Last season it appeared as if Reese McGuire was the most promising prospect that came to the Blue Jays in that trade for Drew Hutchison back in August 2016. Despite a knee injury that limited him to just 45 games in 2017, McGuire was added to Toronto’s 40-man roster. And along with Danny Jansen, had established himself as by far the best catching prospect in the Blue Jays farm system. Harold Ramirez meanwhile, the other prospect Toronto received in the Hutchison trade, struggled last season (.266/.320/.358) and ended up losing his coveted spot on the Blue Jays 40-man.
Prior to being traded to the Blue Jays, Ramirez was renowned for his contact hitting and was ranked as Pittsburgh’s 9th best prospect. 2017 may have been an off year for Ramirez, but this season he’s regained much of that reputation he developed prior to the trade as being such an excellent hitter for AVG.
Ramirez has an impressive .313 AVG so far this season, including 111 hits in just 94 games with Double A New Hampshire. With his performance at the plate continuing to improve as the season progresses, it’s only a matter of time before he makes the jump to Triple A. Especially when so many of the outfielders in Buffalo have been floundering.
With young talents like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ensuring the Blue Jays have little to worry about with their future infield, their outfield on the other hand is a completely different story. Not one outfielder in this organization has proven to be deserving of starting for the Blue Jays for years to come. Kevin Pillar, Randal Grichuk, and Teoscar Hernandez are the best of the bunch, but offensively (and in Hernandez’ case, defensively as well) they have to be better.
Toronto needs to be getting more production from their outfielders, it’s that simple. You can be one of the better defenders in baseball, but when your OBP is .277, you’re leaving your place as a starter up for grabs. As it is right now, no outfielder, in either the minors or big leagues, is having more success at the plate for the Blue Jays than Ramirez. Talk about underrated, Ramirez isn’t even on the Blue Jays list of their Top 30 prospects. Nor is he, as previously mentioned, on their 40-man roster. Unless the Blue Jays end up adding him to the 40-man this off-season, look for Ramirez to be a prime candidate for the Rule 5 draft.