Harold Ramirez was part of the haul that brought Francisco Liriano to Toronto in August. He was an above average hitter (112 wRC+) in the Eastern League for Double-A Altoona while smashing 29 extra-base hits, including 17 doubles and seven triples. From 2012 to 2015, he stole 66 bases in 100 attempts. However, in his first Double-A season, Ramirez was only successful on seven of 17 attempts, evidence that he is not going to be much of a threat in that department going forward. His bat-to-ball skills are excellent, but the power has not come and plus speed is a thing of the past, so there is not much left to get excited about. He could offer a high batting average with minimal counting stats in the coming years if the Blue Jays ever run out of superior options, but he is starting to look like a fourth outfielder long term.
Ramirez was optioned to minor league camp Friday, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet.ca reports. A knee injury put Ramirez on the shelf last year just one game into his tenure in the Blue Jays' organization -- he came over from Pittsburgh in the Francisco Liriano deal. Ramirez hit .306/.354/.401 with two homers and seven steals (17 attempts) in 98 games with Double-A Altoona before the trade. The 22-year-old figures to return to Double-A to begin the 2017 season.
Ramirez went 0-for-2 in his spring debut Saturday versus the Phillies. Ramirez, a career .306/.364/.411 hitter over five minor league seasons, came over from the Pirates at last year's trade deadline in the same transaction that brought Francisco Liriano north. The Jays haven't had much of a look at Ramirez, whose bat they loved while he was in the Pirates' system. He only played one game with Triple-A New Hampshire before suffering a knee injury that knocked him out for the rest of the season and, after aggravating it early in camp this year, kept him on the shelf until Saturday. The 22-year-old Colombian is an intriguing (and under-the-radar) prospect that dynasty owners should pay attention to throughout the remaining Grapefruit League schedule.
Ramirez, the Jays' No. 14 prospect, is still a year or two away from making his MLB debut, the Jays Journal reports. Ramirez's breakthrough season came in 2015 at High-A Bradenton (Pirates affiliate), where he posted a .337 batting average and .857 OPS over 80 games. For a 22-year-old prospect, Ramirez is still relatively raw with just under 1,500 plate appearances in the minors. Injuries have followed the outfielder throughout his young career, but a season played at full health could see him creep past double-digit home runs for the first time. Ramirez is a strong option in dynasty formats, and there's still an outside chance he makes his MLB debut in 2017 if the team's outfield is stricken by injuries.
Ramirez, who was acquired from the Pirates on Aug. 1, hit .311/.360/.407 with 50 RBI and 60 runs over 99 games in the Double-A Eastern League. Ramirez was part of the deal that included pitcher Francisco Liriano in late-summer. The Jays' No. 9 prospect played in only one game for the organization before injuring his knee and finishing the year on the DL. Ramirez's .311 average and seven triples were both fifth-best in the Eastern League this season. Although the 22-year-old has speed, Ramirez will need to improve his base-running skills, as he was just 7-for-17 in stolen base attempts. Overall, the Columbian native has the tools to one day become a big league outfielder, and he's expected to be in the mix when spring training rolls around next year.
Ramirez has been traded to the Blue Jays as part of the deal that sent Francisco Liriano to Toronto, Buster Olney of ESPN reports. The 21-year-old was having a nice season at Double-A for the Pirates, hitting .306/.354/.401 in 379 at-bats. Ramirez will report to Double-A New Hampshire where he should finish up the season. The Pirates received Drew Hutchison in this deal.