Pirates Prospects Daily: Yohan Ramirez Was Sneaky Good in 2022 With the Pirates

The Pirates did a lot over the offseason to add to a struggling bullpen, hoping to build some depth so they don’t have to overwork their All-Star closer. One carry over that will look to earn a bullpen spot is Yohan Ramirez, a former waiver pickup from the Seattle Mariners.

It would be easy to overlook a middle reliever that was picked up in waiver claim, especially when the Pirates make so many claims over the course of the season.

Ramirez was one of few Pirates relievers who pitched well down the stretch, with a 3.67 ERA, and holding batters to a .220 average.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that he only allowed one home run either, as his sinker actually graded out as one of the better of its kind, in all of baseball — which helped him induce ground balls 58.7% of the time. 

When looking at his sinker, the pitch was very similar to Mitch Keller’s, and in fact, on Baseball Savant, Ramirez’s graded out better in almost every category.

Making solid contact was a task against Ramirez, as hitters posted a .267 wOBA and 84.2 average exit velocity against his sinker. He didn’t generate a lot of swing and miss with the pitch (just a 10.8 K%), he used his slider to finish hitters off (37 K%).

Overall, hitters managed just a 3.8% barrel rate against, and averaged just a 4.7° launch angle. In his brief time with the Pirates, no other reliever posted a higher Win Probability Added (WPA) – 0.85 – than Ramirez.

The Pirates added a few options to the bullpen mix this season, along with getting some arms back healthy. It still may not be a true strength of the team, but at the very least it should be deeper than it was a year ago.

If that’s the case, it will help keep players in roles that better suit them. When it comes to Ramirez, his ability to induce soft contact on the ground should easily be able to find a spot in the bullpen, despite being a player that is often overlooked.

Highlight of the Day

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

**In our latest Roundtable, I asked for everyone’s thoughts on the Pirates’ veteran additions.

**Four Pirates ranked among the MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospects.

**Miguel Andujar cleared waivers and received a non-roster invite to Spring Training.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony wrote about Malcom Nunez and the first base depth.

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

In our latest Roundtable, I asked for everyone’s thoughts on the Pirates’ veteran additions.

Pirates Roundtable: What Do You Think of the Pirates’ Veteran Additions?

We’ll have a new version of Pirates Discussion on Friday at noon.

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Way off topic, but I am hearing that one of the owners of the RSNs is in serious financial trouble. It isn’t the one associated with the Pirates, so there isn’t an issue for them. Still, the day of reckoning is coming, and one possible scenario is MLB taking back all regional rights and selling them as a package. If revenue is split equally that would really help the Pirates. It’s hard to imagine the mega market teams not screaming in protest (particularly those with their own network) but some change is coming.


Good post. The Orioles and Nats have been in litigation over their RSN for a decade and it’s still going on. It’s said that it’s hindering the O’s and Nats possible sale prospects.

Last edited 1 month ago by 1979andCounting
Wilbur Miller

Painfully obvious, but good to see just the same:

Derek Shelton on Andrew McCutchen: “I know we don’t like to talk lineups, but I will tell you opening day here, he’s gonna be in there.”

Should bat leadoff. I don’t see how that’s even a point to discuss.

b mcferren

I am hoping he said this because Cutch told him to say this and also I hope Cutch is now the boss of Shelton


Off topic but I just saw ESPN ranked the pirates as the 17th best offense going into the season. That’s a huge jump considering they were the worst last year. They also should have some bats coming during the season.


Hopefully both that and the staff will take a nice step forward this year with even more upside to come


I have to admit, i was watching only highlights during the Yohan days so I don’t know much about him. The video is impressive, the sinker looks explosive & nasty. I’m now a Yohan fan. Yinz need to yank it for yohan


If Selby has those three good pitches, why isn’t he being groomed as a SP?

As for Ramirez, as I have often said, I don’t get excited about Sept stats.


Ramirez has really good stuff

Selby played at a small school and then ran into speed bumps with TJS and COVID

I assume he was restricted on innings last year


I’ve jumped in to rescue Ramirez every time someone mentions him as a waive casualty. Is not the stats, is the stuff, the sinker slider combo he has is really good, command has held him back in my opinion, but I’m hoping he finds it….doesn’t have options and I really don’t see a spot for him in the 26 unless he just deals like I hope he can during ST.

Wilbur Miller

I’m not sold at all. Statcast likes the sinker. It does not like his slider or four seamer. Tough to make it on one pitch, especially when that pitch doesn’t miss bats and you don’t throw strikes, which Ramirez has never done.

His xFIP with the Pirates was 4.16. With everybody else (yeah, that still counts), it was well over 6.00. Steamer projects a 2023 ERA of 4.42 and xFIP of 4.54. It’s time to set the bar higher than this.


Statcast doesn’t like his slider? What does that mean?

Wilbur Miller

Uh, +6 (for the hitter) run value. Sound good to you?


The stats stuff is so confusing

Did he throw the slider in other years?

If so, what does Statcast think about the 2021 and 2020 slider?


FanGraphs loves his stuff but hates his control.


You and your facts, facts are not real!!!

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