OMG: Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers’ Top 10 prospects is now up and available for your perusal. Six of the 10 are pitchers. Here’s one more for your OMG (One More Guy):
Neil Ramirez, RHP: Taken out of the Virginia high school ranks in the sandwich round of the 2007 Draft, Ramirez hasn’t made the fastest ascent up the Rangers’ ladder. Coming out of that Draft, Ramirez was the quintessential projectable prep right-hander with a strong arm, surprisingly good fastball command and less than the greatest feel for his other pitches. He played short-season ball in 2008, but didn’t hit full-season ball in 2009 until June because of an elbow issue. He threw just 66 1/3 innings that year as a result and it was clear that command (41 BB) was an issue. So he went back to Class A Hickory in 2010 and showed some improvement, striking out 142 in 140 1/3 IP while walking just 35, though he did give up 150 hits.
The Ramirez in camp now is not the Ramirez who first joined the Rangers. He went out to Surprise, Ariz., in November to start working towards the 2011 season and it’s clear that projectability is now coming to fruition. Now 21, Ramirez worked hard to add to his 6-foot-3 frame. He got to throw an inning in a big league game recently and was up to 95-98 mph in his inning of work. Ironically, Blake Beavan threw in that game as well, but for the Mariners. Beavan, Michael Main and Ramirez were the prized high school right-handers the Rangers took in the first round of the 2007 Draft. Beavan went to Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal and Main became a San Francisco Giant in the Benjie Molina trade.
So it’s just Ramirez now. He and his three-pitch mix will move to Myrtle Beach to start the year and that’s a very good place for pitchers to thrive. But he may not be there long, with a promotion to Frisco in his sights if things keep going this well.