Tigers Organization Report
Regaining His Health
DETROIT—Wilkin Ramirez has had some of the best tools in the Tigers organization since the day he signed in 2003.
This season, at long last, he’s been healthy enough to show them. Ramirez has had several noteworthy achievements in 2007: he reached Double-A Erie at age 21, made the switch from third base to the outfield, and, most importantly, remained on the field, one year after a deep bruise and severe swelling in his shin limited him to only 66 games.
“He’s been healthy,” said Glenn Ezell, Detroit’s director of player development. “That’s the biggest plus of the whole year for me, with Wilkin Ramirez.”
The position switch seems to have suited Ramirez well. Erie manager Matt Walbeck said Ramirez has a strong arm and good speed in the outfield, even though there is room for general improvement.
“He’s fairly new to the outfield, so he needs to work on judging balls,” Walbeck said. “The more time he spends there, the better he’ll get at recognizing balls off the bat.”
Ezell said Ramirez will report to instructional league after the season.
“Wilkin has some very good tools,” Ezell said. “We’ve got to nurture him and keep him playing. We’re going to work with him until he becomes a good outfielder.
Ramirez showed plus power and plus speed at high Class A Lakeland, where he hit .273/.315/.414 with 10 homers in 319 at-bats in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, and had 28 steals in 34 attempts.
Still, he has struggled with breaking pitches. He had 86 strikeouts at Lakeland, and fanned 23 times in his first 21 games after the promotion to Erie.
“Hopefully, his recognition is going to improve,” Ezell said. “That doesn’t just happen overnight.”TIGER TALES
Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said Erie outfielder Cameron Maybin would not be a September callup. Although technically Dombrowski was correct, Maybin earned a promotion to Detroit in late August, and recorded his first major league hit against Roger Clemens.
Shortstop Danny Worth, a second-round pick out of Pepperdine, has made an immediate impact since signing for $378,000. He is batting .266/.340/.391 in his first 37 games with Lakeland.