Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 Top Prospects: #11 – Harold Ramirez

The Pirates Prospects 2015 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features prospect reports on everyone in the system, the 2015 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.

To recap the countdown so far:

20. Luis Heredia, RHP
19. JaCoby Jones, SS
18. Willy Garcia, OF
17. Clay Holmes, RHP
16. Gage Hinsz, RHP
15. Trey Supak, RHP
14. Cody Dickson, LHP
13. John Holdzkom, RHP
12. Adrian Sampson, RHP

We continue the countdown with the number 11 prospect, Harold Ramirez.

11. Harold Ramirez, OF

Ramirez could return to West Virginia in 2015, due to the time missed during the 2014 season.
Ramirez could return to West Virginia in 2015, due to the time missed during the 2014 season.

Ramirez had a chance to be a breakout candidate in West Virginia in 2014, a year after he was one of the best prospects in the New York-Penn League. He hit well when he was healthy, but suffered two injuries during the season that limited his playing time. He went down early in the season with a hamstring injury, costing him about a month. He went down later with a stress reaction in his shin, which ended his season on July 1st.

The second injury came at a horrible time. Ramirez was riding a 23 game hitting streak, and had a .347/.389/.446 line during that stretch. He was praised for his strong hitting ability heading into the season, with a quick bat and a line drive stroke. He showed off his contact skills not only with the hitting streak, but also due to the fact that he had a hit in 41 of his 49 games this season.

While Ramirez was hitting a ton, he didn’t draw many walks and didn’t hit for much power. The lack of power isn’t a big concern at the moment, since he is still young, and has the potential to hit homers in the future. He won’t be a big power guy, but should hit for enough power to be a starting option. He showed improvements with the walks, and didn’t strike out much. He’s got good plate patience skills, despite what the lack of walks show.

A lot of teams weren’t sold on Ramirez when he was originally signed, but the Pirates liked him enough to give him seven figures, and their biggest bonus ever for a Latin American hitter. That move is starting to pay off, as he is looking like a guy who could be a strong all-around player, with the ability to hit for a strong average, hit for some power, provide speed on the bases, and play center field. His value to the Pirates is either as a trade chip, or a potential replacement for one of the current outfielders if his game progresses enough.

The Pirates could send Ramirez back to West Virginia in 2015, due to his missed time at the level. If he goes to Bradenton, it would probably be due to his excellent contact skills, despite the lack of time at a lower level. They can take their time with him, due to the outfield trio in Pittsburgh.

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  • Tim – seems like HR has solid all around skill set but no elite offensive tools. Given our elite depth in the OF, both at the majors and minors, could you see a scenario in which the Pirates attempt to switch Ramirez to an infield position where his offensive profile would make him a greater asset? They moved Josh Bell and JaCoby Jones from the OF to the IF. Would Ramirez be a candidate (either 2B or 3B)?

  • Ok, here is my attempt at asking an intelligent question.

    With it seeming that we are bringing him along a little slow if he goes back to Charleston this year, do we have to worry about his rule 5 status?

    • Only if they don’t put him on the 40 man roster…which they will. I don’t think he is eligible for Rule 5 until 2017 though but I’m not sure. I am too lazy to go check when they signed him.

  • Another solid write-up, Tim. In following the theme of providing feedback, it would be great if you could include the age of all of these prospects! Age, how & when acquired for each would provide a good point of reference. Obviously, we can Google the players as well, but I think it would fit well in these player profiles.

    • Not only does Tim provide date of birth and date of acquisition, he also provides the scout who signed each prospect…in the Prospect Guide, that is.

      $18 I do not regret spending, that’s for sure.

      • Ah, I see. That makes sense to save some added value in the full-scale product. Thanks for the information!

        • As my grandmother used to say, nobody will buy the cow if you give the milk away for free. 😉

  • Its funny every time i try to think of trade scenarios and I include a big prospects and then i think who is a like a fringe prospects that could help in the deal I immediately think of Harry

  • IMO, He does not have enough power for the corners yet, (1Hr in 49 games in 2014) even though the Pirates are playing him quite a bit in left and right field, he seems more suited for a centerfielder, I have not heard much about his arm except for the fact that he had 5 assists in 49 games last year before he got hurt. He did steal 12 bases and only got caught 3 times, all leads me to believe he looks like a pure centerfielder with a future as a starter in the majors. His development if he stays healthy will be most interesting.

    • This, most reports say CF profile with leadoff hitter talent set. The walk rate will have to come up as he matures, fortunately this is one area where young hitters can improve with age.

      • Yep, CF and leadoff, sounds right to me, walks don’t mean much to me with a contact hitter.

        • Well, the best hitters do both. Like Cutch.

          • Justin Morneau had this line .319.364.496.860
            and only had 34 walks.

            • Yes, and the best hitters do both, what’s your point?

              • Point is best hitters don’t always do both, Morneau is an example.

                • Who is a better hitter Morneau or Miguel Cabrera? Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth all great BB rates too.

                  • Ted Williams walked 2000 times in 19 years. There was a guy named Roberto Clemente that walked only 621 times in eighteen years and he was a pretty good player.

        • Reminds me of Marte’s profile (without the cannon arm) with a bit less power – though I couldn’t tell you without looking it up how much pop Starling showed at the lower levels.

  • Seems to me like he’s Jose Tabata part II. Corner OF with low power and average at best speed. Hopefully he has a better attitude. Could end up being a good 4th OF.

    • did he not say provides speed and can play center field?

      • I think you’ll be surprised by going back and reading Tabby’s prospect reports. Extremely similar to Ramirez through this age.

        Ron makes a good point. Players like Ramirez and Tabata are tweeners. If the power doesn’t actually develop, a drop in speed – maybe caused by injuries, like the multiple ones that Ramirez suffered in 2014 – turns these guys into marginal role players , at best, on a good team.

        • Ramirez has never married a woman 15-20 years older than him that has posed as a nurse and tried to kidnap an infant. So I don’t see the similarities.

        • they are not siamese twins
          let harold fnd his own way
          hitters snd plus defense are always of vslue
          the loss of speed could happen to any prospect

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