Thursday, November, 11, 2021
The offseason is here and it’s a perfect time to recap the 2021 season of each of the Braves top 30 prospects. In this series, I’ll discuss each player’s performance from this past year, as well as what’s needed for them to continue to rise in the organization. All rankings are derived from my most-recent 2021 Braves Top 30 Prospect List, which came out this past August. Following this series, a fresh top 30 will be constructed, primarily based on the notes I’ll provide in this column.
#30. Jefrey Ramos, OF
2021 stats (AA): 58 G, .183 AVG, 6 HR, 55 wRC+
It’s safe to say that Ramos had a down year in 2021. The outfielder began the summer ranked just inside my top 30 (#28) before falling to 30th in August as he continued to struggle with Double-A Mississippi. In his sixth season in the organization (counting the canceled 2020 campaign), 2021 was no doubt one of the worst for the Dominican.
In fact, Ramos was unable to hold on to his starting spot with the M-Braves, shown by his 58 games played. The 22-year-old’s strikeout rate soared (30%) and his power plummeted, causing him to post career-lows in just about every offensive category in 2021. And it’s a real shame, because for the last three years it appeared Ramos was on the upward trend.
Following a big year in rookie ball in 2017, featuring a .325 AVG and six homers in 30 games, the prospect outfielder broke out in Single-A in 2018, crushing 16 long balls to go with a 102 wRC+. He kept it going in 2019 as well, with High-A Florida, posting a respectable .241 AVG with nine homers and solid plate discipline numbers. I don’t think any of us ever looked at Ramos as an ultra-high-contact hitter, but his power potential made him someone that only needed to hover around a .250-260 AVG to remain a solid contributor at the plate.
It’s doubtful Ramos remains inside the top 30 to start the 2022 campaign. With so many up-and-coming young players in the Braves system now, he’ll have to earn his way back on the list. However, I do still believe it’s too early to completely give up on the outfielder. One poor season shouldn’t ruin a player’s stock, and with another year in Double-A, Ramos may make the adjustments needed to turn his play around.
The big thing that Ramos will have to improve is his plate discipline. There’s no way he can become a viable major league player when he’s striking out 30% of the time AND providing very little power. The kid will need to shorten things up and focus more on putting the ball in play, and maybe hits will start falling. When the 2022 season begins, Ramos will still be only 23, so there’s still plenty of hope. But either way, next year will be an important one for him.