The San Francisco Giants did the unthinkable this year and drafted an outfielder in the first round. Heliot Ramos has turned heads in the Arizona Fall League since being taken 19th overall in June’s draft, despite being thought of as a gamble on the draft boards.
Heliot Ramos may not have an impact for the San Francisco Giants in the near future, but he certainly gives fans a reason to feel excited about the future.
The Giants drafted Ramos 19th overall out of Leadership Christian High School in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He is listed at 6’2″ and 185 lb, and he bats and throws from the right side.
The initial reaction to Ramos being selected by the Giants at 19 was surprising across the boards. Most scouts had Ramos going towards the end of the first round. However, Giants scouting director John Barr, spoke glowingly about the young outfielder to Andrew Baggarly of Bay Area News Group, saying he had all the tools you look for in a prospect.
"Giants scouting director John Barr said Ramos kept getting better every time one of their scouts saw him, and all his tools – power, speed, arm strength, defensive ability and contact skills – grade as above average.“We think he’s a five-tool player, as one of the youngest players in the draft, and someone we think can stay in center field,” Barr said."
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Ramos and the Giants reached a contract agreement soon after being drafted, with a signing bonus of $3,101,700 per Baseball America. After signing, he reported to the Giants Arizona Fall League team, where he has been turning heads ever since.
In 33 Arizona Fall League games and counting, the 17 year old outfielder has been nothing short of impressive from the very beginning. He started off his professional career going 7-10 with 4 doubles, 1 triple, and 1 home run in his first two games.
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Of course he has not sustained that .700 batting average, but his scorching start has been no fluke. Overall, he has a line of .338/.385/.624, which is among the tops of the Arizona Fall League.
Not only has Ramos hit for average, he has also hit for power, as Barr alluded to earlier. So far, he’s belted 6 home runs with three of those coming in a recent five game span from 8/10-8/16.
I am unsure if I am more excited about those power numbers, or the fact that Ramos has also shown a consistent gap to gap presence by hitting 10 doubles and 5 triples in addition to the home runs.
To put everything into perspective, of his 45 hits, 21 are extra base hits. Keep in mind that he is also one of the youngest players in the Arizona Fall League at 17. In fact, Ramos does not turn 18 until September.
Yes, Ramos has shown all the tools that scouts have mentioned so far into his young career. He has hit for average, power, has played well defensively, has shown he has an above average arm, and has shown he is speedy with 9 stolen bases thus far.
However, his one drawback has been the rate at which he strikes out. In 133 at-bats, Ramos has struck out 46 times, which equates to 32.2%. Pair that with only accumulating 8 walks and it shows that he has somewhat of an over-aggressive approach at the plate.
This approach has worked out in Ramos’ favor so far, but it is something that needs to be worked on in order to have continued success at the higher levels. Nevertheless, his swing is still nice, as shown in the video below.
Ramos is an intriguing prospect with tons of raw talent and plenty of time to correct his flaws. What he is doing at this age should give Giants fans plenty of excitement in the future. If he can build off the success he’s had so far in his career, fans can expect a 20/20 player who can hit for average, defend, and has speed. Virtually everything an organization would want in a player.
He already ranks as the organization’s fourth-ranked prospect overall and the second outfield prospect behind Bryan Reynolds. If Ramos and Reynolds can stay true to their potential, then the team’s current outfield woes the team will be a thing of the past. From starting his career 7-10 at the plate, to 3 home runs in 5 games, and a 16 game hitting streak in between, the future certainly looks bright for Heliot Ramos and the San Francisco Giants.