Scouting Mets' Prospect #49: Greg Ramirez

The New York Mets drafted Greg Ramirez out of Pepperdine University in the 22nd round of the 2003 draft. Used as both a starter and a reliever, Ramirez has had nothing but success in either role in his career, but struggled with injuries in 2005 that cost him priceless development time. Ranking #49 among the Mets' Top 50 prospects, here's a scouting report on Ramirez.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Greg Ramirez
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: September 12, 1980
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 210
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Greg Ramirez's 2005 season started off in familiar enough fashion, with the 25-year-old righthander winning four of his first five decisions and earning selection as a Florida State League All-Star.

But tendinitis and a minor shoulder tear would sour the rest of the year for Ramirez, who pitched just 17-2/3 innings after May 31, missing all of July and most of August when the results of a pair of MRIs prescribed in-season rest . He wrapped up the year with a 4-5 record and 4.17 ERA in 18 games (12 starts).

"It's tough to come back from an injury like that and sitting down for so long," Ramirez said. "I had a few rough outings and it kind of skewed my numbers for the whole season."

It was an unsatisfying follow-up to Ramirez's impressive 2004 campaign, in which the Pepperdine product posted a 7-0 record and 2.06 ERA for the Capital City (A) Bombers in the South Atlantic League.

But Ramirez – who once jockeyed for college mound time with big league hurlers Dan Haren and Noah Lowry – believes that there are positives to be taken from his experience at St. Lucie.

"Even though my numbers don't show it, I think it was a step forward," Ramirez said. "It's tough to improve on my 2004 season, because that's one of the better years I've had. It's almost asking too much of yourself to put up better numbers than that.

"Even though I missed almost half the year, I really think it's pretty small in the grand scheme of things."

One of the more versatile pitchers in the Mets organization, Ramirez has the ability to start or relieve and owns a fine strikeout-to-walk ratio – 217 punchouts and 66 free passes in 216.2 professional innings.

Ramirez said that one Mets pitching coach speculated his tendinitis problems may have come from switching between starting and relief roles in college and professional ball.

However, Ramirez suspects that it was in fact an intensive running program that sapped him of body weight and endurance. He said a primary focus of his winter workouts would concern adding muscle and "good weight."

That, he hopes, will open the door for a rotation spot at Double-A Binghamton, despite the fact he logged just 69 innings in the Florida State League.

"I think when I did pitch, it's clear I can pitch at the next level," Ramirez said. "I'm confident enough that I can pitch at the next level and succeed. I think I'm ready for it."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2005

St. Lucie

4-5

0

69.0

66

21

64

4.17

2004

Capital City

7-0

10

96.0

81

28

105

2.06

2003

Brooklyn

1-3

1

51.2

51

17

48

2.96



* Stats as of 10/1/05

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup.

Fastball. Ramirez throws a 2-seam fastball and a 4-seamer, although 90% of his fastballs are of the 2-seam variety. His 2-seamer averages about 88-91 MPH and he can bring it as high as 93 MPH at times. It has very good sinking action. He throws his 4-seam fastball at no particular time, just when he's in the mood.

Other Pitches. Ramirez has a hard curveball in the 69-72 MPH range. With a 12-6 curve to it, Ramirez is using his curveball as his out pitch right now. He was working on developing his slider, a pitch that he started working on a lot more towards the end of the 2004 season, but lost significant development time with it in 2005 due to his injuries. Ramirez believes his slider could be an excellent out pitch for him down the road, possibly a #2 or #3 pitch. Ramirez throws a decent changeup in the 78-80 MPH range.

Pitching. Ramirez has a smooth and effortless delivery. He is not a max effort guy, which should aid in his future ability to avoid injuries like the ones that plagued him in 2005. Ramirez challenges hitters right away with his fastball and then starts pecking away at them with his curveball and changeup. He throws his fastball inside and outside with a purpose, mainly setting up his breaking pitches. Once he has mastered the slider, Ramirez could have a solid four-pitch repertoire and he already has excellent command of his pitches. One of the better control pitchers in the Mets' farm system, he's also as consistent as they come.

Projection. While Ramirez believes his 2005 season was a "step forward" despite the injuries, the fact is he was pitching so well before being shelved that he could have seen significant time at the AA-level this past season. As it stands right now, he's 25-years old and has yet to pitch at the higher minor league levels, a big reason for the fall in his prospect ranking from 2004. He has been used as both a starter and reliever in his short career with the Mets, and while he'd prefer to start, the injury setbacks of 2005 may have forced the decision for him. He may remain a starter at the minor league level, but his path to the Major Leagues may not only be quicker out of the bullpen, but met with a greater deal of success. With his control and expanded repertoire, Ramirez could become a very good setup guy someday, flourishing in the role and type of success Aaron Heilman displayed with the Mets in 2005.

ETA. 2007. We said a year ago that his timetable for reaching the Majors would be 2007. His injury-shortened season hurts that estimate somewhat, but there is still a good chance he'll be in AA-Binghamton in 2006. If he and Mets decide to move into the bullpen full-time, Ramirez could reach Shea Stadium by 2007 where he could have Aaron Heilman-type success. However, remaining in the starting role could push his ETA back to 2008 when he'll be 27 years old.

Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Greg Ramirez
\r\nPosition: Starting Pitcher
\r\nDOB: September 12, 1980
\r\nHeight: 6'4\"
\r\nWeight: 210
\r\nBats: Right
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\nGreg Ramirez's 2005 season started off in familiar enough fashion, with the 25-year-old righthander winning four of his first five decisions and earning selection as a Florida State League All-Star.
\r\n
\r\nBut tendinitis and a minor shoulder tear would sour the rest of the year for Ramirez, who pitched just 17-2/3 innings after May 31, missing all of July and most of August when the results of a pair of MRIs prescribed in-season rest . He wrapped up the year with a 4-5 record and 4.17 ERA in 18 games (12 starts).
\r\n
\r\n\"It's tough to come back from an injury like that and sitting down for so long,\" Ramirez said. \"I had a few rough outings and it kind of skewed my numbers for the whole season.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt was an unsatisfying follow-up to Ramirez's impressive 2004 campaign, in which the Pepperdine product posted a 7-0 record and 2.06 ERA for the Capital City (A) Bombers in the South Atlantic League.
\r\n
\r\nBut Ramirez – who once jockeyed for college mound time with big league hurlers Dan Haren and Noah Lowry – believes that there are positives to be taken from his experience at St. Lucie.
\r\n
\r\n\"Even though my numbers don't show it, I think it was a step forward,\" Ramirez said. \"It's tough to improve on my 2004 season, because that's one of the better years I've had. It's almost asking too much of yourself to put up better numbers than that.
\r\n
\r\n\"Even though I missed almost half the year, I really think it's pretty small in the grand scheme of things.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne of the more versatile pitchers in the Mets organization, Ramirez has the ability to start or relieve and owns a fine strikeout-to-walk ratio – 217 punchouts and 66 free passes in 216.2 professional innings.
\r\n
\r\nRamirez said that one Mets pitching coach speculated his tendinitis problems may have come from switching between starting and relief roles in college and professional ball.
\r\n
\r\nHowever, Ramirez suspects that it was in fact an intensive running program that sapped him of body weight and endurance. He said a primary focus of his winter workouts would concern adding muscle and \"good weight.\"
\r\n
\r\nThat, he hopes, will open the door for a rotation spot at Double-A Binghamton, despite the fact he logged just 69 innings in the Florida State League.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think when I did pitch, it's clear I can pitch at the next level,\" Ramirez said. \"I'm confident enough that I can pitch at the next level and succeed. I think I'm ready for it.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n

Year

Team

W-L

\r\n SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2005

\r\n

\r\n St. Lucie

\r\n

\r\n 4-5

\r\n

\r\n 0

\r\n

\r\n 69.0

\r\n

\r\n 66

\r\n

\r\n 21

\r\n

\r\n 64

\r\n

\r\n 4.17

2004

\r\n

\r\n Capital City

\r\n

\r\n 7-0

\r\n

\r\n 10

\r\n

\r\n 96.0

\r\n

\r\n 81

\r\n

\r\n 28

\r\n

\r\n 105

\r\n

\r\n 2.06

\r\n

\r\n 2003

\r\n

\r\n Brooklyn

\r\n

\r\n 1-3

\r\n

\r\n 1

\r\n

\r\n 51.2

\r\n

\r\n 51

\r\n

\r\n 17

\r\n

\r\n 48

\r\n

\r\n 2.96


\r\n
\r\n* Stats as of 10/1/05
\r\n
\r\nRepertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup.
\r\n
\r\nFastball. Ramirez throws a 2-seam fastball and a 4-seamer, although 90% of his fastballs are of the 2-seam variety. His 2-seamer averages about 88-91 MPH and he can bring it as high as 93 MPH at times. It has very good sinking action. He throws his 4-seam fastball at no particular time, just when he's in the mood.
\r\n
\r\nOther Pitches. Ramirez has a hard curveball in the 69-72 MPH range. With a 12-6 curve to it, Ramirez is using his curveball as his out pitch right now. He was working on developing his slider, a pitch that he started working on a lot more towards the end of the 2004 season, but lost significant development time with it in 2005 due to his injuries. Ramirez believes his slider could be an excellent out pitch for him down the road, possibly a #2 or #3 pitch. Ramirez throws a decent changeup in the 78-80 MPH range.
\r\n
\r\nPitching. Ramirez has a smooth and effortless delivery. He is not a max effort guy, which should aid in his future ability to avoid injuries like the ones that plagued him in 2005. Ramirez challenges hitters right away with his fastball and then starts pecking away at them with his curveball and changeup. He throws his fastball inside and outside with a purpose, mainly setting up his breaking pitches. Once he has mastered the slider, Ramirez could have a solid four-pitch repertoire and he already has excellent command of his pitches. One of the better control pitchers in the Mets' farm system, he's also as consistent as they come.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. While Ramirez believes his 2005 season was a \"step forward\" despite the injuries, the fact is he was pitching so well before being shelved that he could have seen significant time at the AA-level this past season. As it stands right now, he's 25-years old and has yet to pitch at the higher minor league levels, a big reason for the fall in his prospect ranking from 2004. He has been used as both a starter and reliever in his short career with the Mets, and while he'd prefer to start, the injury setbacks of 2005 may have forced the decision for him. He may remain a starter at the minor league level, but his path to the Major Leagues may not only be quicker out of the bullpen, but met with a greater deal of success. With his control and expanded repertoire, Ramirez could become a very good setup guy someday, flourishing in the role and type of success Aaron Heilman displayed with the Mets in 2005.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2007. We said a year ago that his timetable for reaching the Majors would be 2007. His injury-shortened season hurts that estimate somewhat, but there is still a good chance he'll be in AA-Binghamton in 2006. If he and Mets decide to move into the bullpen full-time, Ramirez could reach Shea Stadium by 2007 where he could have Aaron Heilman-type success. However, remaining in the starting role could push his ETA back to 2008 when he'll be 27 years old.
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