One thing that most of us reading this never will have to do is test Ramón Laureano's defense in center field. We can thank our lucky stars for that.
He also had possibly one of the best catches of the season in 2019 when -- well, just watch:
LAUREANO ROBBED ANOTHER HOMER pic.twitter.com/CaGCAUmODo— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) May 8, 2019
Shameless NBC Sports California plug aside, Laureano made that catch look easy, robbing Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto of a home run in the process.
So we know he can catch, he can throw, he can hit and do all of the typical baseball things. But what else?
It has to be said we have yet to see the best of Laureano.
The 25-year-old slashed .288/.340/.521 last season which, was good for an .860 OPS.
Then there’s that arm.
Laureano is properly nicknamed “Lazor” for the way he’s able to dart a ball from the deepest point of center field to anywhere there was a runner attempting to get an extra bag.
It was one night in August 2018 against the Los Angeles Angels when an “Oh my God!” was shouted by NBC Sports California’s Dallas Braden on the broadcast to see Laureano throw from center TO FIRST BASE for a double play. At 321 feet, it had been the longest throw to complete a double play in the Statcast era.
That catch? Very nice.— #Statcast (@statcast) August 12, 2018
But that throw!? 😮@Athletics youngster Ramón Laureano corrals the ⭐⭐⭐⭐ catch and then fires a perfect 321-foot throw to 1B for an UNBELIEVABLE double play! pic.twitter.com/Me7efjWq7v
Born in the Dominican Republic, Laureano was drafted out of Northeast Oklahoma A&M in the 16th round of the MLB draft by the Houston Astros in 2014, and was traded to the A’s in 2017 for minor leaguer Brandon Bailey. He made his A’s big league debut on Aug. 3, 2018, against Detroit.
When Laureano was a younger prospect, he was compared to another Astros youngster Teoscar Hernandez in a scouting report by MLB Pipeline in 2017, but was said to be more of a “pure hitter" with less power potential. He was also called an “above average defender,” which we already knew.
If you’re a fantasy baseball player, he’s also listed as a top-30 outfielder heading into the 2020 season.
Now for the important stuff
Long-time friend of Laureano, Ricky Rivera, gave NBC Sports California some details about the star-studded outfielder’s off-the-field hobbies.
During quarantine, Laureano picked up golf and really wanted to perfect his craft at playing the video game MLB: The Show. He was playing the game a lot during quarantine to pass the time and had a group of eight or so guys get together and play. It sounds like it got quite competitive as well.
He’s also a dog lover, as Rivera described. Which at first, he didn’t think was a very random fact about Laureano, but we can all agree dog people are the best people.
If you look anywhere for content written about Laureano, one notion that sticks out is his work ethic. In an interview with Rivera, who played with him at Northeast Oklahoma A&M, he said even though they were on the same team, Laureano would arrive at practice hours earlier. He was probably also the last one to leave.
“He’s always working out or talking baseball,” Rivera said.