German Ramirez Impresses Astros At First U.S. Spring Training


German Ramirez still looks like a 17-year-old.

But the young shortstop didn’t play like a teenager while getting his first taste of minor league spring training in the U.S. this year.

Ramirez “just looks comfortable,” according to Astros farm director Jacob Buffa. “In the batter’s box he was confident. He wasn’t shaken. He looked like he belonged, and he felt like he belonged.”

The Astros signed Ramirez for $1.2 million out of the Dominican Republic in January 2023. He was 16 years old for most of the first two months of his pro career last year. In 48 games he hit .257/.324/.328 with one home run in the Dominican Summer League. 

“He’s got a good arm, good action at short, plus bat speed with a flat swing,” Buffa said of Ramirez. “I thought he did excellent this spring. He had good contact rates. He’s still growing into his body trying to get into his body.

“He’s a true shortstop. He’s someone I’m pretty excited about after spring training.”

Ramirez is 6 feet, 179 pounds. As Buffa notes, he’s still growing into his body. It’s unclear how much more he will grow, but there’s no doubt that the Astros see Ramirez as a shortstop.

The Astros want Ramirez to spend time at the organization’s training complex in West Palm Beach, Fla., before they ship him off to a minor league affiliate.  

“He’s going to start out at the complex just to get him acclimated to the States,” Buffa said Ramirez. “We have excellent Spanish-speaking hitting coaches at the complex. And then hopefully (we) progress him as fast as his performance allows.

“He’s somewhere around 5-foot-11 (to) 6 feet. He’s really thin. That’s part of our process with him. We want to teach him how to eat (well), teach him how to lift. Hopefully the size and strength and power develop.”

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