The Pirates Prospects 2016 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features prospect reports on everyone in the system, the 2016 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. Subscribers to the site get free and discounted books, with Top Prospect subscribers getting the 2016 book for free, and Annual subscribers getting $10 off. Both levels of subscribers can also get the book for just $5. Details on all three promotions can be found on the products page, and you can subscribe to the site or upgrade your current plan on the subscriptions page.
While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. The reports will only be available to site subscribers, including those with a monthly plan. You can subscribe here, and if you like these reports, be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site to get much more analysis on every player in the system.
To recap the countdown so far:
20. Willy Garcia, RF
19. Clay Holmes, RHP
18. Mitch Keller, RHP
17. Max Moroff, 2B
16. Chad Kuhl, RHP
15. Cole Tucker, SS
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP
13. Steven Brault, LHP
12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP
11. Kevin Newman, SS
10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
9. Nick Kingham, RHP
8. Elias Diaz, C
7. Reese McGuire, C
We continue the countdown with the number 6 prospect, Harold Ramirez.
6. Harold Ramirez, OF
When the Pirates signed Ramirez in 2011, they gave him a seven figure deal, which was rare for them. The deal is the biggest amount paid to an international amateur hitter by the Pirates, and should remain that way for some time due to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. There were teams who weren’t sold on Ramirez at the time, thinking he didn’t have the power for a corner outfield spot. The Pirates liked the complete package enough to give him a big deal, figuring everything else would make up for the lack in power.
Ramirez has since gone on to open some eyes around baseball. He had a big season in 2013, and was named the top prospect in the NYPL. He had a hamstring injury and a shin injury in 2014, which limited his time in West Virginia, but he saw some decent results when he was healthy, including a hot stretch right before his season ending shin injury in July.
The Pirates pushed Ramirez up to Bradenton this year, and he responded with a huge season. He showed the ability to hit for average, put up some nice power numbers for a 20 year old in an extreme pitcher’s league, showed some speed on the bases, and saw an improvement with his arm in right field, removing the previous reports that he was below average in that category.
There were some health issues with Ramirez this year. He had a brief delay in Spring Training due to his conditioning, then missed a longer amount of time with a skin infection, which is the second time that has happened in his career. But once he was back on the field, he looked like a breakout prospect, and passed up fellow teammate Reese McGuire, while getting closer to Austin Meadows in value.
The Pirates added Ramirez to the 40-man roster this off-season, and will move him to Altoona next year. Because of their MLB outfield strength, they have no immediate need for him in the majors, so they can take their time with his development. He could also end up a trade chip due to Austin Meadows also playing at the same level. Ramirez projects as an above-average outfielder in the majors.