19 year old Yankees’ prospect Jose Ramirez was named Short Season Starting Pitcher of the Year yesterday, after going 6-0 with a 1.41 ERA in the Gulf Coast League. He had a .159 BAA, and walked just 16 batters in 61 innings. Mark Newman had this to say about right-hander:
“He wasn’t a high-profile guy, but he’s kind of what we’re searching for in Latin American pitching,” said Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president of baseball operations. “He had a feel for the strike zone. He can spin the ball and has a good feel for a changeup. He can get it up to 96 mph. And he throws strikes.”
John Sickels had Ramirez 18th on his Yankees list, and touted him as a sleeper pick for 2010. Greg Fertel of Pending Pinstripes did a writeup of Ramirez recently, and this was his scouting report:
After the 2008 season, the Yankee pitching gurus tweaked Jose Ramirez’s delivery. He now has a much easier delivery with a stronger finish. I believe he added some weight, and that also contributed to the added velocity. Towards the end of the year, he was sitting 94-95 with his fastball and topping out at 96. Right now though, his most impressive pitch is his changeup. He throws it from the same arm slot as his fastball and it is very deceiving. At times, it flashes being a plus plus pitch for Ramirez. His third pitch is a curveball that definitely needs some work, which is the one knock on Ramirez right now.
Ramirez is a solid bet to move up the Yankee prospect rankings, although as I said this morning, pitching prospects in general and those just coming out of short season ball in particular are notoriously fickle. Nevertheless, the Yankees seem to be doing a good job utilizing their financial advantage in the international talent marketplace. Unless MLB institutes an international draft, this should be a source of talent for the Yankees for many years to come.
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