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 Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER

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PostSubject: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Tue May 19, 2009 5:06 pm



03/22/09 7:38 PM ET
Ramirez makes most of camp
Outfield prospect impresses Tigers, shows promise

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The return of the Tigers' starting outfielders from the World Baseball Classic this week likely means the return of prospect Wilkin Ramirez to the Minor Leagues in the coming days. Yet after a healthy dose of playing time in their absence over the past couple weeks, Ramirez can head back with a little more confidence.

"The only way that you can show them more is if you play every day," Ramirez said. "It's tough to just get one at-bat every day or just a few innings. If you start a game and you play every day, that's more that you can show."

His 24 at-bats are well more than the 16 he had last spring. With them, he's starting to show a little more recognition at the plate.

Of the at-bats Ramirez has had this spring, the one that will stand out came last Sunday, when he stepped to bat against the Nationals with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. Reliever Steven Shell threw him one breaking ball after another to put him behind in the count, one of them on a checked swing. Ramirez fouled off three sliders with two strikes to keep the at-bat going, then pounced when Shell left a slider up in the strike zone enough to line through the left side for a two-run single.

"They didn't throw me anything -- changeup, slider, changeup, slider," Ramirez said. "Fastball, I didn't see it. Those guys, they knew me, so I knew they were going to throw me a lot of sliders."

For someone who tied for the Eastern League lead with 138 strikeouts at Double-A Erie last year and has earned a reputation for struggling against the breaking ball, at-bats like that are a big deal.

"He saw about eight breaking balls in a row," manager Jim Leyland said. "So if he was ever going to hit one, that was the one he was going to hit, and he hit it. You have to give him credit. That was a big hit for him."

In a different situation, Leyland said, he would've used Timo Perez as a pinch-hitter, but he stuck with Ramirez to see what he could do. He came away impressed.

Most of Ramirez's impressions have involved his physical ability and his raw power. Signed as a teenager out of the Dominican Republic in 2003, Ramirez has built a history of singular feats and solid games, but not tremendous numbers for a season. Then came last year, when his combination of speed and power resulted in 19 home runs, 73 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. More impressive, he batted .303, 40 points above his career average. Much of his success served to bookend his season in April and August.

Ramirez gives part of the credit to his Spring Training with the Tigers last year. His camp ended in injury when he dislocated his right shoulder on a diving attempt for a catch against the Braves, but he picked up plenty during his stay. He's learning to put bad at-bats behind him and focus on the next one.
"Being here last year, and being in the Futures Game [last summer], it helped my confidence," Ramirez said.

It also left an impression on Tigers coaches, which has been reinforced in his play this spring.

"He has that special ability," Leyland said.

Ramirez, Leyland has said, will either make it big in the Majors or might not make it at all, with little wiggle room in between.
Much of that will depend on his ability to hit breaking balls and offspeed pitches. At-bats are critical for him, and he'll face a major step to Triple-A Toledo and the more veteran pitchers of the International League.

From there, he's just a short drive away from the big leagues. But it'll take time to span that distance. Still just 23 years old and entering his sixth professional season, he has time on his side.

"The more you play, the more you feel comfortable, the more you learn, the more you know," Ramirez said. "You get to know pitchers and what they want to do to you."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


Last edited by TigersForever on Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Tue May 19, 2009 5:30 pm

03/26/09 3:32 PM ET
Ramirez among four Tigers cuts
Outfield prospect optioned to Triple-A Toledo

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers made four cuts from their Spring Training roster on Thursday, optioning outfielder Wilkin Ramirez to Triple-A Toledo while assigning non-roster invitees infielder Don Kelly, catcher Max St. Pierre and outfielder Alexis Gomez to Minor League camp.

The moves included no pitchers from the roster, nor did it include second baseman Will Rhymes, who remains in camp with little more than a week to go before the Opening Day roster is set.

None of the moves were particularly surprising, coming at the same time that Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez returned to the lineup from the World Baseball Classic.

While Ramirez has the potential to become a major contributor in the future, his time isn't now. He went 7-for-30 in 15 Spring Training games with a home run, four RBIs and two stolen bases. He also struck out 12 times.

Kelly saw a good share of playing time in recent weeks, mainly at first base, while Cabrera was away. He went 7-for-27 in 16 games with a home run and five RBIs.

Gomez, the 2006 postseason surprise who returned to the organization over the winter after a couple years away, went 6-for-23 with two doubles and three RBIs.

St. Pierre, meanwhile, will return to the Minor Leagues for his 12th year in the organization. He had limited playing time behind the plate in the Spring Training games, going 2-for-7 in seven contests, but took on a good share of responsibility working with pitchers in bullpen sessions and camp games.

Ramirez, Gomez and Kelly are expected to open the season at Triple-A Toledo. St. Pierre's situation is a little less certain between Toledo and Double-A Erie, given the depth in catching between Ryan and fellow Minor Leaguer Dane Sardinha.

The moves reduce Detroit's Spring Training roster to 38 players.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Tue May 19, 2009 5:45 pm

Tigers call up prospect Ramirez
Surge in Minors earns outfielder promotion with Ordonez out

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/19/09 12:40 PM ET

DETROIT -- Tigers top outfield prospect Wilkin Ramirez is going to get his first taste of the big leagues while Magglio Ordonez is away from the team. Detroit recalled the multifaceted Ramirez from Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday to take Ordonez's spot on the roster, which opened up when Ordonez went on the family medical emergency list.

It'll be the first Major League stint for Ramirez, who signed out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager and has emerged as a gifted offensive player over the past few years. An All-Star Futures Game starter last season at Yankee Stadium and an Eastern League All-Star, the 23-year-old Ramirez made the jump to Triple-A out of Spring Training and has heated up after an opening month that showed a burst of speed but not a lot of power.

For the season, Ramirez is batting .316 with the Mud Hens, with five home runs, 13 RBIs, 23 runs scored and 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts. That includes a 12-for-22 tear since May 8, with four homers and six RBIs. He had a two-homer, four-hit game on Saturday at Charlotte, then went 3-for-3 with another homer and a stolen base on Sunday.

Ramirez will make his Major League debut at some point during this week's series against the Rangers.

Ordonez went on the family medical emergency list after Sunday's game to be with his wife while she undergoes surgery. He is expected to miss at least the first two games against the Rangers. The Tigers can recall him as soon as Thursday, but it's uncertain whether he'll be back with the team that day or in time for that afternoon's game.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Wed May 20, 2009 11:17 pm

Ramirez homers in big league debut
Prospect hits shot in sixth inning to aid starter Verlander

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/20/09 8:53 PM ET

DETROIT -- If Wednesday is the only game Wilkin Ramirez plays in a Tigers uniform before heading back to Triple-A Toledo, he's making the most of it -- he hit his first big league homer in the sixth inning.

Ramirez is the first Tigers player to homer in his Major League debut since Reggie Sanders on Sept. 1, 1974 against Oakland at Tiger Stadium. Sanders did it in his first at-bat.

Ramirez made his Major League debut on Wednesday night in a pretty visible spot, batting third in the Tigers lineup between Placido Polanco and Miguel Cabrera. It's the spot where Leyland wasn't afraid to put Clete Thomas when he shook up Detroit's lineup a couple weeks ago, and with Thomas sitting against Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison, Ramirez slotted into the spot.

One reason behind it, manager Jim Leyland said, was that he didn't have any other obvious candidates. Ramirez is here, after all, because Magglio Ordonez is away from the team to be with his wife through her surgery. Still, Ramirez's raw talent made him a major consideration.

"I put him up there because he has speed," Leyland said.

All in all, it makes for one potentially memorable debut, even if it's just part of a quick stay. Ramirez came up Tuesday after Magglio Ordonez went on the family medical emergency list, and Ramirez is likely to head back down once Ordonez returns -- possibly Thursday.

"It's a dream," said Ramirez, having briefly removed the headphones from which he was trying to listen to music and stay calm. "All my family's happy. I'm happy. I've made my dream. I'm here. I don't know if it's one day today, or whatever it is. I'm in the big leagues."

The 23-year-old batted third in the Triple-A Toledo lineup for much of the season before the callup, and he left the Mud Hens tied for the International League lead in stolen bases. He used his speed for more base hits than his power over the opening month before he went on a home run splurge last weekend.

The climate, Ramirez said, had as much to do with it as any learning curve.

"April's cold -- a lot," Ramirez said. "That affects anyone a little bit. I was just trying to put the ball in play and with my ability, I can run and get on base, get a base hit. And then the power, I know the power's there. It's going to come."

That's much the same way Leyland has been able to use Thomas' ability in the third spot over the last couple weeks. The difference is that Ramirez, despite his large, muscular frame, boasts more speed and power than Thomas. In fact, he's probably the best combination of those tools the Tigers have had in their system since trading Cameron Maybin to the Marlins a year and a half ago.

Even with that ability, however, Ramirez usually takes time to adapt to a new level of play. He experienced growing pains in his brief time with Toledo last year, but it might've helped him prepare when he made the jump for good out of Spring Training.

In that sense, this cameo appearance could prove to be a good piece of experience whenever he knocks on the door to the big leagues for good.

"I'm just going to do my best, do what I've been doing, and see what happens," Ramirez said. "You never know."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Thu May 21, 2009 8:52 pm

Tigers to activate Magglio for Friday
Slugger was wife who underwent surgery; Ramirez optioned

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/21/09 5:24 PM ET

DETROIT -- The Tigers will activate outfielder Magglio Ordonez from the family medical emergency list in time for Friday's game against the Rockies, the team announced after Thursday's game.

Outfield prospect Wilkin Ramirez, who hit the go-ahead home run Wednesday in his Major League debut, was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room for Ordonez, who left the team after Sunday's game to be with his wife, Dagly, while she underwent surgery.

Manager Jim Leyland said Thursday morning that Ordonez's wife was reportedly doing well, but that Ordonez was not expected to rejoin the team in time for the game in the afternoon.

Ramirez's thrilling debut will be his only Major League game for a while. The 23-year-old struck out twice before hitting his go-ahead homer off Texas' Matt Harrison Wednesday, then was lifted for a pinch-hitter. He was the first Tigers player in 35 years to homer in his big league debut.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Tue Aug 04, 2009 6:14 pm

Tigers call up Wilkin Ramirez, send down Casey Fien

POSTED BY JAMES JAHNKE • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • August 4, 2009

The Detroit Tigers today recalled the contract of outfielder Wilkin Ramirez from Triple-A Toledo and optioned right-handed reliever Casey Fien to Toledo.

Ramirez was hitting .274 with 13 home runs, 40 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 90 games with the Mud Hens.

Fien was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in four outings with Detroit.

More on this story to come from freep.com.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:12 am

Ramirez called up from Minors
Outfielder to start Tuesday as reliever Fien is sent down

By Mike Scott / Special to MLB.com

08/04/09 6:18 PM ET

DETROIT -- The Tigers recalled Wilkin Ramirez from Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday and manager Jim Leyland penciled in the outfielder in the leadoff spot in the Detroit lineup for the game against Baltimore.

To make room for Ramirez Detroit optioned reliever Casey Fien to Toledo. However the move may be a short-term one, according to Leyland, who had a discussion with general manager Dave Dombrowski.

"We might be tinkering with our rosters for the next month or so," Leyland said. "If we overtax our bullpen tonight, we may send [Ramirez] back down tomorrow. He'll start tonight and who knows, that could be it. For one day, we have enough [rested arms] in our bullpen so we went out and added another right-handed bat."

Ramirez started in left field Tuesday and Ryan Raburn was put in center as rookie lefty Brian Matusz makes his Major League debut for the Orioles. Matusz was the fourth overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of San Diego.

Ramirez was hitting .274 with 13 home runs, 40 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 90 games for the Toledo Mud Hens. However he has been much more productive against left-handers. Over his last 31 games in Toledo, Ramirez is hitting .345 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs.

"He's made improvements. He's a talent," Leyland said. "I don't know what he's going to do [Tuesday]. He may strike out four times or he might hit one in the shrubs [in straightaway center field at Comerica Park]."

The decision wasn't made until Tuesday morning and Ramirez was called just after 10 a.m. ET so that he could make the drive north up I-75. Having the Triple-A team within an hour's drive of Detroit will help the Tigers remain flexible in how they will manage their roster during a potential pennant run.

"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel here," Leyland said. "If you have the flexibility with your Major League roster, why not tinker with it. So don't read too much into this move."

Leyland confirmed that he doesn't plan to carry only 11 pitchers for very long, so it could mean that Fien may be back with the club soon. Leyland said that the righty is an aggressive young pitcher who has some potential for the Tigers in the short and long term.

"He didn't do anything wrong," Leyland said of Fien. "He needs to improve his breaking ball and change the eye level of the hitter up and down some. He got his feet wet. He's still in the mix."

Fien went 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in four appearances with Detroit, allowing six hits and striking out six in four innings.

Ramirez improved his defense down in Toledo as a corner outfielder, which will help him to become a better overall player at the big league level.

"He's not a Gold Glove, but he's made improvements," said Leyland. He's facing a tough lefty [in Matusz], so we wanted to see what he could do. This is action. I like this. You've got [Matusz] making his Major League debut tonight and we've got one of our young guys leading off against him. This is fun."

Mike Scott is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Wed Aug 05, 2009 12:39 am

Tigers promote Lambert, Avila to Majors
Ramirez, Ryan sent back to Triple-A Toldeo

By Mike Scott / Special to MLB.com

08/04/09 10:53 PM ET

DETROIT -- Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski announced after Tuesday's 8-2 loss to the Orioles that the Tigers have recalled 26-year-old pitcher Chris Lambert from Triple-A Toledo and purchased the contract of catcher Alex Avila from Double-A Erie. Both players will be available for Wednesday's game against Baltimore at Comerica Park.

To make room for Lambert and Avila, the Tigers optioned backup catcher Dusty Ryan and outfielder Wilkin Ramirez back to Toledo. Ramirez had been recalled Tuesday morning and started in left field while batting leadoff. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout before being removed for Clete Thomas in the seventh inning.

"We knew when we made the move [with Ramirez] that this might be a day-to-day thing," Dombrowski said.

Avila was hitting .264 with 12 home runs and 55 RBIs in 93 games for the Erie SeaWolves. The 22-year-old was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Alabama. He is the son of Tigers vice president/assistant general manager Al Avila.

Lambert was 1-2 with a 5.66 ERA in eight games and three starts for the Tigers in 2008. He was 6-7 with a 3.55 ERA in 21 starts for Toledo this season.

Mike Scott is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:39 am

09/01/09Detroit Tigers recalled Wilkin Ramirez from Toledo Mud Hens.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:40 am

Ramirez learning ropes with Tigers
Outfielder happily soaking up Major League exposure

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

09/10/09 8:14 PM ET

KANSAS CITY -- This time, Wilkin Ramirez has had the chance to stick around as a Tiger for a little while. More games like Thursday -- despite Detroit's 7-4 loss to Kansas City -- could keep him around for quite a while.

When Ramirez was twice called up earlier this year, his stays lasted only a day or two. Last month, he made what amounted to a one-day commute up Interstate 75, called up from Triple-A Toledo before the game and sent back afterward.

Now that he's here for all of September, he's had the chance to not only watch more games, but watch the daily routine of a Major League player. In the process, he's picking up quite a bit about what it'll take for him to make the final jump to the big leagues. The Tigers, in turn, are learning a little more about him.

"A lot of guys here are veteran guys," Ramirez said recently. "You learn from them. You get a lot of good stuff. Now that I'm here longer, I can learn even more. You learn a lot of stuff if you pay attention."

As a raw player, he has a lot to learn. As an athlete, however, he has the kind of ability that makes him so intriguing to watch and see what he can do if he can apply what he learns into his own game.

"He looks more polished," manager Jim Leyland said Thursday. "He looks more comfortable. But you really won't know until you see if they start working him over a little bit."

That ability showed Thursday. His fifth-inning line drive over the head of center fielder Mitch Maier sent Ramirez's 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame flying full speed around first base, then second on his way to his first Major League triple. He made it in without a challenge, setting up Gerald Laird's sacrifice fly.


"He did well," Leyland said. "He hit a missile."

An inning later, Ramirez's one-out single through the middle drove in Brandon Inge before Laird's single advanced him to second.

With Adam Everett at the plate, Ramirez took off for third. It wasn't a hit-and-run play, but a straight steal attempt. He had so much of a jump that he was dashing into third while Alex Gordon was still on the ground, having made a diving attempt at Everett's double down the left-field line.

Ramirez simply hopped over Gordon and rounded third on his way to scoring easily.

"That was pretty interesting," Inge said.


Ramirez isn't exactly in a role down the stretch, but his ability makes him intriguing enough that Leyland has tried to pick and choose his spots to use the 23-year-old against left-handed starters.

The Blue Jays will start three lefties during the upcoming four-game series now that David Purcey will pitch in Roy Halladay's place next Monday, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him again at least once this weekend. He might not do much, but as Leyland points out, he has a chance to do something big.

"I'm trying to stay healthy and try to make some stuff happen, maybe win some games," Ramirez said. "Could be running, could be a ground ball, whatever it is to help these guys make it to the playoffs."

It goes back to something Leyland has said all along about Ramirez: He's either going to make it big, Leyland believes, or he isn't going to make it.

That came before this season, when Ramirez endured some growing pains in his jump from Double-A Erie to Toledo. While his batting average dropped from .303 to .258 and his extra-base power dropped somewhat, he swiped 33 bases in 43 attempts, including 27-for-34 before the All-Star break.

He hit worse after the break, but his power numbers improved, and his at-bats seemed to get better as he learned to lay off some breaking pitches off the plate.

"That's what I'm trying to work on," Ramirez said. "I'm trying to cut down on strikeouts, be patient and wait for my pitch."

Time will tell what his work means for the Tigers long-term. For now, the Tigers are hoping it means a jolt every now and then when he plays.


Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:47 pm

Clearing up Wilkin's situation
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on December 4, 2009 at 2:36 PM

Just wanted to clear up the situation with Wilkin Ramirez, who was suggested in some published circles this week as a potential successor to Curtis Granderson in center field even though he played just two games this summer in center and a little bit of winter ball.

The winter ball assignment with Licey of the Dominican League came with a preference from the Tigers that he get some time in center field. However, it was more of an exploratory move than anything with a set plan, and it wasn't full time.

"We were hoping for him to get a chance to play center field," Tigers player development director. "He's such an athlete. I don't know what's the next step."

Ramirez was playing regularly in the early stages of the Dominican season, but he has been in more of a late inning or reserve role lately. That isn't a surprise. A lot of winter ball teams in the Dominican rely on younger players early on until more established players join in later. By playoff time in January, the rosters tend to include some bigger-name Dominican players.

There's a roster flexibility advantage for the Tigers if Ramirez can eventually play or fill in at all three outfield spots. He should have the athleticism to do it, but the question is whether he has the instincts.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:49 pm



Prospect Chronicles: 10 Detroit Tigers Who Could Make an Impact in 2010

Johnny Lawrence
Featured Columnist
Correspondent - BLEACHER REPORT

4. Wilkin Ramirez, OF, Age 24

Highest Level: Majors (Detroit)
Acquired: 2003 (Non-Drafted Free Agent)
40-Man Roster: Yes

Ramirez appeared in 15 games last season (mostly to pinch run), collecting four hits in 11 at-bats.

But despite the promise he showed, Ramirez may not quite be ready to play in the big leagues every day. His primary worry, like many Tiger prospects, is strikeouts. Thus far in his career, Ramirez averages a whiff once every 3.7 plate appearances, and he has only pieced together one overly impressive minor league season.

On the bright side, he can stroke the long ball and steal bases consistently. Since 2005, the Dominican has cracked 72 homers and stolen 123 bags.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:43 am


"He's a legitimate burner," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland of Wilkin Ramirez. (MiLB.com)

Tigers' Ramirez an unsuspecting speedster
Leyland praises prospect's legs, sees bigs as a possibility

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

03/05/10 6:30 PM EST

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Wilkin Ramirez doesn't look like a speedster, as long as he's standing still. The Tigers' prospect looks more likely to send his 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame on a home run trot around the bases than a mad dash from first to home.

He doesn't even look all that fast when he's running, until one realizes how much ground he covers with each stride. When he took off from first base on a hit-and-run in Friday morning's "B" game against the Astros, he made his trip home seemingly effortless on Casper Wells' double into the gap in left-center field.

"He's a burner," manager Jim Leyland said earlier his week. "He's a legitimate burner. There aren't many of those guys."

The speed, obviously, is already here. The instincts to go with it are in the works. The power and the hitting have yet to come, but at 24 years old, Ramirez has time. He certainly seems to have the drive.

"I want to be a 30-30 player," Ramirez said Thursday.

No Tiger has hit 30 home runs and stolen 30 bases in the same season. Until Curtis Granderson last year, no Tiger had ever posted a 30-20 season. The Tigers believe Ramirez has the potential for power and speed, if he brings his game to match his talent.

When Leyland first saw Ramirez in camp a couple years ago, he predicted that Ramirez would either make it big in the Majors or not make it at all. After watching him in a couple one-day stints in the Majors last summer, and seeing him again this spring, he has amended that.

Ramirez could make it on his speed alone, Leyland now thinks, as at least a part-time player who could pinch-run and start in situations. If he gets the hitting to go with it, look out.

"I've talked about that before," Leyland said Friday, "but I've changed my mind on that a little bit. I think he has the potential to make it big. But even if that doesn't happen, I think he still has the potential to make it. When you find somebody like that that can run, even if he doesn't smash Broadway, somebody -- including us, obviously -- might see him as a guy who could be a usable player with that speed."

The next step doesn't necessarily have to be power. It could be pure hitting. Or, as Leyland put it, it could be the overall game. But Ramirez is showing signs of grasping that.

Ramirez has shown the power in flashes. He homered in his Major League debut last May 20 with a shot off Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison, and his 17 home runs at Triple-A Toledo ranked him second on the Mud Hens to Mike Hessman. But his 143 strikeouts in 481 plate appearances helped hold down his average to .258.

Given his home run power, he also has the capacity for more doubles, having hit just 18 last year after posting 25 in 2008 primarily at Double-A Erie.

Ramirez understands it. He talked about making an effort to having better, more consistent at-bats, particularly if he's going to take advantage of his speed on the basepaths. He doesn't necessarily have to homer all the time to be an offensive weapon.

He's already taking the steps as a baserunner. Ramirez said he has taken to studying pitchers and their pickoff moves to know what to expect, something he picked up at Toledo, and knowing the right situation to run.

His hitting prowess will come to handling the breaking ball and being selective in his swings. Nobody can guarantee whether that's going to happen, but they know the potential if it does.

"He's one of those guys, to me, you just have to keep playing and hope it pops," Leyland said.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:42 am



Tigers' Futures stars taking different tracks
Oliver called up; Ramirez continues with ups and downs

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

06/22/10 9:11 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Even for a Tigers team where the future is becoming the present, the Tigers' real future prospects are looking pretty bright, too. Next month's XM All-Star Futures Game will reinforce that.

In a year when the Tigers have four rookies in their starting lineup on some nights, and one of the youngest pitching staffs in baseball to go with it, it's only fitting that they had two more youngsters named to next month's Futures Game -- even if only one of them will be around for it. Double-A Erie starting pitcher Andy Oliver, just called up to Detroit, and outfielder Wilkin Ramirez were selected to baseball's annual showcase of top prospects at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

It marks the first time since 2007 that the Tigers have multiple players on the Futures rosters, something that was a regular occurrence for a few years in the middle of the decade. Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya both took part in the game before they made it in the big leagues.

For Ramirez, it marks a return to the event two years after he took part in the game at the old Yankee Stadium. For Oliver, whether he's around for it or not, it marks a first for someone who wasn't even playing pro ball a year ago.

The 12th annual Futures Game can be seen live on MLB.TV, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on XM 175. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game.

While a return to the Futures Game might seem like an odd step, it's a bit of redemption for Ramirez, who began the season with a demotion to Double-A after spending last year with Triple-A Toledo. While he was crowded out of a Tigers outfield picture that included rookie sensation Brennan Boesch, highly-regarded prospects Ryan Strieby and Casper Wells, and multiple-time callup Clete Thomas, Ramirez also was sent with the goal of learning center field, where his speed and natural athleticism could provide him with more of an advantage.

Once Boesch established himself in Detroit and Thomas suffered a season-ending knee injury, Ramirez returned to Toledo, where he has tried to establish his place once again. He entered Monday with just a .235 average combined between Erie and Toledo, striking out 92 times in 251 at-bats, but more than half of his hits have gone for extra bases -- 16 home runs, 10 doubles and five triples.

Those contrasting numbers can sum up Ramirez's career so far. He has his ups and downs, but his potential is a constant. But after seven professional seasons and 15 Major League games -- all of them last year in Detroit -- he doesn't turn 25 years old until October.


"He continues to be a very talented individual," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday. "He's the type of guy that you're always hoping that at some point he's just going to put it all together. If he does, then he has the chance to be a star."

While Ramirez was repeating development at Erie, Oliver was essentially beginning his Tigers career there. The Tigers drafted the left-hander with a second-round pick last year, once he dropped down other teams' lists. Though Oliver's numbers at Oklahoma State were disappointing last spring, Detroit saw promise that he could join its ranks of talented young arms in the system.

Oliver didn't get started until the Arizona Fall League at the end of last season, but once the Tigers challenged him with an immediate assignment to Double-A out of Spring Training, Oliver took advantage. He rebounded from an up-and-down April to post a 3.12 ERA in his next 10 outings, six of them quality starts. He tossed three of those consecutively in May, scattering four runs on 16 hits over 20 1/3 innings, with four walks and 18 strikeouts.

With seven home runs allowed over 77 1/3 innings heading into this week, Oliver has generally avoided the long-ball danger that befalls many young pitchers in the smaller ballparks of the Eastern League. Now he'll try to keep that going in Atlanta, where the summer heat can carry balls out.

"This kid, he's got good stuff," Dombrowski continued. "There are not many pitchers that have his quality of stuff. I mean, his fastball is way above average. He's got quality, and now he's been able to incorporate those other pitches. He's a quick learner. He's a hard worker. But it doesn't take long to know that he has quality stuff. There aren't a lot of left-handed starters in Major League Baseball who have his fastball."

Now Oliver is a part of the big leagues, having been selected to start for the Tigers on Friday at Atlanta. He won't be around to take part in the Futures Game if he's still with the Tigers, but plenty could happen between now and then.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:50 am

Upbeat outlook for Wilkin Ramirez
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on July 11, 2010 at 10:50 PM

Wilkin Ramirez arguably had reason to hang his head wonder about his place after starting the season back in Double-A and watching fellow Tigers outfield prospects Brennan Boesch and Casper Wells get their shots in the big leagues. Instead, he's happy for Boesch to be breaking through and using it as proof that youngsters can get an opportunity in Detroit.

Likewise, Ramirez could've treated his second Futures Game appearance in three years as a repeat trip. But he looks at it as a new vote of confidence from Tigers management.

"I started my year in Double-A," Ramirez said. "When you move backwards, you have that little thing in your mind. Getting invited here, it gives you a lot of confidence. I thank the Tigers for that. I feel pretty good.

"I want to thank the Tigers and whoever made the decision to pick me to be here. It gave me a lot of confidence, and I feel very good. At the beginning, I felt left out. It gave me a lot of confidence, and I'm happy to be here."

Ramirez went 1-for-2 with a single and a fly out in Sunday's Futures Game. It was a midseason honor in what has been a mixed bag of a season for the 24-year-old multi-tooled prospect.

His athleticism has always wowed. As team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski put it a couple weeks ago, when the Futures Game rosters came out, "He's the type of guy that you're always hoping that at some point he's just going to put it all together. If he does, then he has the chance to be a star."

His stats reflect the potential. His strikeout totals are astounding, 128 of them over 356 plate appearances between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. Yet exactly half of his 76 hits have gone for extra bases -- 18 home runs, 14 doubles and six triples.

"Especially at the beginning of the year, I was more aggressive, because I think I was trying to do too much," Ramirez said. "I didn't really want to be there. I wasn't expecting to be there, so I wanted to do the best I can, so I was trying too hard."

An early-season vote of support from Erie manager Phil Nevin, he said, gave him a boost. Renewed confidence from Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish and hitting coach Leon Durham have helped, too.

He admits he has a problem with strikeouts, but he's trying to focus on making sure his swings are productive. He swung at all three pitches he saw Sunday, and put two of them in play.

He doesn't look at the Tigers roster picture as an opportunity passed up. He looks at Boesch as inspiration.

"You know what? I'm so happy for Boesch, that he's doing that good," Ramirez said. "Every at-bat, every home run that he hits, it makes me feel good myself. Boesch works so hard. Boesch played at Double-A last year, and that showed a lot of people that young people can go to the big leagues and do very very good. And that made me so happy that he's doing that."


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:08 pm

Tigers acquire Peralta from Indians
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on July 28, 2010 at 6:03 PM

The Tigers made a move to bolster their injury-riddled offense Wednesday night, adding third baseman Jhonny Peralta from the Indians for minor-league left-hander Giovanni Soto.

The Indians also sent cash to help cover the remainder of Peralta's salary for this season. He's under contract at $4.6 million this season with a $7.25 million club option for 2011 or a $250,000 buyout.

The Tigers have played against Peralta for years as AL Central opponents. Now they're hoping he can give them at least some boost down the stretch in their hopes to stick in the race for the division. He's batting .246 in 91 games this season for the Tribe, with seven homers and 43 RBIs.

The 28-year-old Peralta will take over at third base while the Detroit awaits the return of Brandon Inge from his broken left hand. His original timetable a week ago called for him to miss 4-6 weeks, but team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday in announcing the trade that they're now optimistic Inge can beat the timetable, possibility getting back in two weeks.

Whenever Inge returns, Peralta will become an option at shortstop, where Detroit has been platooning veteran utility infielder Ramon Santiago with rookie Danny Worth. Scott Sizemore, Detroit's Opening Day second baseman, and utilityman Don Kelly have been handling third in Inge's place.

The Tigers made room for Peralta on the 40-man roster by designating outfield prospect Wilkin Ramirez for assignment. They'll add Peralta to the 25-man roster once Peralta gets to the Tigers, hopefully in time for Thursday's series finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Dombrowski said he's still searching for help on the trade market ahead of Saturday afternoon's nonwaiver trade deadline. For now, however, he said, "I don't have anything else in the works."


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Sat Jul 31, 2010 9:13 pm

Tigers send outfielder Ramirez to Braves
Detroit to receive player to be named or cash for prospect

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

07/31/10 4:46 PM ET

BOSTON -- The Tigers' big activity at the non-waiver Trade Deadline was simply competing a minor transaction. Detroit traded outfielder Wilkin Ramirez to Atlanta for a player to be named or cash.

Detroit must choose the player or the cash by Nov. 20.

The Tigers designated Ramirez for assignment on Wednesday to make room for Jhonny Peralta on the 40-man roster. Detroit had 10 days to try to trade him or outright him to Toledo, but they got the deal done in three.

Thus, Ramirez went from the starting lineup in the 2010 Futures Game to the waiver wire to a new organization in less than three weeks.He entered Saturday with a .230 average between Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie, homering 19 times with 56 RBIs. He also has struck out 144 times in 400 plate appearances.

It's a microcosm of Ramirez's career to date. He has tremendous power and speed potential, evidenced by a 19-homer, 27-steal season at Erie two years ago, but has never put it all together for a breakthrough as a professional player.

For all the ups and downs of Ramirez's career over seven Minor League seasons, he's still just 24 years old. A change of scenery could be the spark he needs to reach the potential the Tigers saw in the multi-tooled athlete they signed as a teenager in 2002.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:00 pm

09/01/10 Atlanta Braves outrighted Wilkin Ramirez to Gwinnett Braves.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Wilkin Ramirez CAREER TRACKER   Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:54 pm

Ramirez hopes to put it all together with Braves
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com | 03/15/11 8:13 PM ET

JUPITER, Fla. -- Wilkin Ramirez is the kind of player who can toy with your emotions.

He has eye-popping tools -- blazing speed, incredible power, a solid build -- and there are times when the 25-year-old puts it all on display and makes you believe he can actually be a star in the Majors.

Then there are times when inconsistencies and plate discipline make you think he'll never put it together.

Braves hitting coach Larry Parrish knows these struggles very well, after serving as Ramirez's manager for a few years with the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate in Toledo. This was before the Tigers finally gave up on him, before the Braves took a chance on him and before Ramirez impressed in Spring Training and seemingly put himself in the mix for a reserve outfield spot on the Opening Day roster.

"[Tigers manager Jim] Leyland always said it over there," Parrish recalled. "He said you look at him and you say, 'He might not ever make it. But if he makes it, he may make it big.' You know what I'm saying? Because this sort of light comes on and then ..."

Then sometimes, it just goes off.

Leyland had him in spring camp three times during Ramirez's eight years in the Tigers' organization, but he only saw him in the Majors for a prolonged stretch as a September callup in 2009 -- when Ramirez played in 15 games and batted .364.

At 17, Ramirez was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2003 as an infielder, but he moved to the outfield because of spotty defense. He missed all of '04 because of shoulder surgery, then about half of the '06 campaign after fouling a ball off his shin.

And somewhere along the way -- despite Ramirez playing in the 2008 and '10 Futures Games -- the Tigers essentially gave up on him.

"This is a business," Ramirez said in Spanish prior to the Braves' 4-0 loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday. "I guess they felt like they had someone who could do the job better. I don't know. I really don't know. Because one day I'm a prospect on the team and I'm in the Futures Game, and the next I'm gone. And I don't really know. I don't understand."

The Tigers designated Ramirez for assignment in late July, so the Braves took a chance on the right-handed hitter with a world of potential, but hardly a track record to prove it. They picked him up for a player to be named later or cash, then invited him to Spring Training six months later.

That decision has paid off so far.

Ramirez has impressed the Braves with his power -- especially when he hit a line-drive homer to dead center field at Champion Stadium on Sunday. He has shown off blazing speed and an ability to play all three outfield positions. And he has even displayed a discipline that has been lacking throughout his professional career -- with a .400 batting average and only one strikeout in 20 at-bats.

The question is: is this too small a sample size to properly evaluate Ramirez, or is he finally becoming the player everyone had been waiting for?

That remains to be seen.

"He's always had great tools, and you wait for him to kind of figure it all out," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "If he figures it all out, he has the ability to be a very good everyday Major League player. To this point, he hasn't been able to do it at the highest level, but the talent's there."

Ramirez is 6-foot-2 and is listed at 190 pounds, but he scoffs at that. "I haven't weighed 190 pounds since I got into the big leagues," he said with a laugh. The chiseled Ramirez said he's actually at 230 pounds.

And he said he's a new man.

Through 728 Minor League games, Ramirez has hit 100 homers, stolen 143 bases and at one point was ranked among the top prospects in the Tigers' system. But during that span, he's also hit .258 with a .316 on-base percentage, struck out 632 more times than he walked and struggled mightily with breaking balls.

This offseason, Ramirez -- admittedly motivated by the Tigers' decision to cut ties with him -- worked "the hardest I've ever worked in my life." He went back to his home city of Bani, where he ran up mountains, sprinted on the sand and had friends throw him countless breaking balls and changeups all winter.

This spring, Parrish has been trying to get Ramirez's hands looser in the hope that it will help his swing become more fluid, so he took his bat off his shoulder and got him to hold it more upright prior to loading.

One of the drills they've tried has Ramirez sitting on a chair while hitting, so that he can concentrate more on hand rhythm than leg movement. After trying it for the first time on Sunday, Ramirez filled in for Jason Heyward and had many raving about his 2-for-4, three-RBI game.

"He's got some juice," manager Fredi Gonzalez said that afternoon, "he's talented."


Of course, it'll be Gonzalez's choice whether or not to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for Ramirez in April. But even if he doesn't, and Ramirez winds up in Triple-A Gwinnett, the youngster can make a good impression this spring so that the Braves think of him first if they ever need a callup during the season.

When asked which ballplayer Ramirez reminds him most of, Parrish didn't hesitate.

"Moises Alou," he declared. Of course, that's only if he cashes in on his hard-to-miss gifts.

"For him," Parrish said, "it was just sort of getting over that next little hump."

Ramirez believes he has, and he's determined to prove it.

"I know I can play," he said. "I have the mentality that I'm a star and that I'm going to be the ballplayer I always imagined myself being. None of that is about what happened in the past. That's in the past. Now it's time to move forward."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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