Prospect Reports: Yordany Ramirez and Jodam Rivera

Yordany Ramirez and Jodam Rivera are both in similar boats. They began the year in Peoria before a late season callup to the Eugene Emeralds. Ramirez showed fantastic speed but his average dropped to respectability as the season wore on. Rivera was consistent at the plate and in the field until late in his Peoria season when errors became a little more commonplace.

Yordany Ramirez began the year on fire. He had hits in each of his first eight games for Peoria. At the end of that stretch of games he was hitting .412 with five triples, 11 RBI's and four stolen bases.

Ramirez had just ten RBI's in his next 31 games with no triples, one homer and seven doubles. He ended his Peoria season hitting .264.

He did keep his speed on the basepaths up as he swiped 16 bases total on the year and was caught but once.

His defense proved to be solid in the outfield as he came away with three errors on the year. He has good range and an adequate arm. He reads the ball well off the bat and gets a good jump on the ball.

Late in the year he got four games in Eugene and went 3-for-15 with a homer and three RBI's.

His plate discipline is nothing to get excited at as the free swinger drew just four walks on the year. He didn't strike out an awful lot but with his speed he needs to get on base at a rate better than .300. His speed dimension has been neutralized some by his inability to draw walks. He could have easily had another 10 stolen bases with increased walk totals.

Ramirez just concluded his third year in the Padres system. While his power numbers have increased, he has not shown strides at the plate in his ability to draw a walk. He has ten walks in 84 games through his career.

Jodam Rivera showed signs of streakiness, expected from such a young player from another country. He never had more than a four game hitting streak but still managed to keep his average hovering around .300 for much of the year. Six games before the end of the year he was still hitting .290 before it met its final resting place at .276.

He was helped out by four games where he had three hits and 11 multi-hit games in 48 games total. He went three games without a hit just once on the season.

Rivera began the season by striking out in each of his first seven games. He followed that up by striking out twelve times in his next 29 games. While his ability to make contact increased, he still was not drawing many walks. He had a stretch of 23 games where he managed just two walks. While he did end the year with 17, he wasn't nearly as patient at the plate as he should be.

Rivera was a rock at shortstop and was moved to second base later in the year. Many of his late season errors were at second. He had to move from shortstop to accommodate Matt Bush and Baudilio Figueroa. When Rivera was promoted he was returned to second and did have a two error game for the Ems.

Defense is still an area of the game where he must improve upon and the Padres must settle on a position for Rivera. He has played short, second and in the outfield. He spent the majority of his time at short because no one else on the roster was as capable as he at the position.

Rivera is just 18 years old and out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He was picked up by the Padres in the 27th round of the 2004 MLB Draft.

Both players were moved up to Eugene to get experience in front of crowds, because it was warranted and because of injuries.

"It was a little bit of all the above," Tye Waller, Padres' Director of Player Development, said. "We ended up moving some guys up to Fort Wayne because we needed enough guys to go out there and compete. Somebody was hurt we could go out and replace them.

"Same thing for Yordany Ramirez and Rivera. When you can get them playing time they get the understanding of what to expect next year. We think that is a plus.

"We knew at the end of the year that these guys are going home. If they can get a week and see what it is about they will be all excited about that opportunity. If they go up there and do well they will feel much better about themselves and if they don't, they still know what it is like and it might make them work harder in the offseason. They can better prepare themselves to have a good year the next year."

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