SF Giants prospect wins notable spring training honor
By Marc Delucchi
The star prospect of spring training has easily been SF Giants outfield prospect Heliot Ramos. In his first official preseason with the big-league club, the 2017 first-round pick is hitting .417/.432/.750 with three doubles and three home runs. On Sunday, the organization announced that he won the 2021 Barney Nugent Award. The award goes to the most exceptional Giants player in their first MLB camp.
It has been far from a perfect spring for the 21-year-old, but the only noticeable struggles have come on the defensive side of the ball. A pair of flyballs have gone in and out of Ramos’ glove in center, but he’s shown solid range and a plus arm. Nonetheless, his first big-league camp has been an undeniable success. In fact, his prowess suggests he could soon make his MLB debut.
SF Giants outfielder Heliot Ramos won the 2021 Barney Nugent Award.
Ramos is currently the fourth-best prospect in the Giants’ farm system. After an underwhelming full-season debut in 2018, Ramos broke out at High-A San Jose in 2019 and had one of the best performances in California League history. Ramos was promoted alongside fellow prospects Joey Bart and Sean Hjelle to Double-A Richmond. While Bart exploded in the Eastern League, Ramos’ performance failed to keep pace.
His final .242/.321/.421 line with the Flying Squirrels was nothing to scoff at given his youth. His strikeout rate jumped to a concerning 31.1%, but his walk-rate maintained improvements he’d shown at High-A. FanGraphs wRC+, which adjusts for the hitting environment, rated his production to be 19 percent better than a league-average player.
SF Giants prospect Heliot Ramos may just be 21, but he has been one of the most impressive players this spring training. Soon heading to minor-league spring training, Ramos will get the opportunity to continue showing off his potential against strong competition. It could be just a matter of time before he is starring in the outfield at Oracle Park.