First Impressions of Edubray Ramos
This weekend, right-handed reliever Edubray Ramos became the most recent in the seemingly never-ending parade of prospects to make their Phillies debuts. Given that he’s “just” a relief pitcher, he wasn’t nearly as highly regarded a prospect as recent call-up Zach Eflin or the Iron Pig teammates he leaves behind like Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford, and Jake Thompson. He is, however, a legitimate prospect. Last year was just his first season in full-season ball and the Phillies saw enough to protect him from the Rule 5 draft by adding him to the 40-man roster this past winter. That’s one hell of an indication as to how much the organization believed this 23-year-old has a future as a major league pitcher. Given that he’s arrived in Philadelphia this quickly, it would appear the organization was right.
Ramos made his major league debut during a third of an inning of work in Friday night’s game and pitched his first full inning in Saturday’s game. He’s recorded just four outs in the major leagues and, in doing so, he’s used just 12 pitches. That’s all we have to go on — twelve pitches. I mean, sure, there are minor league numbers and scouting reports to take into consideration. Heck, I even saw him in pitch in person at a Double-A game last season. (His control was horrific that night and I came away wondering what the hype was all about — it’s important to note I am not a scout.) So we have information about him, but now we actually get to watch him live in high-definition and start to get to know what Edubray Ramos: Major League Pitcher actually looks like.
Like most relievers, Ramos’ calling card is his fastball. Nine of his 12 pitches to date have been fastballs with the average velocity coming in at 96 mph per BrooksBaseball. What’s been most impressive in this hilariously brief sample size is his ability to command the pitch to both sides of the zone beginning with this beautifully located fastball on the outside corner which he threw to the left-handed Gregor Blanco for the first pitch of his major league career.
The other pitch he’s shown is a breaking ball which Brooks classified as a slider. Of the three he’s thrown, one was buried in the zone and whiffed on, one caught the bottom of the zone for a called strike and the third was popped up to the shortstop. Here’s the slider whiffed on by Conor Gillaspie
And the slider that went for a called strike to Denard Span:
As I mentioned above, perhaps the most striking thing about his debut has been ability to avoid the middle of the plate. Here’s a chart from Baseball Savant showing the location of all 12 of Ramos’ pitches so far:
You can’t place them much better than that. In the end, his results have been as follows: 11 strikes, 1 ball; 4 batters faced, 4 batters retired; and two three-pitch strikeouts. Ramos couldn’t ask for a better start to his major league career.
Relief pitching is so difficult to project with confidence, but it’s hard to deny that Ramos has the stuff to stick in the major leagues. Whether that is as a middle reliever, high-leverage reliever, or even a closer remains to be seen.