Trades and attrition have put a sizable dent in the farm system over the last 18 months or so, but one of the few players that has emerged in that time is Jose Ramirez, who was named Short Season Pitcher of the Year yesterday. The 19-year-old righty posted a 55-16 K/BB ratio in 64 IP last season, allowing just 34 hits for .156 AVG against.
“He wasn’t a high-profile guy, but he’s kind of what we’re searching for in Latin American pitching,” said Mark Newman, the Yankees’ senior vice president of baseball operations. “He had a feel for the strike zone. He can spin the ball and has a good feel for a changeup. He can get it up to 96 mph. And he throws strikes.”
The Yanks can spend all they want in the draft, but the Latin American market is where they really make a killing. Ramirez is just the latest in a long line of unheralded arms that’s gone on to make some noise after coming to the states.