Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Top Prospects: #29 Harold Ramirez

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Brett Gardner
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 24: Brett Gardner /

The 2nd prospect that the Jays Journal staff is featuring today comes in at #29 and that is outfielder Harold Ramirez.

Harold Ramirez‘s development has been stunted by some lower body injuries but if he gets right this season, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Ramirez reach the MLB in 2018.

Ramirez was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays as part of the deal that saw Francisco Liriano and Reese McGuire come to the team for Drew Hutchison. The Pirates had a massive clutter in the outfield ahead of Ramirez which made him expendable. He and McGuire were included in the deal because the Blue Jays absorbed all of the money Francisco Liriano was owed for the remainder of his contract, which was later dumped to the Houston Astros. It was a very nice move for the Ross Atkins regime to pull off because at the time the cupboard of prospects was somewhat bare compared to what it now is.

Name: Harold Ramirez
Position: OF      Age: 23
Height: 5’10″    Weight: 220 lbs
Throws: Right            Bats: Right
Acquired: Trade with Pittsburgh Pirates (Francisco Liriano trade)

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There is no question that Harold Ramirez’s value lies in his bat, but that bat took a bit of a dip in 2017 with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. When the Blue Jays acquired Ramirez from the Pirates, he had amassed 414 at-bats and had a slash line of .306/.354/.401 and a 112 wRC+. His best season in the minor leagues came in 2015 with the Bradenton Marauders. In 344 at-bats, he hit .337/.399./.458 with a wRC+ of 163.

As you can tell from 2015 and 2016, Ramirez does have a nice bat. He doesn’t have much power but he can utilize the entire field and occasionally run into one. However, in a healthy 490 at-bats in 2017, Ramirez hit .266/.320/.358 with a 86 wRC+. He had a BB% of 6.5%, K% of 13.3%, 6 home runs, 53 RBI, and 5 stolen bases. It was a dip in overall production, but it was encouraging to see Ramirez put 2016’s knee injury behind him after he got to the Toronto organization.

It’s impossible to speculate how Harold Ramirez will fare in 2018. As of now, he is fully healthy but has a decorated injury history. He also has had some big ups and downs the past 3 years production wise with 2017 being the lowest point of the 3. He’s likely closer to the 2016 Ramirez as opposed to the 2015 and 2017 versions. If he can come back and have a nice start to his 2016, I’d imagine he gets to the AAA Buffalo Bisons quickly. It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that we see Ramirez in the majors in 2018, but he’ll need to be re-added to the 40 man roster at some point.

Next: Blue Jays take a low risk with Curtis Granderson signing

There is quite the young outfield clutter in front of Ramirez, but if I were to guess, I’d bet strongly that we see Harold Ramirez in the MLB at some point in 2018, even if it’s as a September call-up. Let’s hope he re-establishes himself as a nice prospect to create more outfield clutter.

Top-30 Blue Jays Prospect Rankings:
#30: OF Jonathan Davis