Winter Leagues: Harold Ramirez Moves to Colombian League

In Colombia, Harold Ramirez has played three games this winter after being released a couple weeks ago by his team in Mexico. So far, he is 3-for-12, with a double, walk, RBI and two runs scored. In Mexico, he hit .245/.268/.321 in 15 games, which looks worse when you realize Mexico is a high offense league. Ramirez has played the last two winters in Colombia.

No other Pirates have played yet in Colombia, though Tito Polo and Luis Escobar are both on rosters. If you missed it the other day, Oderman Rocha is in the league and picked up a win, but he was just released by the Pirates.

On Monday night in the Dominican, Willy Garcia continued to struggle this winter, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout and error before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. He is now hitting .146 in 41 at-bats, with one extra-base hit(a double) and just two walks, which has his OPS below the .400 mark. Garcia had a breakout season last winter with a .776 OPS and 17 extra-base hits in 38 games.

Alen Hanson didn’t get off the bench on Monday until the 14th inning, grounding out as a pinch-hitter in his only at-bat. His team ended up winning 6-5 in 15 innings. Hanson is hitting .266 through 19 games, with two walks, a double and a homer.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored. He is hitting .236 through 19 games, with nine walks and ten extra-base hits.

Pedro Florimon went 1-for-5 with a walk and three strikeouts. He is hitting .179 through 39 at-bats, with 16 strikeouts.

Andy Vasquez came on as a pinch-runner in the tenth inning, then flew out to left field in his only at-bat, before being pinch-hit for in the 15th inning.

Josh Wall threw a scoreless inning, giving up two singles. In 14 innings over 14 appearances, he has a 3.86 ERA and 18 strikeouts.

Gustavo Nunez went 0-for-2, dropping him to a .193 average through 18 games. He is 1-for-15 this month and has yet to pick up an extra-base hit.

Francisco Diaz has signed as a minor league free agent with the New York Yankees, officially ending his time with the Pirates after four seasons. He seemed like someone who the Pirates would re-sign, as he works well as a mentor for young catchers and pitchers, but he will likely get a better opportunity to play in the Yankees’ system. Diaz was 4-for-13 in nine games this winter.

Adam Frazier and Team USA are going to the semifinals of the Premier 12 tournament at the Tokyo Dome, where they will face Mexico on Friday. Frazier went 1-for-3 on Monday against Netherlands, collecting a double, run scored, an RBI and he dropped down a sacrifice bunt.

  • It would be interesting to take a survey and see how many of us think Harold Ramirez is Jose Tabata, Pt 2 (minus the tattoo and crazy wife).

    And shouldn’t it be either Hose Tabata or Jarold Ramirez?

    • Not sure he is part 2, but Ramirez isn’t like Tabata in one regard at least. At 20 years old (given its a correct birth date) Tabata was playing in AAA while at the same age, Ramirez is in A+. So it begs to ask the question, is Ramirez a slower learner, or was Tabata rushed up to fast?

      And where in the world is Connor Joe? 🙂

  • At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Trevor Williams is a strong, solid right-handed pitcher that is getting very close to making his debut in the major leagues. Drafted as a college junior out of Arizona State, he has pitched well in his three years in the minor leagues, posting a 3.35 ERA in 63 games. While he lacks a quality out pitch, he knows how to pitch and has a chance to be a number five starter in the major leagues.

    Scouting Report: Williams pitches with an average fastball that sits 88 to 91 MPH (T94). The pitch does play up as he’s able to throw it for strikes while pitching in bottom half of the zone. His best secondary pitch is his curve ball. He shows a feel for a change-up and just needs more time with the pitch to make it an average offering.

    There is definite effort in Williams delivery but he gets good extension and momentum to the plate. He is able to repeat his deliver which is leading to his excellent career 2.50 walk-per-nine rate.

    Fantasy Impact: Williams should see time in the major leagues in 2016 and therefore should be on all fantasy owner’s radar. The question is…will he be any good? Yeah, he should be alright with a chance for league average ratios and six to seven strikeouts per nine. With his stuff, he should get a ton of ground balls and that should reduce the likelihood of big blowup innings.

    • I’d still rather have Benedict. 🙂

      With his stuff, he should get a ton of ground balls and that should reduce the likelihood of big blowup innings.

      Sounds like somebody named Morton. How’s that working out preventing ‘blowup’ innings? 🙂

      • I’ll take Benedict any day over Williams. he projects as a 5th starter/long relief guy.

  • Scouting Report: Ramirez carrying tool is his hit-tool. He has a mature approach and can barrel the ball with authority to all fields. The swing is currently doubles-oriented but he has enough size, strength and bat speed to project 12 to 15 home runs at the highest level. His plus foot-speed did drop a grade, perhaps due to him being a little out of shape and the results were not good. While he stole 21 bases, he was also caught 14 times. As Ramirez naturally fills out, the speed will continue to regress with a ceiling of 8 to 12 stolen bases annually more likely than 20 plus.

    Defensively, the Pirates have moved Ramirez to right field where he profiles as an average defender. As with Austin Meadows, Ramirez is blocked but will likely struggle to crawl over Meadows on the depth chart. Given his growing hit tool, he could be an intriguing trade chip in the future as the Pirates will likely always need pitching at the major league level.

    Sounds like Jose Tabata to me. Hopefully he doesn’t have the extra drama that Jose had with the womanizing, baby momma and acting like he didn’t give a shit most of the time in a Pirate uni

    • It doesn’t look like he has red lips tattoo’d on his neck either…

    • Blurb from BP’s 2009 writeup on Tabata:

      “If there’s a danger, it’s that he can play center in a pinch but he should wind up in a corner, and while he’ll develop power, it might not play in left or right. He may end up being an underpowered corner outfielder with some pop, a good average, and enough walks. He has a high enough ceiling that it’s possible, but lose any part of that proposition, and he’ll come up short.”

      Nailed it.

      • I like all the writers on here and they have some excellent articles, but do they ever seem like yes men for the Pirates and the FO. Act like company men.

        • That’s a bit too strong for me, personally, but I do know where you’re coming from.

          After “getting to know” Tim & Co through their articles and responses, I truly just think they generally agree with most, if not all, that the organization is doing. Not exactly a crazy or dumb preposition given their recent success.

          I’ve thought at times that it feels disingenuous, I’ll admit, but if they truly believe in what they’re writing then I’ll take that any day over most of the sporting world who seem to revel in controversy.

          Leave it to a-holes like me to stir things up a bit, not them. 😉

        • But anyways, that Tabata blurb does illustrate why it’s tough for me to get too excited about a prospect like Ramirez. They’re tweeners. Even forgetting the work ethic/makeup issues with Tabata, the player he became – when the power never came, and the legs got worse – wasn’t enough to even hold down a decent bench role. And he’s almost exactly an average Major League hitter for his career! Teams just don’t have much use for a light hitting corner outfielder.

          I’m giving Ramirez every chance to make it – Nori Aoki has made a fine career for himself, after all – but it’s simply a tough profile for a prospect to carry.

  • How in shape is Ramirez? He looks ‘soft’ in a lot of pictures. I guess that is why people are concerned he’ll turn into Tabata – a slap hitting corner outfielder with limited speed

    • A lot of people are concerned about that, but I don’t think just because Tabata didn’t live up to the hype, that Ramirez won’t either. I don’t even think anyone would make that comparison if they didn’t come up through the same organization.

      • Seriously?

        I’m not sure how two prospects, at the same age, could be more comparable.

        • For those of us who don’t follow low minors as closely, what makes you say they are so similar?

          • What seems to be a marker of a lot of Pirate positional players over the years. The single digit HR numbers.

          • Short, stocky Latin American outfield tweeners (maybe can stay in center, likely to end up in a corner) with good speed who don’t walk or strike out much and have average raw power that may or may not end up developing.

        • Most comparisons are made out of familiarity. People who follow the Pirates know Tabata, hence the comparison. That doesn’t mean they aren’t similar, it just means one player not living up to the hype doesn’t mean another player similar won’t either.

          • You’re jumping wayyyy ahead. Who is saying that because Tabata fell off a cliff Ramirez will too?

            Cutch and Bonds have similar production to date in their Major League careers but that doesn’t mean Andrew is about to turn into a pompous douchebag.

            Name one tool thats more than half a grade different between 20 yo Tabata and Harold Ramirez. Combine that with similar body type and position, and I can’t honestly imagine what better comp would be out there.