In the minor league portion of the Rule-5 draft isn’t thought of as a good way of acquiring future major league talent. So when the Yankees took Yefrey Ramirez in the 2015 draft, it wasn’t seen as a noteworthy acquisition, and it’s doubtful that anyone could’ve guessed just how successful he would be this past season. Over the course of the 2016 season, Ramirez must’ve been one the Yankees best overall performers, and it’s certainly it’s most surprising star.
Ramirez split the 2016 season between Class-A and Class-A+. He began the year with the Charleston Riverdogs and pitched 61 innings before being promoted to the Tampa Yankees. In those 61 innings, he put up the following numbers: 2.80 ERA, 2.93 FIP, 1.016 WHIP, 9.74 K/9, 2.07 BB/9.
After 11 starts, the Yankees decided that Ramirez was ready for some tougher competition and promoted him to Tampa. In Tampa Ramirez made another 11 starts, and was almost just as dominant as he was in Charleston. Ramirez threw 63.1 innings and put up the following stats: 2.84 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 0.821 WHIP, 9.38 K/9., 2.56 BB/9.
Ramirez’ strong season earned him two “Pitcher of the Week” awards and had helped him make a small name for himself in the Yankees system. While he probably won’t make any Yankee top prospect lists, he has earned a rotation spot in AA Trenton next season, where he will be given a chance to prove his stuff plays versus older more experienced competition.
According to Baseball Prospectus’ David Lee, Ramirez “shows a feel for three. FB low-90s, fringy. CH flashes tick better w/ late sink. Good SL depth but rolls”. So he doesn’t have great stuff, with that said if his command and control are good there’s always the chance that he can surprise people. Especially since he’s still a young prospect and could perfect his game.