- Full name Cesár Ramos
- Born 06/22/1984 in Los Angeles, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Long Beach State
- Debut 09/16/2009
Drafted in the C-1 round (35th overall) by the San Diego Padres in 2005 (signed for $950,000).
View Draft ReportWith three starters who have been drafted in the top two rounds the last two years--Abe Alvarez in 2003, Jered Weaver and Jason Vargas in 2004--Ramos has struggled for attention at Long Beach State. He was an effective No. 3 starter both years, going 18-8, 2.51 after entering the program as a sixth-round pick out of high school. This year, Ramos has taken over the No. 1 spot in the 49ers rotation and become the winningest lefthander in school history, surpassing Alvarez, who has already debuted in the big leagues with the Red Sox. Both pitchers have similar styles, but scouts say Ramos uses his stuff better than Alvarez. Ramos has excellent command of four pitches and walked 13 in his first 116 innings this spring. He's not overpowering with a four-seam fastball that sits at 85-88 mph and touches 90. His two-seamer has even less velocity, but more movement. But he's sneaky fast, throwing on a downhill plane with pinpoint accuracy. He has a knack for burying his fastball under the hands of righthanded hitters. He also has an effective slider and curve, and a serviceable changeup he uses early in the count. Ramos is frequently compared to Cal State Fullerton lefty Ricky Romero, who should be the first lefthander drafted this year. Romero has better stuff across the board, but Ramos has better command and is more consistent. He could be one of the rare lefthanders drafted in the first round with a below-average fastball.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Padres opted not to call up Ramos in September 2008, though he had been just as effective as Portland rotation-mates Josh Geer and Wade LeBlanc, both of whom received promotions. The oversight apparently provided ample motivation for Ramos. He rededicated himself in the winter prior to the 2009 season, getting in better shape, polishing his curveball and surviving in big league camp until the final cut. He would have been recalled in June if not for shoulder inflammation that knocked him out for two months, but he recovered to make his big league debut in September. Ramos has better raw stuff than either Geer or LeBlanc. The problem rests with the deployment of his fastball, changeup and cutter. He sits at 90-91 mph and touches 93 in every outing, but his heater lacks life and his fringy slider lacks finish. He compensates a bit with a plus changeup, and he works inside on righthanders with a high-80s cutter. The return of his curveball gave Ramos a surprise weapon last season, something he could throw for a called strike as a get-me-over offering early or as a back-door pitch later in the count. Ramos' ceiling is strictly that of fifth starter, but he's ready when the Padres need him.
Ramos turned down the Devil Rays as a sixth-round pick out of high school, then became the winningest lefthander in Long Beach State history. He struggled to a 5.01 ERA in his pro debut, but rebounded to post the second-best ERA (3.70) in the California League in 2006. He nearly turned the trick again in 2007, finishing third in the Texas League in wins (13), ERA (3.41) and innings (163). Ramos doesn't have put-away stuff, but all three of his pitches showed improvement, beginning with his 88-92 mph fastball, which was a couple of ticks quicker than in 2006. The added velocity allowed him to better attack righthanders inside, which meant he could come in even further with his cutter. Both Ramos' slider and changeup are solid-average pitches most of the time. His slider gets too big at times and he needs to use his changeup more, especially on the outer half of the plate. He throws strikes with his full repertoire but gets in trouble when he leaves his stuff up in the zone. Durability has never been an issue for Ramos, who got in better shape last year, and he appears well on his way to his ceiling as a No. 4 or 5 starter. He's ready for Triple-A in 2008.
Ramos turned down the Devil Rays as a sixth-round pick out of high school and became the winningest lefthander in Long Beach State history. Ramos had a 5.01 ERA in his debut but rebounded to post the second best ERA in the California League in 2006. Ramos has four pitches, a compact delivery and great confidence on the mound. His best offering is probably his slider, which he uses to attack righthanders. He does a nice job of locating his lively 86-90 mph four-seam fastball. He began going to his changeup more often last season, especially to keep righties off balance, and his arm speed on the pitch improved dramatically. Ramos lacks the secondary stuff to consistently put away batters. He can sometimes rush his delivery and get off line to the plate, resulting in pitches left up and over the plate. His curveball is below average and not much more than a show pitch. He has to get stronger after wearing down at the end of his first full pro season. Ramos has the makeup and the feel to be a No. 4 or 5 starter in the big leagues, though he has to hit his spots and change speeds to succeed. He'll pitch in Double-A this season.
Ramos was drafted in the sixth round by the Devil Rays out of high school, but decided to attend Long Beach State, where he became the winningest lefty in school history and followed fellow 49ers pitchers Abe Alvarez, Jason Vargas and Jered Weaver into the top two rounds of the draft. Ramos showed signs of fatigue late last spring and was pounded in the NCAA regionals. After signing for $950,000, Ramos got knocked around for much of his pro debut as well. He relies on his command and aggressiveness on the mound. His fastball tops out at 91 but sits at 86-88 mph. Ramos mixes in a low-80s two-seamer with good movement. He also has confidence in his slider and changeup, both of which are effective. He commands all of his pitches with pinpoint accuracy, working in all four quadrants of the strike zone. He's not overpowering, and needs to find a pitch to get righthanders out. That might be his changeup, though he all but abandoned it after signing. He'll need to keep an eye on his weight and work habits. He doesn't offer much projection, but his feel for pitching should carry him. He'll begin the year in high Class A and could reach Double-A by midseason.
Minor League Top Prospects
Ramos wore down in his 2005 pro debut after pitching 126 innings at Long Beach State that spring, but he entered this season refreshed and it showed. He went 7-4, 2.93 over the season's first four months before fatigue set in once again, and he went 0-4, 8.27 in August. When he's at his best like he was in the first half, Ramos has very good command of a four-pitch mix. He has a solid-average fastball that sits at 88-91 mph and jumps up to 92-93 when he needs it, and he uses an average curveball and average slider. His best pitch is a plus changeup that's effective against righthanders. Ramos doesn't rack up many strikeouts, but works to all corners of the zone to keep hitters off balance. He left too many pitches up late in the season when his arm was tired. He has an easy, compact delivery and a physical 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame that should prove more durable as he gets acclimated to a pro workload.