Scouting Twins Prospect #8: Wilson Ramos

The Minnesota Twins signed Wilson Ramos as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2004, as scout Jose Leon signed the 17-year old catching prospect. Since his arrival, Ramos has turned into one of the top catching prospects in all of Minor League Baseball, and will be behind the plate for New Britain in 2009.

Name: Wilson Ramos
Position: Catcher
D.O.B. August 10, 1987
Height: 6-foot-0
Weight: 205
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

The Minnesota Twins signed Wilson Ramos as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2004, as scout Jose Leon signed the 17-year old catching prospect. Since his arrival, Ramos has turned into one of the top catching prospects in all of Minor League Baseball, and will be behind the plate for New Britain in 2009.

In his first stint in the Twins organization, Ramos batted only .252 for the Dominican Summer League Twins. Only 18-years old, Ramos did show some potential at the plate, but not the kind of prowess he does now. He did not show much power, struggled a bit behind the plate, but did show an advanced batting eye.

The following season, Ramos was a member of the Gulf Coast League Twins, earning league's All-Star honors. He split his time between first base and catching, and hit .286 in 46 games. Only striking out 14 times in 154 at-bats, Ramos led the league in strikeout ratio, and finally began to show some kind of gap power.

During the 2007 season, Ramos really had a breakout year for the Beloit Snappers, as the 20-year old began to flourish in the Midwest League. The young backstop batted close to .300 for the team, and only made two errors behind the plate. He blasted eight home runs for the team, and was a consistent bat in the order.

Last season, Ramos was a Florida State League mid-season and post-season All-Star, as he showed incredible skills in the field, and at the plate. Batting .288, Ramos blasted a career-high 13 home runs, and drove in 78 runs. He proved to be very durable, appearing in 126 games for the Miracle, and his 78 ribbies were the fourth best total in the league.

In the off-season, Ramos was added to the Twins' 40-man roster, and was also a Caribbean League All-Star. He is slated to start at catcher for the New Britain Rock Cats in 2009, where he will likely be in the middle of the lineup.

Batting and Power. Ramos has very raw power, which he has now been able to translate into games. Most scouts agree that he will be a 25-home run guy in the future, and he is a very good overall hitter. He was very selective early in his career, but he strikeouts have increased in frequency the past couple of seasons. Still, he has the potential to be a .300 hitter in the future, and could be there in 2009.

Baserunning and Speed. Ramos is a catching prospect, so he is not very fast. In fact, he is a below average runner, who grounds into a lot of double plays. He is not a liability on the basepaths, but he is not going to be getting the green light much this season, if at all.

Defense. Ramos is a plus defender, and will likely be the best defensive catcher in the Eastern League during the 2009 season. He has a rocket for a right arm, and led the Florida State League in percentage in 2008. He has the potential to be a very good blocker and game caller, which he works on every day. He is a very hard worker, and he takes a lot of pride in his defense.

ETA. 2010. Ramos is a difficult person to decided on when he will be in the Major Leagues, mostly because the Twins have a very good catcher at the big league level right now. Still, if Ramos continues to develop, he could be Mauer's back-up by 2010. More likely would be him being traded to another organization, where he would eventually be a big league starter. He has all the tools to catch everyday in the Major Leagues, and that likely will not happen with the Twins.


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