Name: Alexander Ramirez
Weight: 170 lbs.
Acquired: IFA, June 2, 2019 (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
Intrigued by Alex Ramirez’ future potential due to his athleticism and projection, increases to his batting practice power and speed, the Mets made officially signing the young outfielder a priority, and on July 2, 2019- the first day of the 2019-2020 international rookie free agent signing window- the organization tendered Ramirez a contract worth $2.05 million dollars, the third highest given to an international rookie in franchise history, behind fellow top-prospects Francisco Alvarez and Ronny Mauricio. He would have suited up in 2020 had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic and made his professional debut during the fall instructional league instead. He performed well during extended spring training and made his debut in organized games in 2021 with the St. Lucie Mets, an extremely aggressive assignment. The second-youngest player in the Low-A Southeast and one of three 18-year-olds to play in the league along with Pittsburgh’s Alexander Mojica and the Yankees’ Jasson Dominguez, Ramirez appeared in 76 games and held his own. All in all, he was roughly a league average hitter, batting .258/.326/.384 with 5 home runs, 16 stolen bases in 23 attempts, and a 23:104 walk:strikeout ratio.
At the plate, Ramirez holds his hands high and close, wrapping the bat behind his head. He has a smooth, whippy swing but unnecessary movement in his hands and long levers sap his in-game power and cause him to turn over pitches weakly too often, a flaw the Mets have begun working with him to correct; the youngster had a 6.4 launch angle, 53.1% ground ball rate and 27.1% infield fly ball rate in 2021 as a consequence of this. When he is able to hit the ball squarely, Ramirez flashes above-average power, spraying the ball around the field with authority, with an average exit velocity of 90.1 and a 2021 high of 109 MPH.
The 18-year-old generally has surprisingly good approach at the plate, walking at a 6.9% rate in 2021 and posting an o-swing rate of 39%, just slightly above the 2021 MLB average of 31.3%. He did struggle with strikeouts, whiffing at a concerning 31.1% rate, but many of these strikeouts came as a consequence of being behind the count and being backed into a corner by more advanced pitchers than he has experience with. Interestingly, many of his struggles came when he was playing in night games, a consequence of his background and upbringing. At night, Ramirez hit .235/.287/.348 with a 35.1% strikeout rate and 5.9% walk rate, as opposed to day games, where he hit .296/.386/.443 with a 25% strikeout rate and an 8.3% walk rate.
Speed is Ramirez’ best current tool. Tall and athletic, he runs with an effortless, graceful gait, posting plus and even plus-plus times in the 60-yard dash, allowing him to cause havoc on the base paths. In the outfield, that speed gives him the present ability to play centerfield. He reads the ball off the bat well and has more than enough range to cover anything remotely hit in his direction. Ramirez is an athletic 6’3”, 170-pounds who added substantial mass to his frame just prior to signing his contract with the Mets in 2018 and could conceivably continue doing so. If he grows to the point that his ability to play center is compromised, he has a plus arm that would allow him to shift to right field.