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Daniel Ramos, one of the top young pitching prospects at the lower levels, is returning from shoulder surgery.

TAMPA, FL -- After pitching in only one game in 2014, right-handed pitcher Daniel Ramos went down with a shoulder injury. He missed two years recovering from shoulder surgery and this year in 2016, he returns to the diamond for the Yankees in the Gulf Coast League. This year Ramos looks to make a mark and show that he has recovered completely from his shoulder injury.

Growing up, Ramos was a New York Yankees fan, and was very excited when he was signed by the Yankees in 2014.

“I was really excited because, it is my favorite team when I was growing up,” Ramos said with the help of a translator. “When I was a kid, the team I was always looking at was the Yankees.”

Initially, when Ramos first heard of his injury, he did not know how much time he would miss. It took around a year before Ramos was even able to pick up a baseball again. He spent four months without throwing a baseball and six months rehabbing.

“In the beginning it was tough because I was trying to get healthy," Ramos said.  "It was taking longer than what I expected but when I started to get better I was going to feel happier because I feel much better. I’m ready to go and compete now.”

Ramos was able to finally return to the mound the second game of the 2016 Gulf Coast League season, and he feels pretty good about throwing a baseball competitively again.

“I feel good," he insisted.  "Sometimes I get a little scared because I got that fear(of getting injured). “I’m going to try to break through [though], try and get 100 percent again.”

According to first year pitching coach, Armando Galarraga, Ramos has tremendous potential, but this year he wants Ramos to focus on finishing the season healthy.

“He's a really good kid with good potential," Gallaraga said.  "He's a kid that definitely has potential.  We slow down a little bit with him, make sure he's strong and finishes the season healthy.”

Ramos’ pitching repertoire consists of a fastball, a changeup and a curveball. His fastball is currently around 93 miles per hour, the curveball is around 80 mph and his changeup is 88 mph. Ramos has lost some of his speed and velocity, especially off of his fastball, since his shoulder injury.

“Before I threw like 95-96, now it is 93-94,” Ramos said. “So I am still getting stronger and gaining my velocity back.”

Although Ramos is not throwing at the same speeds as he did before his injury, he still continues to improve and throw strikes, which is a great thing to have, especially at this level.

“Every outing he's getting better and that's a good thing because he's ready to compete,” Galarraga said. “He's a kid that he comes in and throws around the zone and he's focused about throwing strikes.”

In addition to transitioning from his shoulder injury, Ramos is also transitioning from a different country. Ramos is originally from the Dominican Republic and in 2016 he is playing his first season in the United States and he couldn’t be happier.

“It’s good," Ramos said. "It’s exciting [playing in the United States]. The best place to play baseball is here in the United States. So I’m really happy to be here."

Galarraga believes that this season Ramos does not need to be result oriented but should more focused on getting though the season healthy and finishing at 100 percent

“The focus is not about the results," Gallaraga insisted, "the focus is on getting through the year healthy.  My goal for him is to finish strong.”

Though he is just 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA through his first four games in over two years, Ramos is very optimistic about this season and he is ready to put his best foot forward after enduring his shoulder injury.

“I’m excited. I’m excited because I am healthy and I am looking to finish the season strong.” Ramos concluded.


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