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Heliot Ramos: Up and Coming Royals Player

With the 19th overall pick in the 2017 draft, the San Francisco Giants were selected Heliot Ramos from Puerto Rico.

Ramos, whose brother Henry played for the Diamondbacks in 2021 and the Reds last season, had the best power/speed combination in his draft class. He signed for just over $3,000,000 and was a Top 100 prospect in 2018, ranked as the 79th best prospect by Baseball America, 63rd by MLB Pipeline, and 61st by Baseball Prospectus.

He remained in the top 100 through 2022, ranking as high as 32nd in BP, and was selected to appear in three Futures games. However, the road to success in the majors has not been a straight line for Ramos as he has spent parts of the past eight years in the minors, including his start this season at Triple-A Sacramento.

Since joining the Giants on May 8 when Jorge Soler was injured along with a host of other players, it’s been impossible to get Ramos out of the lineup as he finally showed why the Giants drafted him in the first round back in ’17. .

It’s been a slow march, but let’s take a look at why I consider him an emerging dynasty player.

Statistics (as of June 21)

2022 20 4 0 0 0 .100 .182 .100
2023 56 5 1 2 0 .179 .233 .304
2024 150 17 10 35 1 .307 .382 .553
7 days ago 32 4 4 11 0 .313 .371 .750
14 days ago 58 5 5 16 0 .310 .339 .621
Last 28 days 96 10 8 26 0 .313 .402 .604

Heliot Ramos has never posted big league numbers. Before this season, the most homers hit on the farm was 16 back in 2019 and the most RBIs he ever had was 56 in 2021. And that speed? However, it never really happened. The most steals he had in a season was 15, and he had 21. Overall, his minor league numbers are a .267/.341/.449 slash line with 80 homers, 307 RBI, and 58 steals in 582 games.

Of course, one of the reasons why Ramos doesn’t include strange numbers for children is that he is usually one of the youngest players at his level. The Giants pushed him, and while the results weren’t always good, it allowed Ramos to compete against players five to seven years older than him.

Two Previous Cups of Coffee

Heliot Ramos has seen time twice with the Giants before 2024. In 2022 he appeared in nine games but went 2-for-20 at the plate with a .100/.182/.100 slash line. In 2023, he appeared in 25 games. However, in 56 at-bats he only managed a .179/.233/.304 slash line with one home run and two RBIs.

Adding insult to injury was a strikeout rate of 27.3% and 33.3% during those two cups of coffee and a walk rate of 9.1% and 6.7%. Ramos’ EV average of 87.3 mph last year was below the MLB average while his own had a groundball rate of 47.2%, nearly five points above the MLB average.

Needless to say, those weren’t the numbers expected of a first-round draft pick.

New Year, New Person

Ramos was at a crossroads entering this season. The Giants brought in Soler and Jung Hoo Lee in the offseason and then had Michael Conforto and Austin Slater on the roster along with Mike Yastremski. Ramos couldn’t break camp with the Giants but he didn’t let that affect him.

In Sacramento, Ramos hit .296/.388/.565 with eight homers and 21 RBIs in 30 games. And the hitting continued with the Giants as he slashed .307/.382/.553 with 10 homers and 35 RBI in his first 39 games. In a season between the minors and majors, in 265 at-bats he has 18 homers and 56 RBIs.

So, What Changed?

Heliot Ramos looks like a different player this season compared to his last two stints with the Giants. And the improvement he is showing is not just in one area but across the board as he has been consistently hitting the ball in the barrel.

His 16.7 Barrel% rate ranks in the 95th percentile and ranks 11th among professional hitters. His Average EV of 92.4 mph ranks in the 92nd percentile and 23rd overall. Meanwhile, his Hard-Hit% ranks in the 98th percentile and 6th overall.

Lifting the Ball…

In addition to hitting the ball more consistently, Ramos also raises the ball. Last season his fly ball rate was 19.4%. This season it increased to 25.5%. More hit balls + higher fly ball rate = higher slugging percentage.

In addition to the 10 homers he has seven doubles, leading to a .936 OPS and a 171 OPS+.

…And It Hits On All Fields

All the previous numbers mentioned are good. But what is most impressive is that Ramos doesn’t just try to pull the ball to tap into his raw power. As you can see above, Ramos sprays the ball all over the field. Two of his homers went to the opposite field and five to the ground and only three to his side of the draw.

Of his batted balls, only 17.6% went to left field and 54.9% went up the middle and 27.5% went to the other field.

The future

It looks like the future belongs to Heliot Ramos and he is holding on to it. Will he continue to row .553? Probably not. But there’s no reason to believe he’ll make a sudden comeback after being embarrassed in his first two games with the Giants.

Ramos has always had raw power – it just took him a while to tap into it and adjust his stroke to take advantage. Finding power in San Francisco is never easy, but over the next few years I see him producing 20 to 25 homers per year with an above-average slash line.

The speed that was expected of him will not be seen. He grew to his 5-foot-11, and the added weight and strength slowed him down a bit. He still has decent speed, but I don’t expect him to be a killer.

Besides, now is the time to jump on Ramos if you can. Last week he was added to 17.8% of ESPN leagues, increasing his registered percentage to 43.1%. In Yahoo leagues he is included in 78% of leagues, up 9% from last week.

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