Name: Tyler Ramirez
Height/Weight: 5’9’’, 185
How Acquired: Selected in the 7th round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
From a position-player perspective, no member of the Oakland A’s 2016 draft class had a better first full professional season than Tyler Ramirez. What can the outfielder do for an encore in 2018?
A three-year starter at North Carolina, Ramirez left college with a .301/.422/.470 line. Undersized for an outfielder, Ramirez slid past the top-five rounds, but the A’s were quick to grab Ramirez in the seventh round and sign him to an over-slot deal worth $300,000 (slot value was $223,000).
Ramirez spent most of his pro debut season with short-season Vermont. He hit only .220 with little power, but Ramirez walked 19 times in 48 games and posted a .324 OBP. He had a strong fall Instructional League and followed that up with a standout performance during spring training. That landed Ramirez on the High-A Stockton roster to open the season.
Playing alongside his college teammate Skye Bolt, Ramirez quickly established himself as one of the Ports’ top hitters when he hit .299 with a .376 OBP in April. He took that performance to another level in May, when he hit .320/.431/.466. At the All-Star break, Ramirez had a .297/.394/.411 line and that earned him a spot in the Cal League All-Star game.
Not long after the All-Star game, Ramirez was promoted to Double-A Midland. Ramirez left Stockton with a .301/.399/.434 line in 76 games. He picked up right where he left off with the Ports, batting .317 in July and .341 in August before a slump the final week of the season dropped his overall average with Midland to .308. Still, he finished his first stint in Double-A with a .308/.395/.428 line in 58 games.
Ramirez was assigned to the Arizona Fall League, but he was shutdown after a week thanks to a back injury. He will be participating in the A’s spring mini-camp and is expected to be at full strength this spring.
Ramirez doesn’t have any one standout tool, but he ticks the box as at least average in every category: He hits for average, he gets on-base, he has occasional over-the-fence power and solid gap power, he has above-average speed and he has some arm strength. That skillset likely won’t make any scouts drool, but they give Ramirez a good chance at a long major league career.
A’s Director of Player Development Keith Lieppman says Ramirez reminds him of another former A’s outfielder.
“He’s a little bit like [Jaycob] Brugman,” Lieppman said in a midseason interview. “Similar style. Occasional power, moves the ball to all fields. Has good at-bats. Good speed. Good arm.”
Ramirez has a smooth left-handed swing with a slight upper-cut. He is able to wait back on pitches, and he sees a lot of pitches. Ramirez does strike-out a lot, but he makes up for it by walking a lot. He uses the whole field well and hit nearly half of his home runs to center or left field in 2017. Ramirez is a good baserunner with the speed to reach double-digits in stolen bases, although he didn’t run that often last season.
Defensively, Ramirez is very fundamentally solid. He takes good routes and has an accurate throwing arm. Ramirez can play all three outfield positions, although he may eventually be best suited in a corner spot.
Depending on how the A’s set their big league roster, Ramirez could start his second full season in Triple-A. Even if he does have to go back to Double-A to start the year, he is a strong candidate to finish the 2018 season with Nashville. Ramirez could be competing for a back-up outfield spot with the A’s as soon as 2019.
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