Ramirez Finding His Way

Wilkin Ramirez started his career with the Detroit Tigers organization over five years ago when he signed in February of 2003. He has been through a couple of injuries and a position change but he is starting to feel comfortable with his surroundings.

It hasn't always been easy for Ramirez but he understands that he needs to work hard if he is going to accomplish all his goals. He has the all the tools to have a big time career but just needs to put them all together. It is really tough to find someone who has both the power potential and the speed that Ramirez has.

Ramirez is the youngest player on the Erie SeaWolves roster yet he is one of the biggest leaders in the clubhouse. In addition to putting up big numbers on the field he is well liked by his teammates in the clubhouse. He is constantly pulling pranks on his fellow teammates a favor they are sure to return. Recently Ramirez was being interviewed after hitting a game winning home run and teammate and roommate Max Leon got him with a shaving cream pie in the face. After everyone in the clubhouse got a chuckle Ramirez said "Max is my roommate and look at what he did to me". There were no hard feelings, just a lot of laughs "We're just playing baseball and having fun, that's what we need to do have fun"Ramirez said. It's obvious that having fun is helping out Wilkin Ramirez who is on pace for a career year.

It's not all about fun games however, there is plenty of hard work as well. Ramirez started his professional career as a third baseman but he struggled there with injuries and consistency prompting a move to left field. The move to left field seems to have helped him with his injury troubles but he is still getting used to playing a new position. On any given day you may see him make a diving catch or throw out a runner at home plate but he still struggles judging some fly balls at times. "You just practice everyday and that's how you'll get better" Ramirez said, proving he has the desire to be a complete player. He added "I have been working really hard and they taught me to just see the ball and react, try not to think too much".

The switch to the outfield has not always been easy for Ramirez but he is getting more comfortable. When asked if he felt more comfortable playing outfield he said "it's my second year in the outfield, I just keep playing everyday and give 100 percent". SeaWolves manager Tom Brokkens understands the difficulty that Ramirez will have in the outfield at times and he preaches hard work.

"He's a converted third baseman so going to the outfield is new for him, although it's not his first year out there he played out there last year" Brookens said. He added "natural instincts, he's going to have to develop them. He's not the kind of guy that he just walks out there and everything comes natural to him."

Ramirez is off to the best start his career but he continues to have high strikeout to walk totals. The knock on Ramirez is that he chases too many pitches and isn't patient at the plate. His approach at the plate is simple "I just try to see the ball and hit it, I don't try to pull the ball or anything I just see it and hit it" he said".

With his athleticism the sky is the limit for Ramirez if he continues to work hard and have a good attitude. It's tough to get him to talk about himself because he always wants to talk about the team. He enjoys the game of baseball, he enjoys winning and he enjoys having fun. He is 22 years-old and after just over a month of the 2008 season he is off to the best start of his career. Ramirez does not take the personal accolades that are thrown his way he deflects all credit to the team. He says "Anyway that I can help my team to win, I will do it. I'm just playing baseball".

It won't be an easy ride but if Ramirez can put all his tools to good use he may be an everyday major leaguer someday. SeaWolves manager Tom Brookens played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians and he gives Ramirez a ringing endorsement. Brookens said "He's another guy who I think you'll see in the big leagues someday, he's got the natural ability and if he works at it I think he'll be there". Brookens obviously knows what it takes to play in the Majors and he will continue to push Ramirez to work hard at achieving that ultimate goal.


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