Continuing to work our way up through the pitchers in the Pirates' minor league organization:

Jhonathan Ramos  --  L/L,  5' 8",  156 lb 
Ramos is a 21 year old Venezuelan native, who split the 2010 season between State College and West Virginia.  After some time in extended spring training, Ramos began the season in West Virginia in June.  He made two starts and five relief appearances, and at first did well, with 5 scoreless innings over his first two games.  He gave up 6 hits in those two games, but after that, he just kept giving up hits and runs.  In 15 innings for the Power in June, Ramos allowed 14 earned runs and 28 hits, though just 2walks, and 13 strikeouts.  He earned a 0-1 record and an 8.40 ERA.  Ramos was sent to State College for July and most of August, and he did well there, with a 3-1 record and a 1.62 ERA in 16 relief appearances.  He threw 33.1 innings and allowed 22 hits and 4 walks, with 28 strikeouts.  Ramos returned to the Power at the end of the season for 2 more games.  He pitched a total of 4 scoreless innings and allowed one hit, no walks, with 5 strikeouts.  Ramos spent the winter pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League for Los Bravos de Margarita.  He made 18 relief appearances for 13.2 innings, and earned a 3-2 record and a 2.63 ERA.  He still gave up hits (13), but only 4 earned runs and 5 walks, with 9 strikeouts.  Ramos is another reliever who should be in the mix for a bullpen spot in West Virginia, but that bullpen is going to be crowded.  Ramos could return to State College for a part of the season, or possibly get a try in A+ Bradenton.


Marc Baca --  R/R,  6' 2",  220 lb
Baca was the Pirates' 42nd round pick in the 2009 draft.  He's pitched entirely in relief for the Pirates, beginning at State College in 2009, where he made 18 appearances for 18 innings, and earned a 1-3 record and a 3.00 ERA.  Baca was promoted to West Virginia for 2010, where he ran hot and cold.  He began the season with a 2-0 April, with one save and a 5.59 ERA.  He pitched 9.2 innings and allowed 6 earned runs with 13 hits, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts.  The next two months went very well, with a 1-1 record and 2 saves, and a 0.98 ERA.  He pitched 27.2 innings and allowed 3 earned runs, with 24 hits, 10 walks, and 27 strikeouts.  Baca had some tough outings in July, and allowed 16 runs on 18 hits in 8 games.  He also walked 9 batters and his strikeouts dropped to 6.  August/September were not a lot better.  He pitched 18.2 innings in 9 games, and allowed 13 runs (6.27 ERA) on 20 hits.  He walked 8 and struck out 13.  Overall, Baca earned a 5-3 record and a 5.26 ERA for the season, with 4 saves.  In 65 innings, he allowed 75 hits and 38 earned runs, with 31 walks and 51 strikeouts.  The strikeout rate (7.1 K/ 9 innings) was better than in 2009 (5.0 K/ 9 innings), but the walk rate (4.3 walks/ 9 innings) was a little worse than in 2009 (3.0 walks/ 9 innings).  Baca's fastball velocity is in the high 80's.  At age 24, he doesn't appear to be ready for A+, but he could get squeezed out by all of the other prospects who are also going to try to fit into the West Virginia bullpen.  

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