Jays From the Couch continues our Toronto Blue Jays 2017 Top Prospects List with #9, OF Harold Ramirez
It’s that time of year again! We’re counting down our Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects for 2017. We’ve selected our Top 15 and will be profiling each one. You are bound to find many of these lists in your travels, which makes for great conversation. The basis for rankings varies even more than the number of lists you’ll find. Some prefer to look at how close to “big league ready” a prospect is, while others look at “stuff” or “tools”.
To construct our list, we have scoured over scouting reports, numbers and a lot more to finalize our 2017 Top Prospects list. Feel free to weigh in on each selection in the comment section! It’s part of the fun!
Check out the Blue Jays prospects that didn’t quite make our list in our Honorable Mentions as well as the rest of our Top 15
Name: Harold Ramirez
Born: September 6th, 1994
Acquired: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as International Free Agent on July 2nd, 2011. Traded to Toronto on August 1st, 2016.
Weight: 220 lbs
Since being signed as a 16-yr-old out of Cartagena, Colombia, Harold Ramirez been compared to Melky Cabrera and Jose Tabata. Ramirez doesn’t possess the long body scouts look for in high ceiling prospects. His thick frame and short legs resemble a football body type rather than a future major league outfielder.
If you look past the 21-yr-olds build you’ll find a high baseball IQ and a player that consistently puts barrel-to-ball. You’ll also find a prospect with the potential to hit over .300 and reach double-digit stolen bases.
A pair of successful seasons in 2012 and 2013 saw the Colombian outfielder make quick work of Rookie-Ball and Low-A. Despite dealing with leg injuries in 2014 Ramirez hit .309 and hit 14 doubles in just 49 games. In 2015 Ramirez continued to display a knack for hitting with .337 batting average. He improved his contract rate to go along with a 7.3 BB% and 14.0 K%. The stocky outfielder hit 13 doubles, 6 triples, 4 HR and was successful at stealing 22 out of 37 bases.
It was a strong 2015 season that saw Harold Ramirez end up on the Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list, coming in at #95. Then came 2016.
Ramirez had a great Spring Training, his first major league camp. He went 9-for-14 before heading to the World Baseball Classic qualifier as a member of the Colombian team. Everything wasn’t sunshine and rainbows, despite the strong showing. Ramirez came to camp out of shape, despite playing winter ball in the Mexican Pacific League.
Although Ramirez was never viewed as a long-term base stealing threat, 2016 was BAD. He was successful in 7-out-of-17 attempts. Was this a result of coming to camp out of shape of simply a guy that shouldn’t be asked to run anymore or quite possibly a young man that needs more tutelage?
On April 22nd, Harold Ramirez had his best game, going 3-for-5 with 2 triples, 3 runs scored and 4 runs batted in. He had 11 three-hit games and 12 multi-RBI games. However, it was his lack of power that continues to prevent him from being considered a high ceiling Top Prospect…..0.095 ISO isn’t going to cut it.
There aren’t any splits to speak of as Ramirez hit .292 vs LHP and .310 vs RHP. He split his time between batting 1st (47GP) and 3rd (39) where he found more success batting .331 vs .279 as a leadoff man. His time in the Blue Jays organization was short lived as his season ended after just one game due to a knee injury.
MLB Pipeline: Harold Ramirez is ranked as the Blue Jays #5 prospect, getting an overall score of 50 out of 60. His top grade was 55, which he received on his hit and run tool.
John Sickel: #17
The Toronto Blue Jays added Harold Ramirez to the 40-man roster this offseason. He should be fully recovered from his season-ending injury, and let’s hope, in shape when he shows up in Dunedin this spring. As Ramirez enters his age 22 season we can expect him to start establishing his power game, displaying more extra-base prowess.
I feel that Ramirez had a chance to crack the Blue Jays roster out Spring Training this year; however, that no longer appears likely with the re-signing of Jose Bautista. So now it looks like he will be joining Dalton Pompey and Darrell Ceciliani to form the Buffalo Bisons outfield this season.
ETA: September call-up, 2017
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