The remaining camp battles gained a little clarity on Friday as the SF Giants announced their second wave of roster cuts this spring. Included on that list was former top outfield prospect Heliot Ramos, who was optioned to Triple-A.
SF Giants option former top outfield prospect in second wave of cuts
Ramos was the only player on the 40-man roster impacted by the cuts. However, the Giants reassigned several non-roster invitees as well according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area:
There were not any surprises from the list among the non-roster invitees. Middle infield prospect Tyler Fitzgerald is the most notable player to be reassigned. The 25-year-old was a fourth round pick by the Giants in 2019 out of the University of Louisville.
He put together a quality season in Double-A last year, slashing .229/.310/.424 with 21 home runs, 58 RBI, and 74 runs in 519 plate appearances. He also swiped 20 bases in 21 opportunities, so not only was he aggressive on the bases but he was extremely efficient as well.
The Ramos demotion is a tough break for the former top pick. He recorded just three hits in 16 at-bats for San Francisco in the Cactus League. Only three other players received more at-bats than Ramos, so the Giants gave him a relatively long look.
Ramos' development has stalled in recent seasons as he has struggled badly against Triple-A pitching. In three years in the Pacific Coast League, the right-handed bat has recorded a .242/.311/366 line with a 25.1 percent strikeout rate against a 7.9 percent walk rate.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler confirmed that Ramos needs to perform in the minors before he receives another opportunity. In fairness to the outfield prospect, he was drafted at a very young age and he has typically had to face older competition. That might explain some of Ramos' struggles in the upper minors, but it does not fully capture the fact that he just has not produced in a large sample in Triple-A.
Interestingly, the Giants kept another young outfielder, Luis Matos, in camp. He is much further away than Ramos as he has never appeared above High-A. Optioning Ramos brings the total number of players on the 40-man roster in camp to 38.
Reliever Randy Rodriguez was sent down in the first round of cuts. Camp battles are beginning to crystallize as many of the non-roster players have been reassigned. However, several non-roster players like Stephen Piscotty and Roberto Pérez remain in camp.