- Programming note: Watch the full "All A's" interview with Ramón Laureano on Friday, July 23 after "A's Postgame Live" at approximately 10:30 p.m. on NBC Sports California.
Bob Melvin is honest when the Athletics acquire a new player. Whether he knows what to expect from a player, or hasn’t heard much of a scouting report, he’ll give it to you straight as a manager.
When the A's brought Ramón Laureano over to Oakland via trade with the Houston Astros in 2017, Melvin admittedly had high expectations for the center fielder. But it wasn't always easy for Laureano to get noticed.
During his time playing in his native Dominican Republic, Laureano left for the United States in hopes of more opportunities after some of the scouting reports he originally received were underwhelming.
“I was not going to sign [in the Dominican Republic] as an amateur player because of my talent at the time,” Laureano said on the latest episode of "All A’s." "And then I told my parents, ‘Let’s just, let’s find out where to go on a scholarship to like play high school baseball over there and hopefully get drafted there, go to college if I have to.’”
Laureano, ever-so humble, said he simply just threw hard -- that’s how eyes were drawn to him -- but that was it.
“Other than that, I wasn’t eye-popping like the scouts wanted,” Laureano said.
Opportunities were introduced to him quickly after he paid for his own airfare to come to the U.S. He attended Northeast Oklahoma A&M College where he worked hard.
It’s that same work ethic he has today where he’s the first to arrive and the last to leave. You oftentimes spot Laureano out on the field before everyone else, working on drills and working out alone without a trainer or coach. It was the result of forging his own, unique path to the majors.
Laureano is the type of guy who always is learning and feels like he needs to be either in the gym, watching video or asking questions. When he’s injured, or it’s the offseason, Melvin will receive texts from him, curious about how to improve his game.
Even when asked about his ability to throw guys out at the plate from center field, or steal bases or hit home runs in the clutch, Laureano remained reserved talking about himself.
“I was pretty realistic,” he said. “So I kind of knew that was my path instead of like everyone else.”