Ramirez is starting to pick up his play after a slow start, hitting safely in seven of the last eight games while notching seven RBI for Double-A New Hampshire. The outfielder tore up Double-A pitching in the Pirates organization last year, slashing .306/.354/.401 over 98 games. However, Ramirez hasn't exactly provided the expected return on investment that the Jays hoped for when trading for him in August. The 22-year-old's .216/.264/.363 line over 102 at-bats in New Hampshire suggests Ramirez has quite a few hurdles to jump before he's ready for MLB.
Ramirez is off to a slow start at Double-A New Hampshire, hitting just .103 (3-for-29) through his first eight games. The Jays' No. 4 outfield prospect impressed at Double-A for the Pirates organization last season before coming over to the Jays. One game into his time with the Fisher Cats, Ramirez suffered a knee injury that ended his year. The 22-year-old is expected to be MLB ready in the not too distant future, but Ramirez will certainly need to do well in 2017 if he plans to stay on track. His 34 percent strikeout rate (and three percent walk rate) offers an obvious indicator of what the Colombian native lacks -- plate discipline.
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.
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