Check out Ramirez’s stats, and you’ll wonder why his name isn’t mentioned among the top college arms in this draft.
He went 9-2 as a starter his freshman season and struck out 100 batters in 110 innings of work. He also posted a 3.33 ERA for a very talented Cal State-Fullerton squad.
Last season, he was even better, quietly having an amazing year, posting a 12-1 record, a 2.54 ERA and 119 strikeouts (with only 19 walks) in 106 innings.
And after the season was done with, he went to work in the bullpen for the Team USA collegiate squad, working often as the closer, a role that he seemed like a natural in.
This year, he’s been just as dominant, but back in the rotation, winning eight of his 11 starts and posting an 84-to-15 K-to-BB ratio in 76.2 innings.
The reason Ramirez doesn’t get as much love as Gerrit Cole, Taylor Jungmann or Sonny Gray is because of his lesser velocity. He was mostly pitching in the high 80s the past few seasons but has added a few ticks and can now reach into the low 90s. So far at Fullerton, he’s thrived on his excellent secondary pitches and his pinpoint command.
He does have an excellent slider, which leads many to think he may be cut out to be a reliever at the pro level. That would also make his ability to develop his change-up more of a moot point.
Despite his lesser velocity and not-so-promising future, Ramirez seems to rise to the occasion anytime he’s challenged. Like when he went toe-to-toe with eventual 2011 top five pick Gerrit Cole in the Super Regionals last year. Ramirez out-dueled Cole and led Fullerton to a 4-3 victory.
I wouldn’t count him out.