For those of you who like to follow what’s happening with the minor league affiliates of the Los Angeles Dodgers, you no doubt have caught a glimpse of what 29-year-old Rangel Ravelo has been doing at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Through his first 21 games, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Ravelo is hitting a ridiculous .417/.533/.736 with eight doubles, five home runs, and 19 RBI in 72 AB. While that calculates to a monstrous 1.269 OPS, what might be even more impressive is that he collected a whopping 19 walks against just nine strikeouts.
Perhaps the Cuban-born Ravelo’s best offensive game of the season so far came against Albuquerque on May 23 when he went 3-for-4 with two long balls and three RBI. In another contest last month, he delivered a walkoff single that beat Sacramento 7-6 at home.
Originally, the righty hitting Ravelo was selected by the White Sox in the 2010 draft out of Hialeah High School in Florida. He began working his way through the farm in Chicago, but he was traded to Oakland as part of the package that brought back pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa.
Believing he was too advanced for Double-A but not willing to allot him a full-time Triple-A spot, Oakland released Ravelo before the 2017 season began. The Cardinals immediately signed him as a free agent and eventually gave him the opportunity to debut at the major league level in 2019, when he appeared in 29 games. In 2020, he played in 13 major league games, mostly handling the corner outfield spots and first base.
As a big leaguer, Ravelo slashed a combined .189/.250/.351 with three homers, three doubles, and 13 RBI over 84 plate appearances in those two seasons.
Ravelo tested positive for COVID in mid-August last year, and he was never able to get back on track with the Cardinals, who ultimately non-tendered him in November. The Dodgers signed him as a minor-league free agent not long after.
As a non-roster invitee for the Dodgers, he hit .261 (6-for-23) with two doubles and four RBI in 17 games during 2021 Cactus League play.
There have been some fans who are curious to know how Ravelo might produce again in the majors, but it’s tough to see him getting a chance with the Dodgers, especially since he’s not on the 40-man roster and he doesn’t have any options remaining on his contract.
Defensively, Ravelo has appeared at 18 games at first base and two games in left field for OKC this year. As you’re probably aware, the Dodgers are more than stacked at first base, specifically with the recent addition of righty-hitting veteran Albert Pujols. When healthy, the Los Angeles outfield is equally as plentiful, and it’s hard seeing Los Angeles giving a 29-year-old an opportunity when he hit just .189 in a relatively measurable MLB sample size already.
Still, if Ravelo continues to put up numbers at this ridiculous pace, he just might end up forcing the organization’s hand to give him another chance in the bigs.