Sunday, March 3, 2013

Jose Ramirez Scouting Report

Jose Ramirez, the RHP prospect for the New York Yankees, pitched against some Red Sox hitters, mostly established MLB hitters, in a spring training game on TV, so I watched and took some notes.

The 10 fastballs I counted in his first inning averaged 93.8 MPH, with 95 MPH the hardest I saw (according to the YES gun). He didn't hit the 96-97 MPH range that I have heard he is capable of, but, even when adjusting for a semi relief outing for him, that is good MLB velocity.

He has pretty clean looking mechanics, with a delivery that doesn't seem to use much effort. He is listed at 6-1, but he just looks really long, and though he is not lanky, he gets good looking extension. His arm comes out as a 3/4 type release point. He has a definite swing or sling in his arm, and doesn't appear to be taking a real solid stride. It also really looked like he dropped almost sidearm a couple of times. This is when I wish there was Pitch F/X data so we could check to see what his release point looked like.

The off-speed pitch he showed was a 85-88 MPH changeup that seemed to have solid dip, as it dropped off the table well a couple times. He did leave on up for a base hit, but he struck out Mike Napoli, a fellow righty, with it. I don't like it when he throws it for a strike, because it didn't dip as much when he did. It also doesn't seem to have much horizontal movement, which is another reason it isn't a strike pitch or more of a chase change.

I didn't see the breaking ball (except maybe a 89 MPH slider that had some movement but he yanked it glove side past the catcher), which is what I have heard is the problem.

Obviously you want to see that third pitch to see whether or not he is a legit MLB starter, but remember, Ramirez hasn't thrown a pitch above A+. He turned 23 this off-season, so you expect him to pitch in AA, and he needs to have a good season to stay on track of being a starting pitcher prospect. As far as limiting walks, he finally took a step forward in 2012 after stalling for a couple of years. He has always been a solid strikeout pitcher statistically.

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