San Francisco Giants: Top prospect Heliot Ramos promoted to Double-A
By Marc Delucchi
An industry source has informed Around the Foghorn that San Francisco Giants top prospect Heliot Ramos has been promoted to Double-A.
The San Francisco Giants have a farm system on the rise and outfielder Heliot Ramos is one of the crown jewels of that system.
Despite dealing with a knee injury early in the season, he’s put together a breakout 2019 campaign, rebounding nicely from a somewhat disappointing 2018 season.
His strong play at High-A was rewarded on Thursday with a promotion to Double-A:
The San Francisco Giants selected Ramos with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 draft, and he immediately turned heads with a .348/.404/.645 line that included 23 extra-base hits in 35 games in rookie ball.
He made the jump to Single-A last year and the results left something to be desired. He ended up hitting .245/.313/.396 with 11 home runs and a 25.4 percent strikeout rate in 535 plate appearances.
This season, he’s taken a significant step forward in his development and asserted himself as one of the best teenage performers at High-A in recent history. Still a month away from turning 20 years old, Ramos has blasted a career-high 13 home runs while posting an extremely impressive .306/.385/.500 line.
Not only does he have impressive counting numbers, but he’s also lowered his strikeout rate to a career-low 25.1 percent while raising his walk rate to a career-high 9.5 percent.
He is now ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball by almost every major publication, and he was the No. 1 prospect in the San Francisco Giants farm system in Around the Foghorn’s midseason top 30 prospect rankings.
Earlier this week, fans and organization officials alike held their breath when Ramos was hit in the hand by a pitch. Luckily, X-rays were negative and he was back in the lineup on Wednesday night for San Jose.
It now appears that will be the last game Ramos plays with San Jose, following his promotion to join the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels.
It has long been rumored that Giants brass hoped to promote catcher Joey Bart and Ramos together to Double-A at some point this season. That will indeed be the case, with Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle confirming the Ramos call-up and adding two others to the list of players headed to Richmond:
Bart has a .793 OPS with 10 doubles and 12 home runs in 57 games, as he also missed significant time to injury earlier this year. Hjelle, the team’s second-round pick in 2018, has a 2.74 ERA with 118 strikeouts in 118.1 innings over 23 starts between Single-A and High-A.
These are well-earned promotions for some of the San Francisco Giants most exciting young prospects. Heliot Ramos will now face his biggest challenge as a professional, and a strong showing in a pitcher-friendly league could make him a top 20 prospect in baseball by season’s end.