Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 5/22/13
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: Hawks could entertain trading core players at deadline

Arthur Blank diagnosed with prostate cancer

Browns deny coverup of Manziel showing up drunk at practice

Jimmy Butler will miss 3-4 weeks with knee strain

Phil Jackson justifies firing Fisher with psychology lesson

Emmitt Smith takes shot at Colin Kaepernick

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eli Manning explains why he made face during Super Bowl

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

John Elway: ‘No deadline’ for Peyton Manning decision

Titans release former Pro Bowl safety Michael Griffin

Maple Leafs trade Dion Phaneuf to Senators in blockbuster deal

Tom Brady says he’s not among the greatest QBs ever

10 NBA teams that could be active at the trade deadline

‘The X-Files’ takes a shot at the Philadelphia 76ers

Ranking the top 50 NFL players slated to become free agents

Jay Williams advocates for pot as painkiller for athletes

Photographer uninjured in SB collision with Corey Brown

Did Messi outbid Ronaldo for most expensive car?

Newton erotic novella ‘Dabbin’ with Cam’ released on Amazon

In Inglewood, representation by NFL may come with taxation

Mets will be present for two Royals’ WS ceremonies

Best and worst free agent signings of 2016 MLB offseason

McShay: Attending Michigan signing day a 'mistake'

Wofford sets NCAA 3-point FG percentage record

Phil Jackson reunion with Lakers possible?

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: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker