MLB

Giants prospect Heliot Ramos reflects on recent hot streak with San Jose

Giants prospect Heliot Ramos reflects on recent hot streak with San Jose

Everything felt right. There wasn’t anything off with his swing, he wasn’t pressing mentally and yet, he only had one hit in his first 17 at-bats. 

All it took was a home run on April 9 to get Heliot Ramos, the Giants’ No. 2 prospect, back on track. Since then, he's hitting .349 (15-for-43) with five home runs.

“I knew that I was doing everything right,” Ramos said on Tuesday’s Inside The San Jose Giants Podcast. “In my mind, everything was right. My confidence was good. My swing was good. I just needed the ball to get down. I just keep on swinging.” 

As he kept swinging, hits started to show up in the scorebook. What has been just as important, however, has been him not swinging. 

Ramos registered just 35 walks last season as a member of the Augusta GreenJackets and finished his first full season in the minor leagues with a lowly .313 on-base percentage. He worked all offseason tracking pitches longer and laying off breaking balls in the dirt while playing Winter Ball, and it has paid off big time. 

Through 18 games in High-A with the San Jose Giants, Ramos already has 14 walks and his on-base percentage is over 100 points higher than last season at .418.

“I can see the ball well right now,” Ramos said. “I feel good. I’ve been feeling good. I learned a lot from last year. I hope this is something that can keep going good for me.” 

Not only has Ramos shown improved patience at the plate, the center fielder is driving the ball all over the yard. He’s batting .262 with a .991 OPS, and 11 of his 16 hits have gone for extra bases. Despite being the fifth-youngest player in the California League at 19 years old, he’s second in home runs (5), fifth in slugging percentage (.574), fifth in on-base percentage, fourth in walks, and third in OPS. 

San Jose was supposed to be a preview of what’s to come for years in San Francisco this season with the duo of Ramos and top prospect Joey Bart. A fractured hand for Bart has derailed those plans, but it hasn’t slowed down the younger of the two. 

Ramos no longer has the protection of Bart hitting right behind him. The teenager is seeing more off-speed pitches and is now the primary threat offensively to opposing teams. And yet, he’s flourished at the plate. 

[RELATED: Heliot Ramos' advancement 'really encouraging to see']

Since Bart broke his hand on April 15, Ramos has gone 8-for-26 (.308) with two home runs, two doubles, three RBI, and four runs scored. He’s growing every game as a player, both mentally and in the box score, and it could all be thanks to a disappointing season where he hit .245 with 136 strikeouts in 124 games last year. 

“Stay positive,” Ramos said when asked what he learned from last season. “That was the main thing I learned. Stay positive and never give up. Keep working hard and everything’s going to be okay.”

Giants vs. Blue Jays lineups: Drew Pomeranz goes for first win of 2019

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Giants vs. Blue Jays lineups: Drew Pomeranz goes for first win of 2019

The Giants' eight-game road trip finally is coming to an end. And they're going for their first sweep of the season.

After using four home runs to beat the Blue Jays on Tuesday, San Francisco is looking to leave Toronto with two consecutive wins. 

Giants manager Bruce Bochy isn't switching anything up in his lineup one day after the power surge. On the hill will be left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who is 3-2 with a 4.26 ERA in eight careee starts against the Blue Jays.

The veteran is seeking his first win as a Giant.

Here are the projected lineups for the Giants-Blue Jays matchup, which you can watch at 1 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the MyTeams app.

San Francisco Giants (10-14)
RF Steven Duggar
LF Gerardo Parra
C Buster Posey
1B Brandon Belt
3B Evan Longoria
DH Pablo Sandoval
SS Brandon Crawford
CF Kevin Pillar
2B Joe Panik

Drew Pomeranz, LHP (0-2, 4.82 ERA)

[RELATED: Brandon Belt not fan of robot umpires]

Toronto Blue Jays (11-13)
2B Eric Sogard
3B Brandon Drury
DH Justin Smoak
RF Randal Grichuk
1B Rowdy Tellez
LF Teoscar Hernandez
C Danny Jansen
SS Richard Urena
RF Alen Hanson

Clay Buchholz, RHP (0-0, 3.38 ERA)

A's vs. Rangers lineup: Jurickson Profar, Mark Canha return for series finale

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A's vs. Rangers lineup: Jurickson Profar, Mark Canha return for series finale

After being hammered by the A's 11-5 on Tuesday night, the Rangers got even more bad news Wednesday.

Left-hander Drew Smyly was expected to start on the mound, but he had to be sent to the injured list with tightness in his left arm. As a result, the Rangers will trot out reliever Kyle Dowdy for his first career start.

The A's eviscerated most of the Rangers' bullpen Tuesday, so getting to Dowdy early could spell trouble for Texas.

Oakland's lineup for Wednesday's matinee -- which serves as the East Bay appetizer for Warriors-Clippers Game 5 -- will look a little different. Jurickson Profar and Mark Canha both will return to the lineup after scheduled days off, while Chad Pinder moves to left field and Kendrys Morales and Robbie Grossman head to the bench.

Coverage of A's-Rangers begins at noon PT with A's Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming on the MyTeams app.

Here are the full lineups for Wednesday's A's vs. Rangers game:

Oakland A's (13-13)
SS Marcus Semien
3B Matt Chapman
RF Stephen Piscotty
DH Khris Davis
LF Chad Pinder
1B Mark Canha
2B Jurickson Profar
CF Ramon Laureano
C Nick Hundley

Aaron Brooks, RHP (2-2, 5.32 ERA)

Texas Rangers (12-10)
LF Shin-Soo Choo
2B Danny Santana
DH Joey Gallo
RF Nomar Mazara
3B Asdrubal Cabrera
SS Logan Forsythe
1B Patrick Wisdom
C Jeff Mathis
CF Delino DeShields

Kyle Dowdy, RHP (1-0, 3.48 ERA)