Heliot Ramos

Giants prospect Heliot Ramos' advancement 'really encouraging to see'

Giants prospect Heliot Ramos' advancement 'really encouraging to see'

Heliot Ramos looks more like a college safety playing football than a center fielder in the minor leagues. From his beard to his build, this isn't your average 19-year-old. 

Giants farm director Kyle Haines agrees.

“The physical tools are obviously there," Haines said on Tuesday's Inside The San Jose Giants Podcast

Ramos, the Giants' first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, is listed at 6-foot-1 and 188 pounds. In person, it appears his muscular build appears even thicker, and at his young age there's still plenty of time for growth. His stature and potential turned the Giants on to draft him No. 19 overall, but it's his growth at the plate this season that has the franchise so excited. 

All offseason, Ramos worked on reading off-speed pitches better and laying off balls in the dirt while playing Winter Ball. Last season, he finished with a disappointing .313 on-base percentage. This year, Ramos is up to a .414 on-base percentage and has 11 walks to 13 strikeouts.

His ability to track late movement has stood out to Haines early in the year. 

“Those are characteristics that you usually see out of veteran hitters, and that was really encouraging to see that he’s started to acquire that skill," Haines said. 

Through 13 games, Ramos is batting .250 with 1.005 OPS for the High-A San Jose Giants. He's tied for the California League lead in home runs with four, is fourth in RBI (nine), fourth in total bases (26) and fourth in OPS. 

After starting the season 1-for-17, Ramos has 10 hits in his last 27 at-bats, good for a .370 batting average during that stretch.

“We’ve seen a huge advancement in his approach at the plate and I think that’s why you’ve seen the homers spike up a little bit," Haines said. 

It's hard to remember just how young Ramos is. When the Giants drafted him, he was only 17 years old and yet, he made a public goal of wanting to reach the major leagues in three years. Joey Bart is the talk of the Giants' farm system for all the right reasons and appears to be on the fast track to the bigs. But Ramos isn't too far behind. 

“He’d be a sophomore in college. He’s two years younger than Joey Bart," Haines reminded us. "We talk about Bart’s fast movement and then you stop and you’re thinking, ‘Hey what a minute. Heliot’s two years younger than what Joey is.’ It’s really encouraging to see … it’s exciting.” 

[RELATED: Bart, Ramos' San Jose Giants debut shows promise]

Ramos is the fifth-youngest player in the Cal League. He'll be a teenager all season long. The Giants, and fans alike, are seeing potential turn into production in only his second full season in the minors.

How Giants' top prospects performed in first week of 2019 MiLB season

How Giants' top prospects performed in first week of 2019 MiLB season

As Kevin Pillar does his best Barry Bonds impression for the Giants, the team's prospects are in the swing of things down on the farm. 

The 2019 Minor League Baseball season is one week old, and a handful of prospects are giving Giants fans a glimpse of hope for the future. Led by top prospects Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos, here's how some of San Francisco's best prospects have fared through one week of action. 

Joey Bart, C, San Jose Giants

Bart, the Giants' top prospects, has picked up right where he left off to start his High-A career in San Jose. His talents were on full display in the home opener on Thursday night, going 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. 

Through seven games, Bart is batting .321 with two home runs, two doubles, a triple, and eight RBI. Of his nine hits, five are for extra bases and he has a 1.085 OPS. 

At this stage, his offense is far ahead of his defense and Bart must work on his receiving skills. But Bart's arm is elite and he's already thrown out seven of nine base-stealers, including four in his last two games behind the plate. 

Heliot Ramos, CF, San Jose Giants

Ramos isn't your typical 19-year-old, and I'll remind you of that all too often this yea. He'll be a teenager all season and is the fifth-youngest player in the California League.

And yet, he already has three home runs this season. Add his two doubles and five of his six hits have gone for extra bases. 

Though he's only hitting .231, Ramos's power has been on display to all fields early on and he has a 1.017 OPS. 

(NSFW) 


Shaun Anderson, RHP, Sacramento River Cats

Look past Anderson's 5.63 ERA, he's been pretty solid through two starts for Sacramento. 

In his first start of year, Anderson only allowed one earned run over five innings while striking out five batters. He struck out six more in his second start, but ran into some bad Las Vegas.

Anderson allowed four triples against the A's Triple-A team on Thursday in a new stadium that already appears unfriendly to pitchers. Overall, he has 11 strikeouts to only two walks in eight innings pitched. 

Tyler Beede, RHP, Sacramento River Cats 

Much of the Beede we saw in spring training has followed him to Sacramento. Through two starts, Beede is 0-1 with a 1.17 ERA. 

Beede has 13 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings, but has also walked five batters. He still has to work on his command and limiting his pitch count, however, he's showing the swing-and-miss stuff that will have him back in San Francisco. 

Logan Webb, RHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels 

Webb can quickly become the Giants' top pitching prospect and he's showing why early in the season. 

Through two starts in Double-A, the 22-year-old has only allowed one earned run. He's 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA. Like Beede, Webb needs to lower his walk rate and has eight strikeouts to five walks in 10 innings thus far.

Sean Hjelle, RHP, Augusta GreenJackets

The Giants' second-round pick last year has allowed 11 hits in two starts, yet only three runs have crossed the plate. The 6-foot-11 right-hander is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA with nine strikeouts and one walk in nine innings. 

Hjelle pitched in short spurts last year after his college season. He's already thrown five innings in his second start, and it will be interesting to watch him go longer in games.

Chris Shaw, OF, Richmond Flying Squirrels 

And then there's Chris Shaw. 

The former first-round pick was demoted to Double-A to start the year after have a cup of coffee in the big leagues last season. Through four games, he's batting .300 and all his hits are singles. The good news is, he's only struck out twice while walking three times. 

[RELATED: Where Giants' top five prospects will start 2019 minor league season]

It's clear the Giants' new regime doesn't hold Shaw in the highest regards. He has to prove himself in a major way, and even then, he might not fit into the team's short or long-term plans.

Joey Bart homers, Heliot Ramos stars as Giants' top prospects offer hope

Joey Bart homers, Heliot Ramos stars as Giants' top prospects offer hope

The San Francisco Giants' present is a bit murky at best. The future, however, is looking brighter and brighter.

The San Jose Giants had their home opener against the Visalia Rawhide on Thursday night, and two of San Francisco's top prospects -- Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos -- starred throughout.

After hitting his first home run with High-A San Jose on Monday, Bart doubled his season total when he launched a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

In addition to his two-run homer, Bart went 3-for-4 at the plate, accounting for two runs and three RBI. He also threw out two of three would-be base stealers.

"It felt great," Bart told NBC Sports Bay Area following the 6-2 victory. "I think the last couple games, I've hit the ball hard and I've been feeling great so I just stuck to that and I knew eventually some would start falling for hits."

Ramos, who doubled just prior to Bart's homer, went 2-for-4 on the night, scoring two runs and driving in one out of the two-hole.

Bart, 22, is a fair bit older than Ramos, 19, but both youngsters are giving Giants fans -- San Francisco and San Jose alike -- plenty to get excited about.

[RELATED: Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos' San Jose Giants debut shows promise that awaits]

"We love it," Bart said of hitting behind Ramos. "We're having a great time. I know he's going to rake in front of me, and once he gets on, I'm gonna drive him in. So, it's going to be fun. We're gonna put the pressure on teams. That's what we're here for."