Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Jose Ramirez‘s live arm was on display against Kevin Gausman this past Friday. The New York Yankees’ minor-leaguer consistently unleashed 94 mph to 95 mph four-seam fastballs against the Bowie Baysox from his low three-quarter arm slot. The pitch touched 97 mph, but Ramirez’s low release point kept it on the same plane on which it was released. It did, however, feature arm-side run. Ramirez complemented his four seamer with an 81 mph to 84 mph changeup that featured significant vertical drop and slight fade as it neared the plate. The right-hander commanded the pitch well down in the zone and it was his go-to out pitch when he was ahead in the count. But his arm speed slows down noticeably during his delivering when compared to his fastball. The Baysox were helpless against Ramirez’s one-two punch. The Dominican lasted five innings, struck out seven batters and walked one. With two above-average offerings, the 22-year-old Yankee minor-leaguer has a strong foundation to become a major league starting pitcher — but there still are several questions he’ll need to answer before his future role becomes clearer. One concern is inefficiency. Ramirez’s Double-A walk rate is just 5.5% in 24 innings, but his fastball command is poor. Against Bowie, he often worked deep into counts. Scouts who have followed his career noted his pitch counts escalate quickly and he rarely lasts deep into games — though Ramirez may be turning that trend around. In Double-A this season he’s averaged just fewer than 16 pitches per inning, which would land him between the sixth and seventh  innings on a full workload. But to be effective as a starter, he’ll need to do more than throw strikes. He’ll have to throw quality strikes, and those will only come with improved command. Another issue is his breaking ball. Ramirez throws a “slutter” — a slider with predominately horizontal break. It’s a poor 86 mph to 88 mph pitch that has little present swing-and-miss ability. On two occasions near the end of his start, Ramirez flashed a below-average — but improved — slider with more horizontal tilt, but this shape needs to be far more consistent and his command must improve. Finally, Ramirez’s delivery has noticeable effort and recoil. While he’s well-proportioned at 6-foot-3 and likely is more than the 190 pounds he’s listed at, Ramirez’s mechanics, along with his other issues, could ultimately push him to the pen. In the bullpen he could be a dangerous high-leverage reliever who can get left-handed hitters out with his changeup. The Yankees should keep the Dominican as a starter until Ramirez’s issues force him to the bullpen. The rotation will grant him valuable repetitions and opportunities to improve his slider and command. None of the three concerns is insurmountable, but collectively, they’ll likely be too much for him to overcome.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN out of draft interview

Report: Some Colts players unhappy with first-round pick

Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff: Focus is on Julio Jones contract

Irvin on Seahawks not picking up option: ‘F— that option’

Brandon Prust rips referee, accuses him of on-ice trash talk

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron James ditched headband to look more like teammates

Report: Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

Milwaukee Brewers fire manager Ron Roenicke

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Chip Kelly: Tim Tebow is here to compete for a job

Report: Nigel Williams-Goss transferring to Gonzaga

Early 2016 NFL Draft prospect rankings

Life without Love: The new-look Cavaliers

Wizards deserve credit for win, but don't read too much into it

Here's why Mayweather-Pacquiao was business as usual

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

WATCH: Tony Allen walks through children performing, gets booed

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods have broken up

WATCH: Two games end with baserunners hit by batted balls

WATCH: Damian Lilliard delivers great graduation speech

Jets do not envision Bryce Petty starting in 2015

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Winston snubbed ESPN

Life without Love: The new-look Cavs

Drafted player changes Twitter name to ‘Pick 245′

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.