Tigers Give Up On Ramirez, Send Him To Braves

The Deal
The Tigers had tired of outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, who had teased them as a prospect since 2003. He got to the majors finally in ’09, getting 11 at-bats, but his minor league performance had slipped from his top season in ’08, when he hit 19 homers at Double-A Erie. Ramirez fared so this spring that the Tigers started him back in Double-A, despite the fact that he spent all of the previous year in Triple-A. The Braves took an inexpensive flier on Ramirez, acquiring the former Futures Gamer from the Tigers for a player to be named.

The Tigers recently dumped Ramirez from the 40-man roster to make room for trade acquisition Jhonny Peralta. Ordinarily, we do not consider players who have been designated for assignment to merit Trade Central inclusion. But Ramirez represents a special case because he has two solid-average tools—speed, defense—to go with impressive raw power. It’s just that he struggles to unlock that power because of an impatient approach—at the time of the trade Ramirez ranked second in the minors with 144 strikeouts.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski summed it up to The Detroit News, saying, “(Ramirez) just has not developed to hit the breaking ball on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, the offensive progress wasn’t there for us. But he works like crazy, and he might get it at some point. Hopefully, he will. Sometimes a guy will benefit by a change of scenery.”

Braves Acquire
Wilkin Ramirez, cf

Age: 24. Position: CF (66 G), RF (21 G), LF (5 G).

Born: Oct. 25, 1985 in Bani, Dominican Republic.

Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 190. Bats: R. Throws: R.

Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Tigers, Feb. 5, 2003 … On disabled list, June 21-Oct. 3, 2004.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Erie (EL) AA .241 56 212 34 51 10 4 15 42 22 84 5 .311 .538
Toledo (IL) AAA .216 41 153 15 33 4 2 4 14 10 60 7 .273 .346
Total .230 97 365 49 84 14 6 19 56 32 144 12 .295 .458

Ramirez ranked as the Tigers’ No. 8 prospect entering the season and is a veteran of that organization’s top prospects list. He first appeared in a Tigers Top 10 following the 2005 season, his first after he missed the ’04 season with a shoulder injury. He still has tools but has not panned out as was expected offensively, where his swing is long and his approach one-dimensional. He’s a dead-pull hitter who doesn’t tap into his raw power, and he has not made adjustments to handle pitches on the outer half. Defensively, he’s become a solid center fielder and is still an average runner.

Tigers Acquire
If Atlanta winds up sending a player to Detroit, we’ll analyze him here.

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