Down on the Farm: One year later, let's look back at the Giants drafting Heliot Ramos


Down on the Farm: One year later, let's look back at the Giants drafting Heliot Ramos

When the Giants selected Heliot Ramos with their first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, one year ago on June 12, he was unlike any other pick of the past. The 17-year-old Puerto Rican was the high upside, five-tool player San Francisco's front office coveted for years. 

“We’ve been watching this player the last two years (and) every time we’d see him he’d continue getting better,” Giants vice president and assistant GM John Barr said at the time of the selection. “You just don’t get a chance to get a player of his athleticism and how young he was. You don’t get that very often, and we thought it was the right time to take him when he was there.

“He already shows power but yet he’s very young. He can run. As he matures into his body and continues to mature into his body, we feel we may have something special.”

Before he could buy a lighter at a gas station, Ramos spit out as much confidence in himself as the Giants were, saying he wants to be in the majors in three years. And then, he lit the Arizona Rookie League on fire. 

Right from the start, Ramos looked like the future star the Giants envisioned. In his first Rookie League game, Ramos hit two doubles and a triple. The next game, Ramos knocked another two doubles and casually upped the ante with a home run, too. Ramos’ first professional season was full of ups but ended with a down. A concussion cost the top pick the end of rest of the season after 35 games. Those 35 games, though, were eye-opening. 

The No. 19 overall pick ended his first year as a pro at 17 years old with a .348 batting average and 1.049 OPS. Ramos hit six home runs, six triples, 11 doubles, and stole 10 bases. All five tools were on display in the desert. 

Jumping up to Class A with the Augusta GreenJackets at such a young age hasn’t been quite as easy for the Giants’ top prospect. His slash line of .227/.303/.365 may be a disappointment to many and still, when looking at someone with so much talent, there’s positives to find. 

After a month to forget in May, June has been kinder to the center fielder. The numbers are far from perfect, yet June has been his best month of the season so far. In 11 games, Ramos is slashing .244/.311/.366 and all three facets are season highs for a month.  

Now that he can buy fireworks for the Fourth of July, let’s not forget about Ramos’ age. The 18-year-old is the youngest player on Augusta and you can count on one hand how many players have yet to turn 19 and are playing in the South Atlantic League. 

The Giants went with Ramos one pick ahead of the Mets calling left-handed pitcher David Peterson. Through 12 appearances in two seasons, Peterson has been dominant on the hill with a 1.86 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. If you want to compare the two, Peterson is four years older than Ramos at 22, spent three seasons as a Duck in the Pac-12 and is suiting up just one level higher at Advanced Single-A. Put another way, don’t compare the two — at least not yet. 

Ramos is ranked as the baseball’s No. 54 prospect by MLB Pipeline, No. 75 by Baseball America and No. 89 by FanGraphs. While it will always be a lofty goal for Ramos to reach the majors three years after the Giants took him with their top pick in 2017, one year later, it looks like Ramos’ road to San Francisco will see a lot more green than red to one day wear orange and black. 

MLB rumors: Live 2018 Winter Meetings news, trade talk, updates on Day 2


MLB rumors: Live 2018 Winter Meetings news, trade talk, updates on Day 2

Executives and agents arrived Monday at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas for the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings, but they didn't do much on Day 1.

[RELATED: News, rumors on Day 1 of the MLB Winter Meetings]

That's sure to change Tuesday, as teams continue conversations that might allow them to alter their rosters, through signings and/or trades. Both Bay Area teams could be busy: The Giants, under new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, have confirmed their interest in adding two more outfielders, and the A's are focused on starting pitchers, along with depth at catcher and second base.

Now, it's time to see what deals will be struck. Keep it here throughout Day 2 of the Winter Meetings for the latest live news, rumors and trade chatter.

11:22 a.m. PT: Is Andrew McCutchen headed back to Pennsylvania? According to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury, the Phillies have expressed interest in signing the former Giants outfielder.

11:11 a.m. PT: The A's loved having veteran Jonathan Lucroy as their backstop this past season, but it's possible they could be looking for an upgrade in 2019. Could that mean a run at Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto?

11:04 a.m. PT: The Pirates and White Sox made their trade official. Right-handed pitcher Ivan Nova is going to Chicago, while 19-year-old right-handed pitcher Yordi Rosario and $500,000 in internation signing bonus pool money will go to Pittsburgh.

10:03 a.m. PT: Does Jerry Dipoto sleep? A little more than a week after acquiring Carlos Santana from the Phillies, the Mariners GM reportedly talked to the Marlins about the first baseman/designated hitter last week.

9:58 a.m. PT: We have an arms race in the AL Central! OK, maybe not.

But one day after the Tigers added Tyson Ross, the White Sox reportedly will acquire Ivan Nova from the Pirates.

9:26 a.m. PT: On Monday night, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters that he let Hunter Strickland go in part because of the depth in the bullpen. But The Athletic's Mark Saxon is reporting that the Giants are receiving a lot of calls on left-hander Will Smith.

9:22 a.m. PT: With Patrick Corbin off the market, lefty JA Happ is one of the top free-agent starting pitchers still available. Happ's decision could come soon if he receives a three-year offer.

9:21 a.m. PT: While the Phillies pursue top free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, they reportedly are trying to beef up their pitching staff.

8:14 a.m. PT: Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar finished second on the AL Rookie of the Year voting, but he might not get a second season in the Bronx. According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Andujar could be moved in a potential blockbuster deal with the Mets and Marlins. If the Yankees traded Andujar, that could open the door for them to sign free agent Manny Machado.

7:06 a.m. PT: The Yankees might be serious about their pursuit of shortstop Manny Machado. On Monday, GM Brian Cashman said he has spoken several times with Machado's agent. Now, they reportedly have reached out to former Orioles manager Buck Showalter for his thoughts on the Machado.

The Yankees are showing great hustle in their background work on Machado ...

7:03 a.m. PT: Late on Monday night, rumors started to swirl that the Mets, Yankees and Marlins were working on a blockbuster trade that would send catcher J.T. Realmuto to Queens, All-Star starter Noah Syndergaard to the Bronx and prospects to Miami.

But the Marlins are downplaying that potential deal, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

6:57 a.m. PT: With Patrick Corbin officially signed, the Nationals might look to move starter Tanner Roark. According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, Washington has talked to several teams about a deal for Roark, who is projected to make $9.8 million in arbitration.

Could Roark be a fit with the A's? They need several starters to fill out the rotation, and the teams have made a lot of trades over the last decade. Stay tuned ...

MLB rumors: Giants getting 'a ton' of trade calls on LHP Will Smith

MLB rumors: Giants getting 'a ton' of trade calls on LHP Will Smith

Will Smith was one of the Giants' most dependable pitchers last season, and that makes the veteran reliever appealing to teams that are trying to contend.

The Giants are receiving "a ton of calls" on Smith, according to The Athletic's Mark Saxon.

According to Saxon, the Cardinals are making an aggressive push for Smith.

St. Louis, which finished with an 88-74 record but missed the playoffs, is pushing all its chips into the center of the table. The Cardinals acquired All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt from the Diamondbacks last week, and adding a reliable back-of-the-bullpen arm would go a long way to bolstering their playoff hopes.

But would the Giants move Smith? They just non-tendered Hunter Strickland, and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said Monday that move was made partly because of the depth the Giants' bullpen possess with Smith, Tony Watson, Reyes Moronta and Ray Black.

After missing the 2017 season because of Tommy John surgery, Smith pitched in 54 games this past season and moved into the closer's role. He posted a 2.55 ERA and converted 14 saves while striking out 71 batters in 53 innings.

Zaidi might not be inclined to move Smith, but if he can get back a decent prospect for him, he might have to pull the trigger.