Blue Jays Minor League Spotlight takes look at the up and down 2017 season of New Hampshire Fisher Cats Harold Ramirez
I have felt like a broken record this season. It seemed that week after week I would praise or focus on the struggles of the same cast of Blue Jays minor leaguers. It seems that I’ve forgotten all the guys in between.
Well, no more.
Today we are going to look at a player which I had high hopes for this season. I went so far as to suggest he could push for a roster spot in Toronto if he had a good spring.
DOB- September 6, 1994 (22)
Stature- 5-foot-10 220lbs
Harold Ramirez was part of the Drew Hutchison for Francisco Liriano trade. He immediately was considered one of the Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects; unfortunately, he lasted just a single game (1-for-4) as a member of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats before being lost for the season to injury.
After the 2016 season, Baseball America ranked Ramirez as the Blue Jays 14th prospect. BA noted that Ramirez’ skills, offensively and defensively, regressed in 2016. BA provided the following scouting report:
Ramirez always has shown hitting ability and has the bat speed and barrel ability to hit good fastballs. His raw power doesn’t translate to games, in part because he isn’t selective and because he often gets fooled by breaking balls. He is an above-average runner whose instincts haven’t parlayed his speed into stolen bases or the ability to stay in center field. He has a fringe-average arm and fits better in left field if he can’t stick in center.
The knock on Harold Ramirez is a lack of conditioning. This was an issue in Spring Training while still a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. It may have been the reason the Pirates decided to include him in the deal…purely speculation on my part.
After showing nothing this spring, I expected Ramirez would be one of the system’s early season surprises. I wasn’t wrong. Instead of coming out of the gate putting up the numbers his counterpart Anthony Alford was putting up, Ramirez struggled.
In 15 games, Harold Ramirez batted just .182 in April. He managed to hit 3 doubles, a triple and a home run but only walked twice while striking out 11 times. He was driving the ball but giving up too many at-bats.
In May, we started to see a different Ramirez. In 24 games, he batted a cool .262. It wasn’t enough to erase a poor start but it was enough to raise his batting average from .182 all the up to .230. Ramirez was cutting carbs and stopped putting up donuts every night. At one point he quietly reached base in 14 straight games, collecting just 2 multi-hit games in the process.
Harold Ramirez started June off 0-for-4, dropping his batting average to .224. In 12 games, he is batting over .300 and got his batting average up to .251 for a game. After putting up a donut in the 2nd game of a doubleheader on June 15th, Ramirez is batting .247.
In 49 games, Ramirez is walking 5.6% and striking out 15.9% which are very similar to his career numbers. In 98 games with the Pirates Double-A affiliate, Ramirez walked 5.1% and struck out 15.9%. He owns a .297 on-base.
The most home runs Ramirez has hit in a season is 5 which he did in 2013 while playing in Lo-A. In 49 games he has already knocked 3 balls over the outfield wall. He is posting a pedestrian .108 ISO and his BABIP has climbed to .283. Ramirez isn’t scaring anyone with his .358 slugging percentage.
LHP have held Ramirez to a .204 batting average in 49 at-bats. He has fared better against RHP batting .269 in 130 at-bats.
Home is where the heart is for Ramirez. He has batted .276 with 6 doubles and 2 HR while batting .221 with 2 doubles, a triple, and a HR on the road.
Baseball seasons are long. A slow start can follow you around all year. Harold Ramirez is doing his best to erase his poor start and get himself into a position to see some Major League at-bats this season.
Since May 7th, he has posted a .288 batting average and a .333 BABIP. He has 5 doubles and 2 HR while driving in 17 RBI. While his OBP (.325) and SLG (.387) (OPS-. 712) still leave much to be desired, they are trending in the right direction.
If Ramirez can remain on the field, he is well on his way to posting career numbers across the board. Unfortunately, as of right now he just looks like a good Double-A player and not a Top 10 Prospect. He could be on the move once again during this season’s trade deadline.
*Featured Image Mandatory Credit: Manchester City Library UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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