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2024 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List No. 14

Who is the 14th-best prospect on the Giants farm?

Heliot Ramos smiling in the dugout. Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Note: Today is nomination day! Head to the comments to nominate the next group of players to vote on, and “REC” the names you agree with.


The offseason trudges on, and so too does our 2024 Willie McCovey Memorial Community Prospect List, in which we come together as a lovely community to rank the top 44 prospects in the San Francisco Giants organization.

Coming in at No. 13 is a prospect that anyone who reads this site knows holds a special place in my heart: outfielder Heliot Ramos. Despite an awful 2022 and an excellent 2023, Ramos falls one spot in the CPL, after being ranked No. 12 last offseason.

Ramos, who is somehow still on the young side of 24 despite being the team’s first-round pick back in 2017, exorcised some high-Minors demons in 2023. After struggling mightily with AAA Sacramento in half a season in 2021 and a full season in 2022, Ramos finally put it together in 2023, hitting .300/.382/.546 for a .928 OPS and a 120 wRC+. While Ramos still has a bit of a chase issue, especially on pitches above the zone (he had a 25.1% strikeout rate with Sacramento last year), he had his best season with some other areas in the batter’s box. His 10.3% walk rate was the highest of his career, and his .247 ISO was his highest mark since playing a month of rookie ball after the draft.

Counting his five rehab appearances with Low-A San Jose, Ramos was eighth among 108 Giants Minor Leaguers (minimum: 100 plate appearances) in batting average (.303), 31st in on-base percentage (.384), first in slugging percentage (.570), and third in OPS (.954). He missed a significant chunk of time early in the year due to an oblique strain, but returned in the summer with a vengeance.

Which brings us to the bad. Ramos struggled in the Majors in 2023, hitting just .179/.233/.304, for a 47 wRC+. It’s unclear how much stock to put into those numbers, as the sample size is a little sketchy: Ramos received just 60 plate appearances spread out over four different call-ups. On the one hand, that’s not a very convincing sample size. On the other hand, it speaks to the team’s evaluation of Ramos that he received so few opportunities, even as the Giants outfield struggled mightily with both performance and injuries ... most notably, the team signed A.J. Pollock and added Wade Meckler to the 40-man roster before calling up a scorching-hot Ramos in the summer.

Since he offseason began, Farhan Zaidi has twice mentioned Ramos — unprompted — as a key player in 2024, saying in October that he regretted not giving the powerful righty more opportunities last season, and saying a few weeks ago that Ramos could replace Mitch Haniger’s power in the lineup. But it’s unclear whether those quotes represent a shift in organizational philosophy or an attempt at just instilling confidence in a young player and/or boosting their trade value.

One thing in Ramos’ favor: among the 28 Giants hitters in the Majors this year, Ramos was sixth in average exit velocity (90.9 mph), second in maximum exit velocity (112.7 mph), fourth in EV50 (102.1 mph), and first in barrels per plate appearance (8.3%).

I’ve rambled enough about a player I’m pretty clearly rooting for. Let’s add another name behind him, and let’s nominate some new players!

The list so far

  1. Kyle Harrison — LHP
  2. Marco Luciano — SS
  3. Bryce Eldridge — RF/RHP
  4. Carson Whisenhunt — LHP
  5. Rayner Arias — CF
  6. Keaton Winn — RHP
  7. Walker Martin — SS
  8. Reggie Crawford — LHP/1B
  9. Hayden Birdsong — RHP
  10. Mason Black — RHP
  11. Wade Meckler — OF
  12. Grant McCray — CF
  13. Heliot Ramos — OF

Note: Clicking on the above names will link to the CPL where they were voted onto the list.

On to No. 14!

No. 14 prospect nominees

Aeverson Arteaga — 20.9-year old SS, .708 OPS/89 wRC+ in High-A (546 PA)
Vaun Brown — 25.6-year old OF, .705 OPS/90 wRC+ in AA (208 PA)
Landen Roupp — 25.4-year old RHP, 1.74 ERA/2.15 FIP in AA (31 IP)
Joe Whitman — 22.3-year old LHP, 0.00 ERA/4.44 FIP in ACL (4 IP), 3.18 ERA/2.52 FIP in Low-A (5.2 IP)

Note: Each player’s first name links to their Baseball-Reference page, and their last name links to their Fangraphs page.

Poll

Who is the No. 14 prospect on the Giants farm?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Aeverson Arteaga
    (295 votes)
  • 17%
    Vaun Brown
    (99 votes)
  • 16%
    Landen Roupp
    (90 votes)
  • 13%
    Joe Whitman
    (74 votes)
558 votes total Vote Now