Why the SF Giants should be motivated to see what a former top outfield prospect can do

2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training
2024 San Francisco Giants Spring Training / Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/GettyImages

The clock is ticking for the SF Giants to see what they have in Heliot Ramos. The former top outfield prospect has spent the entire month in the minors, meaning that he has exhausted his final minor league option year.

Why the SF Giants should be motivated to see what a former top outfield prospect can do

Option years become exhausted when a player spends at least 20 days in the minors. That is now the case for Ramos. It bears mentioning that he can still be optioned throughout this season. In fact, the Giants can option him five times in 2024 before they would need to place him on waivers.

The Giants are entering a similar phase with Ramos that they recently went through with Joey Bart. Bart entered spring training without any minor league options remaining.

They kept him on the Opening Day roster despite the lack of a clear role. The Giants hoped to sneak him through waivers. That did not come to fruition as he was shipped to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a pitching prospect instead. For what it is worth, Bart is off to a nice start with his new club. If Ramos remains with the club through next offseason, he will be in a similar position.

The 23-year-old outfielder has been on the Giants' 40-man roster for two seasons now but has not received an extended look yet. In that time, he has looked mostly overmatched at the plate, struggling to the tune of a .470 OPS with one home run in 82 plate appearances.

Things did not start to click for him in Triple-A until midway through last season. He has carried that momentum in 2024, slashing .309/.394/.606 (140 wRC+) with seven home runs, 19 RBI, and 19 runs in 109 plate appearances so far this year. This includes an 11.0 percent walk rate, 27.5 percent strikeout rate, and a .298 ISO.

The right-handed bat has below-average contact skills and does not get the ball in the air enough to allow his hard contact to translate to strong power numbers, but there has been some improvement in that latter regard.

His performance warrants another look in the majors and the Giants are running out of opportunities to do so. The Giants would like him to continue getting reps against Triple-A pitching, but he is approaching the point where he just does not have anything left to prove in the Pacific Coast League.

The Giants do not have an obvious need for an outfielder on the active roster. That remains the biggest roadblock for Ramos. They remain committed to Michael Conforto, Jung Hoo Lee, and Mike Yastrzemski as the starters. That said, Austin Slater's struggles could create an opportunity for someone like Ramos.

More than likely, it will take an injury for the young outfielder to get another look. It would behoove the Giants to see what he can do with an extended look before they get to the offseason.