1. OF Heliot Ramos
Current Level: High-A
Acquired: Draft (2017, 1st Round)
Future-Value Grade: 50
This probably isn’t the name you expected to see in the top spot, and that’s understandable. I explained the specifics of why I ranked Ramos, Luciano, and Bart the way I did while breaking down my top 10 list in a Q&A piece with ATF site expert Joel Reuter last week.
Ramos was considered a volatile prospect when the San Francisco Giants selected him No. 19 overall in 2017. He had plus speed, power, and arm strength, but was very raw at the plate.
In his first taste of pro ball, he crushed at the Arizona Rookie League and vaulted himself onto leaguewide top 100 lists in the process.
However, his production dipped in his first taste of full-season ball in 2018. Many lowered their expectations for Ramos after he hit .245/.313/.396 at Single-A Augusta, and all the while I felt context was being ignored.
Augusta is an extremely pitcher-friendly environment in a pitcher-friendly league, to the point that those middling numbers actually represented above-average production with Ramos posting a 104 wRC+ on the year.
The San Francisco Giants confidence seemingly never wavered and Ramos was sent to High-A to start 2019. He’s been more than up to the task, taking his game up a notch and showing some promising signs of development.
He’s nearly doubled his walk rate, slightly decreased his strikeouts, and he’s hitting for incredible power. As of a couple of weeks ago, Ramos was having unprecedented success for a teenager at High-A. He’s slumped a bit since, but his production at that level relative to his age is still elite.
For Ramos, his rare combination of power and athleticism remains his calling card. Contact was the big concern at the onset of his pro career, but even last year when he was scuffling, his strikeout rate was still a palatable 25.4 percent.
Built like a strong safety, Ramos currently mans center field defensively. If he can stay there, his hit tool won’t need to develop very much for him to have a Joc Pederson like profile. However, scouts believe as he bulks up he’ll need to move to right field, where he’ll be able to showcase his plus arm. His ceiling there fits the prime Yoenis Cespedes mold.
The key for Ramos will be maintaining his first-half success going into the dog days of summer. If he does that, he will likely earn a late-season promotion to Double-A and continue on the fast track.
So there you have it, the top 30 prospects in the San Francisco Giants farm system at midseason. As the team embarks down the rebuilding path, these young players will be the key to completing the climb back to contention.