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: Chris Paul ‘despises’ Doc Rivers, had issues with treatment of son Austin

Report: Jimmy Butler recruiting Kyle Lowry to the Timberwolves

WATCH: Tim Tebow didn't waste any time homering after promotion

Nolan Arenado throws out runner from seated position

NFL fans in Florida seem to like Tom Brady more than any of their three teams’ players

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mayweather-McGregor fight is reportedly seeking a $10 million title sponsor

Terry Francona wearing heart monitor in case of another 'episode'

Albert Almora denies flipping off President Donald Trump during White House visit

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

Chip Kelly defends Kaepernick: He was not a distraction

Steve Smith faces suspension should he unretire

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

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

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

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