- Full name Johnathan Paul Ramirez
- Born 09/29/1989 in New Braunfels, TX
- Profile Ht.: 5'10" / Wt.: 185 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Canyon
Drafted in the 15th round (451st overall) by the Washington Nationals in 2008 (signed for $1,000,000).
View Draft ReportRamirez is arguably the best hitter among Texas' draft prospects this year--high school or college. He performed well all along the showcase circuit and batter .395 for the U.S. junior national team last summer. Employing a smooth lefthanded stroke, he smokes line drives from gap to gap. However, Ramirez' true value and his signability remain subjects of debate. He may be a tweener by pro standards. He's not big (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) and lacks the raw power that clubs want in a corner outfielder, while his fringy speed will prevent him form playing center field. His arm likely will relegate him to left field. Two different scouts compared him to David Dellucci. As much as Ramirez' hitting ability and his makeup draw praise, teams are unlikely to meet his top-two-rounds asking price to prevent him from attending Tulane.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Ramirez grew up with a batting cage in his backyard and he loves to hit. The Nationals bought him out of a commitment to Tulane with a 15th-round-record $1 million just before the signing deadline in 2008. He struggled in 2009 but got back on track last year in low Class A, showing the offensive promise that earned him that big bonus and making significant strides on defense. Ramirez has a smooth, compact lefthanded swing and textbook hitting mechanics. He has good bat speed and average power despite his smaller frame. His bat will have to carry him through the upper levels of the system, but he must control the strike zone better and become more selective in order to reach his ceiling as an above-average hitter. Defense was a major weakness for Ramirez heading into the season, but he worked hard to improve his jumps and routes. He also must become more efficient and accurate with his throwing. He's still a below-average runner, defender and thrower, but he's getting closer to passable in left field. Ramirez will try to carry his momentum into 2011, when he's ticketed for high Class A.
Widely regarded as the best pure hitter in the Texas draft crop in 2008, Ramirez bypassed a Tulane scholarship to sign for $1 million right before the Aug. 15 deadline. The Nats had the money to meet his asking price after negotiations broke down with first-rounder Aaron Crow. Ramirez's first full season in pro ball was disappointing, as his bat revealed itself to be considerably less advanced than previously thought. He does have a smooth, compact lefthanded swing and textbook hitting mechanics, but hitting is his lone potential plus tool and his offensive approach needs plenty of work. He's a very aggressive hitter who chases high fastballs and breaking balls in the dirt. He struggled mightily against lefthanders in 2009, batting just .200/.264/.263. Ramirez has a flat, line-drive swing, and while some scouts believe his bat speed will eventually lead to average power potential, others doubt he'll hit enough homers to be an everyday left fielder. Though he played a few games in right field last season, his below-average speed, arm strength and defense will anchor him to left as he moves through the minors. Ramirez will have to hit his way to the majors, and his bat is years away from being big league-ready. He'll get a shot at low Class A in 2010.
Ramirez hit .395 for the U.S. junior national team in 2007 and batted .521 with eight homers as a high school senior to help establish his reputation as the best pure hitter in the Texas draft crop. His bonus demands and commitment to Tulane dropped him to the 15th round, but the Nationals signed him for $1 million in the hours before the Aug. 15 signing deadline as it became apparent they wouldn't sign first-rounder Aaron Crow. Ramirez has a smooth, compact lefthanded stroke and an advanced feel for hitting. He smokes hard line drives from gap to gap and showed at least average power in an impressive instructional league stint. He draws praise from scouts for his mature approach and high-quality makeup. With fringy speed and a below-average arm, Ramirez will be tied to left field in pro ball. Some club officials believe he'll end up with an average arm in time, but he's also got a lot of work to do on his reads and jumps in the outfield. It's unclear if Ramirez will develop enough power to hold down an everyday job in left field at the major league level, and some scouts see him as a tweener. Others, however, see him as a hitting machine in the David Dellucci mold. Ramirez should get a crack at low Class A in 2009.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the Washington Nationals in 2009