SF Giants demote top outfield prospect for 3rd time in 2022

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Plenty of SF Giants fans were hoping for 2022 to be the season in which top outfield prospect Heliot Ramos received an extended look at Oracle Park. However, they will have to wait a little longer as he was optioned for the third time in 2022.

SF Giants demote top outfield prospect for 3rd time in 2022

San Francisco recalled the 22-year-old outfielder over the weekend and it felt like it was going to be a short stay, The Los Angeles Dodgers had Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urías slated to pitch on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, so adding Ramos to the roster gave the Giants another right-handed bat.

Ramos recorded four hitless at-bats against the Dodgers, but it bears repeating that he faced off against some tough pitchers. This was not exactly a position for the young outfielder to succeed.

This has been a tough season so far for Ramos. He is slashing just .212/.300/.332 (62 wRC+) with six home runs, 18 RBI, and 29 runs in 207 plate appearances for the Sacramento River Cats. This includes a solid 9.2 percent walk rate against a 25.6 percent strikeout rate, so it has not been all bad news.

Plus, he has been better lately. The right-handed bat has registered a .730 OPS with two homers in nine games in June against Triple-A pitching. The hope is that he is beginning to turn the corner.

Mauricio Llovera was recalled to take Ramos' place on the 26-man roster. The Giants wasted no time in getting the righty into game action as he completed a scoreless frame on Monday night against the Kansas City Royals.

The 26-year-old hurler agreed to a minor-league pact with the Giants this past winter. And, he quickly made an impression as he was added to the 40-man roster just a few weeks into the season.

With the River Cats, Llovera has tallied 11 scoreless outings with 22 strikeouts against only three walks. That is an impressive stat line given how hitter-friendly the Pacific Coast League (PCL) is.

Before Monday's game, the right-handed hurler has yielded five earned runs on nine strikeouts against two walks across 7.2 frames. Despite a 5.87 ERA in a very small sample, the Giants like his ability to attack the strike zone.

The bullpen has been used pretty heavily recently including a bullpen game against the Dodgers on Saturday, so Llovera should provide a little relief. Ramos has been optioned three times in 2022, but only two of them have come after May 2, which is when the five-option limit took effect. It may seem minor now, but it is something to monitor later in the season.