Neil Ramirez, P,
Age: 24 (5/25/1989)
2013 Team: Frisco RoughRiders, Texas League (AA); Tennessee Smokies, Southern League, (AA)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—# 21
How acquired—Traded by Rangers with C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, and Mike Olt for Matt Garza on July 22, 2013
Prior to Cubs
After a successful career at Kemspville High School in Virginia Beach, Ramirez was rated the 71st best draft prospect by Baseball America. He went 6-2 with a 1.46 ERA in 52.2 innings as a senior, recording 74 strikeouts, and was named 2007 Gatorade Virginia Baseball Player of the Year. Ramirez had a scholarship to Georgia Tech, but was selected in the supplemental first-round pick by the Rangers, # 44 overall. Ramirez waited until the deadline to sign and didn't make his pro debut until 2008, making 13 starts in the Northwest League (1-2, 2.66 ERA, 44 IP, 52 K). Ramirez recovered from a broken hand and only pitched 66.1 innings, making 14 starts for Hickory in the South Atlantic League. Ramirez returned to Hickory in 2010 for another full season, this time working a career-high 140 innings in 28 games. He went 10-8 with a 4.43 ERA and fanned 142 (2nd in SAL) with only 37 walks.
After four years of A-ball, Ramirez made a big leap in 2011 going from High A Myrtle Beach to AAA Round Rock. After on game at Myrtle Beach, Ramirez was promoted to AA Frisco and was named the Rangers Pitcher of the Month after 34 K in 26 IP and a 1.38 ERA. He made six starts in the Texas League and was promoted to AAA. He made 18 starts in the PCL, logging 86 strikeouts in 74.1 innings with a 3.63 ERA. Ramirez returned to Round Rock for the start of 2012 but didn't get the same results. He had a 7.66 ERA in 15 starts and allowed at least one homer in his final 11 starts before being sent back to AA. He made 12 starts for Frisco, sandwiched between a trip to the DL for back problems, going 2-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 49.1 innings.
Ramirez got back in his groove to start 2013 as he was named to the mid-season all-star and also earned a Texas League Pitcher of the Week award. In July, Ramirez suffered a shoulder injury and only threw 11 innings between July 6 and Aug. 18. Before being traded to the Cubs, Ramirez made 21 starts going 9-3 with a 3.84 ERA recording 127 K in 103 innings. He appeared in one game after the trade was made official, tossing 4.2 shutout innings at Chattanooga on Aug. 29. He fanned five, walked two and allowed one hit for Tennessee.
A member of the Cubs 40-man roster, Ramirez heads to spring training with an opportunity to show the major league coaching staff what he's got. He's likely to start the season at AAA Iowa in 2014 and be in the mix as part of the starting rotation for 2015 depending on trades and free agent signings. Ramirez features a fastball in the mid-90s and also throws a slider and change.
Bijan Rademacher, OF
Age: 22 (6/15/1991)
2013 Teams: Kane County Cougars, Midwest League (A); Daytona Cubs, Florida State League, (A+)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking —Not rated
How acquired —Drafted in the 13th round of the 2012, # 404 overall
Prior to Cubs
Rademacher made a name for himself with a 90 mph fastball at a Perfect Game event in 2009 as a lefty and then threw 86 as a right-hander. Playing right field and pitching, he was named the Century League MVP as he hit .435/.505/.835 with 25 runs and 33 RBI as a senior at Canyon High School in California. He enrolled at Cal-State Fullerton in 2011 but transferred to Orange Coast Junior College. He played 43 games and hit .349, with 7 HR, 49 RBI, 31 R , and 9 SB. The lefty also earned four saves and had committed to Oral Roberts before the Cubs came calling in the 13th round.
Rademacher made his pro debut with Mesa in the Arizona Rookie League on June 25, going 1-4 with a double against the Indians. He only last two more games in Mesa before being promoted to Boise but launched his first pro homer before he left town. Rademacher took the Northwest League by storm as he had a four-hit game his second day in town and added a pair of three-hit games. In 14 games at Boise, the California native went 21-53 (.396) with six doubles, one home rand eight RBI. Rademacher didn't have much time to get use to the surroundings at Boise before the Cubs sent the outfielder to Peoria to finish the year. He played in 35 games in the Midwest League, hitting .221/.280/.295.
Rademacher turned in an All-Star performance in his return to the Midwest League, hitting .303/.374/.378 in 55 games. Rademacher had a short stint on the disabled list with a knee injury in late May and returned to action on June 6. He also took the mound in three "mop-up" performances and didn't allow an earned run in three innings. He was promoted to Daytona and got 145 at-bats in 42 games, hitting .276/.338/.407 with two homers and 20 RBI. He also earned a championship ring with the D-Cubs.
Rademacher should return to Daytona to start the season and anchor right field for the D-Backs. He has the arm to play the position but needs to improve his reads and continue to work on his fundamentals. Rademacher has a solid approach at the plate and uses the entire field. He has the ability to hit the ball the other way and is quick enough to turn on a pitch and deposit it over the wall. It will be interesting to see if his power numbers improve in 2014.
Lance Rymel, C
Age: 23 (5/2/1990)
2013 Teams: Tennessee Smokies, Southern League, (AA); Boise Hawks, Northwest League, (SS)
Northsiders Report 2014 Ranking—Not rated
How acquired:—Drafted in the 28th round in 2012, # 854 overall pick
Prior to Cubs
A two-time all-conference player at Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma and was named to the Oklahoma Senior Sunbelt team. He played his freshman year at Seminole State College as they reached the JUCO World Series in 2009. He spent his final three years of college at Rogers State University, before being drafted by Cubs in the 28th round. He started 20 games as a sophomore (.242/.390/.387), and then became the regular catcher as a junior, starting 39 games. (.373/.441/.576). His final year he hit .318/.421/.455 in 65 games with three homers and 40 RBI. A two-time all-conference performer, Rymel was the second player in school history to be drafted.
Rymel made his pro debut in the Northwest League on June 22 after the draft going 0-3 in a start behind the plate for Boise. He played in 25 games over the final two months of the season, 23 behind the plate, hitting .188/.246/.344.
The Oklahoma native led Boise in games caught with 44 but only threw out 21 percent of base runners. The NWL all-star hit .253/.337/.315 with a homer and 18 RBI. Rymel made his season debut at AA Tennessee on May 29 (1-3, RBI, BB) and then returned to the Smokies in mid-July, catching the second game of the DH (0-3).
Rymel should start the season at Kane County and have a shot at ending the year in Daytona. Rymel is one of six catchers the Cubs have drafted and signed the past two years, and a breakout season would separate himself from the field.
Rest of the R's
Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP—Rhee received a $525,000 bonus after signing out of South Korea in 2007 and the 25-year-old has spent six seasons with the Cubs. After 142 innings in 26 starts in Tennessee in 2012, Rhee opened last year back in AA but after two starts went on the DL in April adn didn't return until mid-July. IN nine games after the injury, Rhee was 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 49 innings with 31 K and 17 B.
Greg Rohan, 1B—A 21st round pick in 2009 out of Kent State, Rohan missed most of last year with an injury, only appearing in 12 games for Iowa in August (.167/.211/.250). Rohan, 27, had a big season in 2012 hitting .282/.349/.491 with 21 HR and 106 RBI between Daytona (75 games), Tennessee (28) and Iowa (27).
Jasvir Rakkar, RHP—After helping lead Stoney Brook to its first World Series appearance in 2012, the Cubs selected Rakaar in the 26th round and the right-hander reliever spent his first pro year in the Arizona Rookie League. He appeared in 20 games for Boise in 2013, earning a save in 37.2 innings. He went 4-1 with a 3.58 ERA and fanned 41 while walking only 10 but allowed six homers.
Jose Rosario, RHP—The 23-year-old struggled in 2013, going 0-7 with a 7.38 ERA in 11 starts at Kane County before being sent back to Boise. Throwing strikes was Rosario's problem as the six-year minor league veteran walked 51 in 87.2 innings between the two levels.
Neftali Rosario, C—A sixth-round pick in 2011 out of the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy, the 20-year-old hasn't had much playing time since being drafted (48 games). He played at Mesa, Kane County and Boise in 2013 going 4-22.
Will Remillard, C—The Cubs 19th round pick in 2013 was playing in the Cape Cod League preparing for his senior season at Costal Carolina when he signed with the North Siders. The 21-year-old has yet to play a pro game but was invited to spring training to assist with catching duties.
Rony Rodriguez, DH—In his first pro season, the 23-year-old free-agent played corner outfield and served as the DH seeing action in 42 games in Boise in the Northwest League. The University of Miami product hit .270/341/.405 in 42 games with 3 HR and 23 RBI.
Jacob Rogers, 1B—The 24-year-old had a big year for Boise in the NWL as he was second in the NWL in total bases (107), second in RBI (47), second in hits (72), second in homers (8), first in walks (45), 4th in OBP (.394), and third in OPS (.807). The 40th round pick in 2012 hit .278 and earned mid-season all-star honors.
Brad Renner, RHP—A 28th round pick in 2013 out of Florida State College, Renner made his pro debut in the Arizona Rookie League on Aug. 5, earning a save with a 1-2-3 inning vs. Indians. He threw six scoreless frames with eight strikeouts and two walks.
Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP—A former member of the Diamondbacks organization, Rodriguez, 25, started the year at Boise (1-2 6.10 ERA, 10.1 IP) and excelled in the Arizona Rookie League in 10 relief appearances, recording 22 strikeouts in 14.1 innings with a 1.26 ERA.
Carlos Ramirez, C—The 21-year-old played in 23 games with the DSL Cubs in 2013 hitting .226/.319/.226 in his second pro season.
Moises Ramirez, RHP—The 18-year-old Panamanian put up some impressive numbers in his debut season. Appearing in 14 games and logging 21.1 innings, the 6-foot, 160-pounder fanned 20 while only walking five. He finished 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA and .250 BAA.
Cesar Romero, RHP—The 20-year-old threw seven innings in his debut pro season in the VSL, going 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA, 7 BB and 3 K.
Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP—A former Tampa Bay prospect, the 20-year-old appeared in 11 games for the VSL Cubs in 2013, going 0-1 with a 30.24 ERA. He walked 18 in 8.1 innings.
Miguel Rico, 3B—The 20-year-old hit .231/.325/.436 with 10 homers in 62 games in the VSL. The Venezuelan native played in 48 games in the DSL in 2012 after signing as a free agent in Jan. 2012.