Ramos, Casparius earn Week 5 Fall League honors

November 7th, 2023

The Fall Stars Game highlighted the fifth week of the Arizona Fall League, but a lot of hidden gems have been playing throughout the Grand Canyon State. In fact, two of the best performers from Week 5 -- both for the Glendale Desert Dogs -- weren't part of the Fall Stars Game.

, the No. 7 White Sox prospect, slugged his way to the AFL’s Hitter of the Week honors, and right-handed Dodgers prospect was named Pitcher of the Week after some excellent performances in the desert.

Ramos flexes his power
The 21-year-old third baseman has hit well throughout the Fall League, but he took it up a notch over the past week. Ramos went deep in back-to-back games and registered hits in all four contests as he stretched his on-base streak to 12 contests. In all, the Cuba native went 5-for-15 with a walk, seven runs and six RBIs.

The power outburst was particularly notable since Ramos only hit two homers (also in back-to-back games) through his first 16 games in the desert. He has at least plus raw power, so it seemed like only a matter of time before he tapped into it for Glendale.

Ramos showed off his slugging proficiency to ideal effect after strolling up to the plate Nov. 2 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth against Peoria. It was straight out of a movie: with two outs, he battled back from an 0-2 count to smoke his first career walk-off grand slam to left-center field.

"I was just trying to simplify my movement, just tried to put the ball in play," he said after the game. "If you put the ball in happen, anything can happen. [Hitting a home run] wasn't on my mind. I just wanted to make good contact and hit a good pitch. I don't try to do that much at the plate. I’m a strong man, so if I get the right point to the ball, the ball is going to fly."

Ramos is coming off a strong season with Double-A Birmingham despite missing most of the first two months of the season with a groin injury. In his second season at the level, he compiled a slash line of .271/.369/.457 with 14 homers in 77 games.

Casparius trending upward
The 2021 fifth-rounder has had an up-and-down Fall League, mostly spent in relief for the Desert Dogs. The righty has given up 12 runs across seven outings, and all came in a three-game span in mid-October.

Since then, Casparius has been untouchable, with six straight goose eggs. And his most recent performance was his best one of the campaign. He struck out six while allowing just one hit and one walk across three scoreless innings on Nov. 1.

Casparius leaned heavily on his sweeping slider, the pitch that could take him to the big leagues. Five of his six K's came on the breaking ball, and he was able to use it in a variety of ways. He's got the slider that starts down the middle and finishes off the plate. There's a backdoor slider that drops in for a called strike three. How about a slider painted just on the black for a K? And when one batter was expecting a two-strike slider, he blew by him with a high fastball.

The 24-year-old pitched well for High-A Great Lakes (2.68 ERA with 44 strikeouts 37 innings) before earning a promotion to Double-A Tulsa during the regular season. And as he showed in Week 5, he can be as dominant as any pitcher in the Dodgers system when his slider is working.