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Selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of a south Texas high school, right-handed pitching prospect Roel Ramirez spent most of the 2017 season pitching out of the bullpen for High-A Charlotte in the Florida State League. A three-pitch righty with some natural downward plane and life, the 22-year-old Ramirez (DOB: May 26, 1995) appeared in 28 games (six starts) over the summer and finished 3-3 with a 5.29 ERA and one save. In 64.2 innings pitched over that span, he allowed 74 hits and 25 walks against 60 strikeouts.

After the summer season, the Tampa Bay Rays sent Roel Ramirez to pitch for the Surprise Saguaros at the Arizona Fall League, and it’s there that Baseball Census saw him throw multiple times in postseason action against some of the best prospects in the game. Below, we have a full Roel Ramirez scouting report, including pitch and tool grades, game video, projection notes, and more.

Roel Ramirez Scouting Report, Tampa Bay Rays — 2017

Dates observed in 2017: Arizona Fall League

Fastball (45)
Straight with little arm-side/glove-side life; long arm action in back with trouble getting on top; will leave it up in zone and above. Unafraid to challenge hitters with it, but lacking in plus velocity and struggles to sneak it by good bats. Flat, unremarkable; needs more life and ultimately more velocity to play in upper minors. Velocity: 89-92, T 93.

Splitter (40)
Inconsistent downward break with knuckling action. Really buries it deep between index and middle finger; sets splitter in his hand before every pitch and works off it if he goes to fastball or slider. Occasional wipeout qualities with good off-the-table movement late to the plate, but far too often it’s a spinner, knuckling out up and flat in the zone. Would be a nice wrinkle if it were good; as it is, splitter needs considerable time to improve, even in a short stint role. Velocity: 79-82, T 83.

Slider (40)
10-to-4 break with occasional depth; some sweeping action but good feel for downward movement when he throws it right. Tendency to flatten out way too often; turns into a cutter more than a slider, struggles to get off the barrel. Even with downward break, actual depth is small and short; far from a hammer. Will spin out and turn into a cement mixer too often, too; lacks execution and feel for it, particularly with life to arm-side without full extension. Unreliable right now. Velocity: 81-84, T 85.

Control/Command (40/35)
Below-average control; poor command, particularly of the fastball. Inability to consistently work ahead in the count and down in the zone; stuff finds top half of the zone too frequently. Will rush through mechanics in stretch with runners on base, too, further affecting command profile. Strike zone feel leaves him primed for bullpen future, but must improve even from there to actualize any significant ‘pen role in the upper minors and beyond. May be closer to final form with extensive pro experience; not bullish on significant improvements here barring something unforeseen.

Max effort guy; works from first base side of the rubber and will land closed off to the plate; mild deception. High three-quarters release point from long arm swing in the back; struggles to consistently execute release point as arm will lag behind body at times. Falls off hard to first base as recoil to cross-body action through drive to the plate; affects release point.

Former starter; moved into relief for a larger role there in 2017 and used AFL to polish up. Splitter is a nice, somewhat unique wrinkle, but it’s unlikely to register as much more than a lower-leverage reliever for me unless he significantly improves the life and power on his stuff, in addition to some command work.

Roel Ramirez Scouting Report — Tampa Bay Rays — 2017 Game Video

Roel Ramirez Scouting Report — Notes, Analysis & Projection

Still young by age at 22, Roel Ramirez will be entering the sixth year of his professional career in 2018, and he needs to start finding some success in a relief role if there’s to be any chance of him impacting the Tampa Bay Rays at the big league level one day. I was ultimately pretty unimpressed with his stuff in my AFL looks; he doesn’t miss bats, he lacks real wipeout stuff, his fastball isn’t hard enough to rely on in short stints, and his command—even for a reliever—lacks the feel one needs in any sort of high-leverage role. Sure, maybe I saw a few different bad days in short succession, but even with a bit of a charitable bump assuming he’s marginally better than my looks, it’s unlikely the righty will carve out a niche in anything beyond lower leverage middle/long relief at this point.

In the meantime, Roel Ramirez should spend the 2018 season with Double-A Montgomery in the Southern League, where he’ll need to prove his splitter/slider combo can show enough life to miss bats if he’s to have any hope of one day making a big impact on the Tampa Bay Rays. That downtown Montgomery ballpark is a good place to pitch, so if he’s to have a breakout year out of the ‘pen, now would be a good time.

Overall Future Potential (Future Value): Low-leverage middle relief role at ceiling; will more likely settle in as emergency call-up/organizational depth (35/40)

MLB ETA: 2020

Did you like this Roel Ramirez scouting report? Get more prospects here:

Tampa Bay Rays LHP Genesis Cabrera — CLICK HERE

Tampa Bay Rays 3B Kevin Padlo — CLICK HERE

Tampa Bay Rays LHP Kyle Bird — CLICK HERE

Washington Nationals OF Daniel Johnson — CLICK HERE

San Diego Padres RHP Andres Munoz — CLICK HERE


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Bobby DeMuro

Bobby DeMuro is the founder of Baseball Census. A former college and independent league baseball player, he now watches more than 200 games a year working full time for the site. You can follow him on Twitter @BobbyDeMuro for more.

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