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Red Sox Top Prospect Voting: Aldo Ramirez can make a name for himself in 2020

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He’s still relatively unknown. That may not be the case for long.

Aldo Ramirez
Kelly O’Connor; https://sittingstill.smugmug.com/

For the second straight round we had an extremely close vote this time around. When Marcus Wilson took the last vote, it was largely because three pitchers all siphoned votes from each other and let the position player sneak through. There wasn’t a position player on the horizon this time, but the three pitchers all stayed right with each other. In the end, it was Aldo Ramirez coming in at number 16 (number 17 with Jeter Downs, who was not included when this voting began), grabbing 28 percent of the vote.

Ramirez is still a relatively new face in the Red Sox system, having signed at the very end of the 2017-2018 international amateur period. That meant that when he joined the organization out of Mexico, the Dominican Summer League had already started. A lot of times players don’t make their professional debuts until the year after they sign, but Ramirez was a different case a 17-year-old from Mexico. He didn’t pitch a ton in that first summer, but he did enough to open some eyes. Ramirez made five starts and tossed 23 innings, pitching to a 0.39 ERA with 17 strikeouts and only one walk.

Clearly that wasn’t a huge sample and that combined with his pedigree didn’t really make a dent in terms of his perception with Red Sox fans at large heading into the 2019 season, but the Red Sox were impressed enough with that as well as his performance in the Fall Instructional League that year to push him up to Lowell as an 18-year-old instead of letting him get his feet wet stateside with a stint in the GCL. It wasn’t totally out there, but it was somewhat aggressive. You wouldn’t know it from his performance, though. The young righty just continued to impress against New York Penn League competition, tossing 61 23 innings over 13 starts plus one relief appearance. His 3.94 ERA doesn’t really jump out, but the scouts were impressed and he had a 63/16 strikeout to walk ratio. Remember, NYPL defenses are... Not the best.

So, that’s really all we have on Ramirez at this point. There wasn’t much in the way of scouting when he was first signed out of Mexico and he has yet to make his full-season debut. As far as the scouting goes, Ramirez has a legitimate three pitch mix including a fastball that sits in the 90-92 range but can get up higher than that when he needs to. There’s some hope he can sit a couple ticks higher, too, as he continues to grow. Along with that he throws a curveball that can develop into an above-average pitch as well as a changeup that is still a work in progress but can become an average offering.

The issues for Ramirez are two-fold. First of all, there are questions with his size as he’s listed at 6’0, 180 pounds. The mechanics are solid, but the size leads to concerns that he will not be able to handle a starter’s workload over a full season. There’s also some issue with command. Ramirez has very good control, but a lot of his strikes can be bad ones that catch too much of the zone. As he faces better hitters moving up the ladder, they will make him pay for that. All of that said, there is a legitimate starter’s profile here, though there’s a lot more to prove to get there.

Ramirez will begin to try and prove that in 2020 as he is expected to get the bump up to Greenville for his full-season debut as a 19-year-old. He has the potential to move up this list fairly quickly if he can continue to impress against more advanced hitters in a longer season. Now, he just has to go out and do it.

Here is our list so far:

1A. Jeter Downs

1B. Triston Casas

2. Bobby Dalbec

3. Bryan Mata

4. Noah Song

5. Gilberto Jimenez

6. Jay Groome

7. Jarren Duran

8. Thad Ward

9. Tanner Houck

10. Matthew Lugo

11. C.J. Chatham

12. Connor Wong

13. Nick Decker

14. Cameron Cannon

15. Marcus Wilson

16. Aldo Ramirez

Now, you can head down into the comments and vote for the number two. As a reminder, to do this you go down below and find the comment from me corresponding with the player for whom you’d like to vote. When you find said player, just click the “rec” button, and that will count your vote. To do this, you will need to be logged in as a member of the site. If you’d like to vote for a player who is not listed, just leave a comment saying “Vote for ___ here” and I’ll rec the comment to count your vote. Until next time...