WASHINGTON -- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is not only having a great year behind the plate, he is also off to the best start of his career with the bat, going 32-for-88 (.364) with seven doubles, three home runs, 13 RBIs, a .404 on-base percentage and a .950 OPS before Friday's 5-3 win over the Marlins. He was given the night off.
Getting Lasik eye surgery during Spring Training has worked wonders. Since he has been consistent in the batter's box, Ramos has taken notice that opposing pitchers are throwing the ball around the plate. In fact, he is showing more patience lately, walking five times in five games. Ramos is not known as a patient hitter.
"The Lasik surgery helped me a lot," Ramos said. "Since Spring Training, I recognize pitches really well -- better than last year. Last year was an off year for me. But this year, I have been working a lot in the cage with [hitting coach] Rick Schu. We have been working together. I've been doing my drills. It has helped me a lot. I'm not swinging at bad pitches."
Let's not forget the job Ramos has done behind the plate. In less than two years, Ramos has caught three no-hitters and was behind the plate during Max Scherzer's gem on Wednesday.
"He is getting better and better with his skills [behind the plate]," manager Dusty Baker said. "He is working on his blocking, working on his throwing."
Ramos said defense is his top priority. As the backstop, he loves to see zeros on the scoreboard.
"On Wednesday, I didn't get any hits, but I called a good game," Ramos said. "It made my day. I have to separate defense and offense."
Ramos needs to continue to produce, for he is a free agent after the season. He made it known he would like to stay with the Nationals beyond 2016. He called Nationals Park his second home and the organization his second family. But he is not thinking that far ahead about his future because of advice he received from Baker.
"Dusty told me before the season, 'Don't think about free agency. Just come here every day. Just come here and play hard. If you do that, after the season, the numbers will talk more,'" Ramos said.
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.