Just about every single year during spring camp, there’s always one or two minor league additions who find their way onto the big league fields and catch the eyes of curious fans. For the Dodgers in 2017, outfielder Henry Ramos is one of those players, and based on his usage early on, may see significant time during Cactus League play over the coming weeks.
Heading into Wednesday, Ramos has already played in two of the four overall contests for the Dodgers, with his most recent appearance being a start in right field against the Rockies on Tuesday. The 24-year-old native of Puerto Rico went 1-for-3 at the dish before being replaced by Tyler Holt in the middle innings. Ramos’ lone hit, however, was a three-run home run which vaulted the Dodgers into the lead in the second frame of play. The Dodgers would never lose control of the affair, and eventually defeated Colorado, 14-3.
For those unfamiliar with Ramos, the switch-hitting prospect was signed by the Dodgers as a minor league free agent last November. Originally drafted by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, he had ties to current Dodgers vice president of international and amateur scouting David Finley, as Finley was in Boston’s scouting and player personnel departments at the time that Ramos was selected. At one point last year, he was ranked as high as No. 16 on the Red Sox Top 30 Prospects list, but ultimately fell out of high regards when his vital stats gradually fizzled by season’s end.
Ramos reached the Triple-A level last year at Pawtucket for the first time in his career, hitting .247/.285/.400 with eight doubles, three triples, five home runs and 29 RBI in 57 games. Before joining the PawSox mid-season, he hit .281/.333/.406 with five doubles, three triples, three home runs and 11 RBI over 42 games with Double-A Portland. In total, Ramos has a career .265/.325/.396 slash line over seven seasons in the minors.
There’s no question that he provoked the Dodgers’ interest based on the organization’s need for outfield depth, most specifically at the Triple-A and Double-A levels. His ceiling has never really been higher than that of a fourth outfielder, yet his arm is very well respected, and his range is known to be excellent, despite possessing only average overall speed.
The probable reason for the extensive playing time already this spring is to perhaps tab a value on Ramos, allowing the management crew of the Dodgers to evaluate his abilities and talents firsthand, subsequently slotting him into an organizational role that’s commensurate with his particular skill set.
In Wednesday night’s game under the lights in Scottsdale, Ramos will get the call to start yet again, batting ninth and playing left field against Matt Cain and the Giants.
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