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Heliot Ramos optioned in latest round of Spring Training cuts

The former top prospect continues to disappoint.

MLB: Spring Training-San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Angels Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of their game this afternoon, the San Francisco Giants had another cutdown of their Spring Training roster. In addition to the headliner Heliot Ramos, eight prospects were reassigned to minor league camp, per John Shea: Armando Alvarez, Vaun Brown, Clint Coulter, Nick Duron, Tyler Fitzgerald, Ricardo Genovés, Trevor Hildenberger, Erik Miller.

A quick reminder that players on the 40-man roster must be optioned in order to be sent down from the major league team to the minors. They can only be optioned in three seasons — and beginning last season, teams are limited to how many times within a season that optionable players can be sent down. Once a player exhausts their option years, they must be designated for assignment/waived in order to be sent down to the minors. Ramos is on the 40-man, the minor leaguers are not, so they are merely being reassigned to a different part of the organization.

A note about the minor leaguers sent down: yesterday, we learned that Vaun Brown had been diagnosed with patellar tendinitis. Per Alex Pavlovic’s report on today’s cutdowns:

Btw Vaun Brown said he’ll only miss about a week because of the knee issue that shut him down.

Still, it’s disappointing for those few fans who thought he might wow everybody in camp (he had just 5 at bats) and set himself up for a midseason callup. He’ll have to do that when the minor league season starts and sustain it. And then hope that the Giants’ very old and injury prone roster olds and injuries open a spot for him.

As for Heliot Ramos, there was a time when the Giants — along with Giants fans — thought this guy could become a really solid contributor. I’m talking all the way back to... last season, when Zaidi basically setup the roster in hopes that Ramos could step up and be a part of the platoon. He hit .227/.305/.349 (.654 OPS) in 475 Triple-A plate appearances and was 2-for-20 in 22 MLB PAs.

He turned 23 back in September, so it’s not like he has zero shot of making it back to the major leagues at some point, but it’s an open question as to whether or not that will be with the Giants. No team will trade for him after that 2022 combined line or the 3-for-16 line he posted in seven Spring Training games. Ramos will really need to turn things around when the minor league season gets going to rebuild his value. This is his second option year, so the Giants can fully hold onto him through next season to see if that happens, but I think we should all be in don’t hold your breath territory.

Last year saw the org tinker with his swing to try to increase his success elevating the ball, and so perhaps we might just be looking at a player still transitioning and, therefore, needing more time in the field to get comfortable with the new approach. Speaking of fielding, his biggest moments this spring seem to have come from poor fielding.

A little less than two months ago, the McCovey Chronicles community tagged him as the #13 prospect in the system. Last week, MLB Pipeline rated him #18. In their preseason writeup they said of his 2022 performance:

He has decent plate discipline but needs to make adjustments to better handle right-handers, who ate him up with sliders in Triple-A.

Ramos had plus speed as an amateur but has lost a step as he has begun to fill out and now plays closer to average. Though he has spent almost all of his pro career in center field, his instincts and reduced quickness are better suited for a corner.

Jim Callis in that MLB Pipeline writeup also noted that the Giants’ system is “volatile,” and I think you’d agree that Heliot Ramos’s development fits that label perfectly.