Rays Top 50 Prospects includes a tremendous number of high-quality prospects. We at RCG are bringing you an in-depth look at those we consider to be the Top 50.
While gathering as much information as possible from various sources, we’re going to put it all together for your enjoyment and raise the bar on what you expect from a prospect knowledgable site. Stay tuned, check-in often, and please let us know how we’re doing.
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Being such a lengthy process, some encouragement will go a very long way. We hope you’ll enjoy reading this series as much as we enjoy putting it together. If anything, all of us will know that much more about the quality of the Rays system.
The rankings will be based on all aspects of each prospect, but will focus first on how likely the player is to make an impact in MLB, and ceiling next. Mikie Mahtook and Enny Romero have been graduated to the majors and will not be included in these rankings.
Once completed, the Top 50 will be updated mid-season with an explanation to why they’re moving up or down, and the entire process will be repeated each season.
The next player to be examined in detail is …
#45: Roel Octavio Ramirez, RHP, 20 years old
- Throws: Right Ht/Wt: 6’1″ 205 lbs
- Drafted: in the 8th round of the 2013 MLB draft
- Signed: for $127,500
- 2015 Affiliate: Hudson Valley, LoA
- Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2019+
Ramirez’ Fielding Stats
Ramirez’ 2015 Splits
- Follow him on Twitter: @TheRoelRamirez
- Made the 2012 and 2013 All-District Baseball Teams
- Had committed to San Jacinto (Texas) before the draft (College Roger Clemens attended)
- Ranked at the 301st overall draft prospect by BA
- He’s also a decent hitter, managing a .371 average while playing 1B as a Senior and played 3B as a Junior when he hit .390 and led his team in hits
- Was projected to be drafted in the 9th-10th round range
- Made the 2015 Mid-Season All Star team in the NYP League
- Was the NYP pitcher of the week for the week of the 10th of August, 2015
- Has only allowed 5 HR through more than 150 IP
On being drafted by the Rays, Ramirez had this to say:
"“I was really excited. It’s a great opportunity for me to go and pursue the dream I’ve had since I was small. I just have to go out and work hard to make sure I make it all the way to the top.” “I’m going to go for the Rays now and play over there in Florida,” he said. “They called me a few picks before they got me. They called me afterwards and said they’re going to call later to tell me when they’re going to come so I can sign.”"
Best Tools & Abilities
- Above-Average Change Up
- Locates his Fastball well (works at 88-92 MPH)
- Improving command of his Curve and Slider
Pronounced his love of baseball on Twitter:
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Ramirez has an ability to use his change up in such a way that it makes his well-located fastball more effective than it otherwise would be. His Slider and Curve are still works-in-progress, but if either ever becomes above-average it could help propel Ramirez to a new level. As it stands, the lack of movement on his fastball and mediocre velocity allow for some hesitation on how well his stuff will translate at higher levels.
One item that most scouts will agree helps pitchers compete at the higher levels is their ability to change speeds and keep batters off balance as a result. In that area, Ramirez has the perfect kind of stuff to make it to The Show. Some have called his change up devastating, and once you have that working for you, hitters can’t sit on your fastball. The fact that Ramirez also shows an ability to locate the FB well allows for him to put it in areas that won’t cost him if a hitter does time it effectively.
In the same way as Mark Buehrle and Shaun Marcum have shown, having a change up and mediocre speed fastball can still make you an effective pitcher in MLB. What you do need, however, is for the rest of your pitches to be at least average and to have the mentality to be willing to throw the change up and fastball in any count.
It’s likely that Ramirez begins the year in Hudson Valley again with a possible promotion to HiA if things start off well. Although we mentioned Buehrle and Marcum, Ramirez may more closely resemble Jeremy Hellickson. While his career has had bumps along the way, a comparison to Hellickson bodes well for the chances Ramirez makes it to The Show.
With his body type, there’s not much projection remaining for Ramirez and he’ll have to work with the velocity he currently has – or a little more as he grows stronger. With that in mind, his focus will be on improving his secondary stuff enough to make him as strong a starter as possible. The key to his success in AA and above will be the improvement of those secondary pitches.
Of the players in our 41-50 range, Ramirez could make the biggest leap forward by mid-season. His low walk rate, ability to avoid getting hurt by HR, and most of all his devastating change up all point to a great potential. He also has the makeup, love of the game, and work ethic to put into his craft the work required to get the most out of his arm.
With a strong 2016, Ramirez could put himself on the map as a top 30 Rays prospect. However, that’s no easy feat and as he faces more capable hitters, his lower velocity will continue to be exposed. How he is able to overcome that aspect of his game will determine what his ceiling becomes. Until we know how that develops, we’re forced to rank others ahead of him. We hope he proves us wrong and wish him well in 2016