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OF prospect Ramos showing development in '19

@mi_guardado
June 14, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants entered Friday 10 games below .500 and 16 1/2 games out of first place in the National League West. But if you’re a fan in search of a reason for optimism, look no further than 50 miles south. Catcher Joey Bart and outfielder Heliot Ramos,

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants entered Friday 10 games below .500 and 16 1/2 games out of first place in the National League West. But if you’re a fan in search of a reason for optimism, look no further than 50 miles south.

Catcher Joey Bart and outfielder Heliot Ramos, the club’s Nos. 1 and 2 prospects per MLB Pipeline, respectively, currently headline the roster at Class A Advanced San Jose, offering a glimpse at the bright future of an organization that’s in need of a fresh wave of young, homegrown talent.

Ramos’ rapid development has been a particularly encouraging development for the Giants this season. A first-round Draft pick in 2017 out of Puerto Rico, the 19-year-old Ramos is putting up big numbers as one of the youngest players in the California League, batting .314 with a 1.017 OPS over 34 games this year. He’s already hit eight home runs this season after hitting 11 in 124 games with Class A Augusta in 2018.

Ramos' most recent homer came Tuesday off left-hander A.J. Puk, an A’s farmhand who is viewed as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. Despite missing 28 games with a knee injury, Ramos’ breakthrough earned him a spot on the California League All-Star team last week.

“There are a lot of good ballplayers here that I’m competing against,” Ramos said Thursday in Spanish. “It’s an honor for me. I feel good.”

Ramos has also showed better plate discipline, posting a 12.7 percent walk rate, up from 6.5 percent last year.

“That’s why I played winter ball [in Puerto Rico],” Ramos said. “I wanted to work on [recognizing] sliders. It was the pitch that was giving me problems.”

Ramos likely won’t reach the Majors until 2020, at the earliest, but his progress has already caught the eye of Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

“I thought once he got into the flow of professional ball, once it kind of clicked for him, that he would get on a faster pace,” Bochy said. “Hopefully, that’s what’s happening now. We got a chance to see him this spring, and he’s got some huge potential, obviously. We thought a lot of him where we drafted him, with the bat speed. This guy can do some damage.”

Worth noting

• The Giants have reached agreements with two of their top high school picks from the 2019 MLB Draft. Third-rounder Grant McCray, an outfielder from Florida, has signed for $697,500, while fifth-rounder Garrett Frechette, a first baseman/outfielder from California, has signed for $800,000, according to MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis. McCray and Frechette had been committed to Florida State and San Diego State, respectively.

• Field coordinator Antoan Richardson joined the Giants’ coaching staff to coach first base Friday after Jose Alguacil took a brief leave from the team to attend his son’s graduation. Bochy said Alguacil is expected to return Saturday.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.