retweeted the statement.
I feel like the @Indians' José Ramírez is somehow still underrated.
His .983 OPS is the 4th highest among all MLB batters over their last 162 games (behind only Trout, Cruz, and Soto) and his 98 extra-base hits are tops among all players.
— High Heat Stats (@HighHeatStats) May 17, 2021
The argument depends on what is being taken into consideration for the evidence.
Why the Indians Star is Clearly Not Ignored
Just looking at Ramirez’s history in American League MVP voting proves he is never ignored.
He finished second in the voting last season and was third in both 2017 and 2018.
It is hard to consider a routine MVP finalist “underrated.”
The overall problem may be the fact he plays in a smaller market.
But that did nothing to limit Francisco Lindor‘s star power or earning potential.
True baseball fans know the name of Jose Ramirez to be one of the top players in the game.
However, being underrated could be applied to a different context.
Why the Lessened Contract Expectations?
Ramirez has been just as good as, or even better than, Lindor throughout their respective careers.
So why did Lindor get a $341 million deal while Ramirez may struggle to fight for something around $200 million?
That is a fantastic question.
Ramirez’s problem is that the Indians still hold club options on him in 2022 and 2023.
That has him hitting free agency as a 30-year-old.
Lindor is only 27 years old and MLB front offices know about the impending declines with age.
Ramirez also locked himself into an extremely team-friendly deal with the Indians that hurt his future earning potential.
However, he is still getting a nice fortune of money, just not what he could have made.
So in terms of money, Ramirez can be seen as an underrated guy.
He is going to show up atop the WAR leaderboards on an annual basis, only to be way down on the annual salary charts.
The Final Verdict
It is hard to call a perennial MVP finalist an underrated player.
Best OPS in MLB over last 116 games played:
1.057 Yordan Alvarez
1.056 Mike Trout
1.049 Juan Soto
.981 Jose Ramirez
.980 Nelson Cruz
.975 Alex Bregman
.954 Freddie Freeman
Those are Yordan Alvarez’s first 116 MLB games…
He is hitting .324/.407/.650 with 34 HR and 103 RBI👀
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) May 10, 2021
Yet Ramirez may miss out on a massive payday.
He will still make a fortune, but someone with his talent is right up there with Lindor.
Ramirez is definitely not underrated in the city of Cleveland.
He is the star of the show and is looked toward as the savior on offense when things are going bad.
Ramirez may only be a surprise to casual fans of the game who aren’t paying close attention.
If any opposing pitchers don’t study up, they too may be in for a shocking sight of Ramirez taking them deep more than once in a game.
Arguments are sometimes created out of thin air on social media.
Accounts can say Ramirez is underrated and there is no easy way to necessarily prove them wrong.
But in this case, we have a true star on our hands.
The only way the pitchforks should come out is if he is ignored as an MVP finalist given he keeps up his current pace.