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. 

POLL: Giants memorable moments -- Winning '10 World Series vs. Winning '14 World Series


POLL: Giants memorable moments -- Winning '10 World Series vs. Winning '14 World Series

NBC Sports Bay Area is looking back at the Giants' 60 Memorable Moments since the franchise moved from New York to San Francisco. Tune into Pregame Live at 6 p.m. to see the next two moments you can vote on! Then, after the Giants and Padres conclude on Friday, tune into Postgame Live to see which moment will be crowned most memorable!

1. Giants defeat Rangers in 2010 World Series thanks to Edgar Renteria's three-run homer (New winner -- Defeated Travis Ishikawa's walk-off homer wins 2014 NL Pennant)

(From former Giants outfielder and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Andres Torres)

I got to the field early, around 1:30pm because it was the World Series and you're pumped. Around 3pm, Edgar came to me and said 'Andres, I'm going to hit a homer today.' I'm like 'Okay, I believe him.'

Then we had batting practice, we came in, had something to eat, then we had soft-toss as we got closer to the game. And Edgar said to me 'Remember, I told you I'm going to hit a homer.'

Then in the seventh inning, he hits it, and we see the outfielder going back and back and back and then the ball's gone!!!

I was so pumped and when he came back to the dugout from homeplate, I started yelling in Spanish 'You told me you were going to do it. You told me you were going to do it.' I said it twice because he said it to me twice that he was going to do it. We were so pumped!!!

It was amazing. He called it twice, twice!!! We were World Champions and he was the MVP and it was amazing. Edgar was a leader in the clubhouse. He played a long time and made sure we were all doing the right things, especially me and Pablo (Sandoval). He's a great friend and that was a special moment, I loved was like wow!! It was so cool!!!


2. Giants defeat Royals in 2014 World Series, Madison Bumgarner closes Game 7 with five shutout innings of relief

(From Alex Pavlovic)

A few minutes after he threw a 119-pitch shutout in Game 5 of the 2014 World Series, Madison Bumgarner was approached by Royals manager Ned Yost. The two were headed in opposite directions as they gave postgame interviews, but Yost wanted to take a moment to congratulate Bumgarner. 

"Great game," he told him. "You know what? I sure am glad I don't have to see you again."

Bumgarner smiled. He had one more trick up his sleeve that month, and it would win the Giants a third World Series, stun the baseball world, and cement the left-hander's place as the best big-game pitcher of his generation. 

Bumgarner came out of the bullpen in Kauffman Stadium in Game 7 and threw 68 pitches over five innings, carrying an early 3-2 lead all the way to the finish line. Essentially making a second start in four days, Bumgarner allowed two hits and struck out four, finishing one of the best postseason runs in baseball history. He earned a five-inning save, lowering his 2014 postseason ERA to 1.03 over an astounding 52 2/3 innings. 

"As soon as I saw him warming up and we had the lead, I knew it was over," said Game 7 starter Tim Hudson. "I knew the big fella was going to get it done."

Hudson lasted just 1 2/3 innings before turning it over to Jeremy Affeldt, who got the ball to Bumgarner. The Giants scored twice in the second and took the lead on Michael Morse's single in the fourth. Joe Panik had the defensive highlight of the night, diving and glove-flipping to Brandon Crawford to start a huge double play in the third. From there, it was the Bumgarner show. 

A misplay in the outfield put Alex Gordon on third with two down in the ninth, but Salvador Perez popped up. The Giants had a third title in five years. 

"This group of warriors continues to amaze me," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Nobody wanted it more than them."


What the search for new Giants front-office executive could look like

What the search for new Giants front-office executive could look like

SAN FRANCISCO — This is not how the Giants hoped to spend October. 

For a second straight year, the team’s top decision-makers will spend the month conducting interviews rather than watching postseason games. Last October, the Giants underwent coaching changes. This time around it's the general manager who is gone, and Larry Baer and Brian Sabean are looking for a new head of baseball operations to carry the department forward. Bobby Evans was just the eighth person to hold the GM title since the franchise moved to San Francisco, so the process is a new one for ownership, and Baer said he plans to be meticulous. 

The Giants hope to have a new executive in place by the GM meetings in early November and certainly will have their search done well in advance of December’s winter meetings in Las Vegas. Until then, Sabean will handle any day-to-day responsibilities. 

“I don’t want to set a timetable,” Baer said Monday. “We have the benefit of Brian being able to steer the ship here until we have somebody.”

Given the timing of the Evans move, the Giants can afford to be patient. There are no major decisions to be made until late November when 40-man moves must be made and contracts must be tendered to arbitration-eligible players. While free agency starts soon after the World Series ends, few players sign before Thanksgiving, and the Giants don't have any major decisions to make with their own free agents. 

There’s another reason for the Giants to be patient, too. Their wish list is expected to include several executives on teams headed to the postseason, and often times it’s difficult to conduct interviews until a team is eliminated. In the meantime, ownership is busy building the list. Initially, the Giants expect to hire just one executive to report directly to ownership, although over time that person surely would want to revamp the baseball operations department. 

Baer said Monday that he would be open to becoming the first team to have a female run the baseball operations department, and there are several highly qualified candidates, including MLB’s Kim Ng and the Yankees’ Jean Afterman, a San Francisco native. 

The Giants also are expected to look at executives who currently serve as the No. 2 for successful organizations. Often times you’re not given permission to interview someone for a lateral move, but because this will be a head of baseball operations role, the team could potentially poach a GM from an organization like Tampa Bay or Atlanta, for example, arguing that the Giants’ job is a promotion. 

The initial list also will include those who have served as general managers in the recent past but no longer do so. Ownership believes this is an all-in, 24/7 job, and there is some preference to hire a person who has previous experience with the demands of leading a baseball operations department.