SAN DIEGO — When he was introduced at AT&T Park last month, Heliot Ramos said he hoped to return in three years. The 17-year-old’s statement doesn’t look as far-fetched two weeks into his professional career.
Ramos, the organization’s first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, and Jacob Gonzalez, the second-rounder, have played two weeks in the Arizona Rookie League. Both have gotten off to scorching starts.
Ramos, a center fielder, has played 10 games as a leadoff hitter. He’s batting .425 with a .500 on-base percentage and .850 slugging percentage in 40 at-bats, with two homers, three triples and five doubles. He’s a perfect 4-for-4 on the bases. It’s very early, but the numbers back up the Giants’ belief that Ramos can be a five-tool player.
Ramos and Gonzalez were both known for their power at the time of the draft, and Gonzalez — the son of Luis Gonzalez — has shown it in the form of doubles. He has six in 39 at-bats, along with a triple. Gonzalez, 19, has five walks and four strikeouts. Overall, the third baseman has a .462/.563/.667 slash line.
Ramos ranks second in the Arizona Rookie league in OPS and Gonzalez is sixth. Andy Skeels, the club’s coordinator of minor league hitting, was at AT&T Park workouts for both players and he traveled to Scottsdale last month to help the rookies get settled in. Earlier this week in San Jose, I asked him about the two teenagers.
“It’s been fun. (You see) power and athleticism,” Skeels said. “Obviously Jacob Gonzalez has good bloodlines. Ramos (is) a good athlete. I think that’s one of the things that’s encouraging. They’re both very athletic and they’ve got power. That’s certainly something we’re trying to develop a little more and it obviously takes a while. But they’re off to a great start, and we’re encouraged by what we’ve seen.”
We have some sad news to report.
Skeeter, the lovable four-legged member of Matt Duffy's family, passed away in Long Beach on Saturday night. He was 15 years old.
Duffy made the news public with an Instagram post on Sunday evening.
"Even when it's expected, losing a member of the family is never easy. Sometimes you'd forget this little guy was even a cat. After 15 awesome years, last night we had to say goodbye to Skeeter boy. Thank you for all the love and support that Skeets has gotten over the past couple of years. Our furry little light has gone dark," Duffy wrote.
Skeeter, slightly overweight for his size, stole the hearts of Giants fans after Duffy made his debut with the Giants in August of 2014.
When Duffy was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays at the 2016 trade deadline, Skeeter remained in California with Duffy's parents.
The Giants are looking to land the biggest fish of them all in a home-run-hitting sea.
San Francisco reportedly proposed a trade offer with the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton. On Sunday, GM Bobby Evans opened up on the possibility of a deal getting done.
"The Marlins made it clear that when you get close to a deal, then they'll approach the player," Evans said on MLB Network Radio. "I don't think they would be talking to us if they didn't think there was a good chance something like that could get approved. But, they haven't given us an answer relative to that yet. Certainly, we're very early in the process."
While reports surfaced Friday of the Giants make an offer to the Marlins, details have not yet become clear. And it sounds like Evans is still looking for an answer as to what Miami's front office is looking for.
"We don't have any indication at this point from the Marlins as to what their expectations are," Evans says.
Complicating matters is Stanton's monster of a contract. Stanton is guaranteed $295 million over the next 10 seasons. His contract includes a full no-trade clause and an opt-out after 2020.
"With a move like that, I think that the process typically when we're dealing with Miami or any other club, a guy with a no-trade, you don't really get any clarity on that until you get closer to a deal," Evans said.
The Giants are trying to turn the clock to 25 years ago in 1992 when in the offseason, Barry Bonds won the National League MVP with the Pirates and then joined the Giants as a free agent. Matters are a bit different as the Giants would acquire Stanton via trade, but the 28-year-old just won the NL MVP after hitting league-leading 59 home runs.