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The Ghost of Wilson Ramos

So, Baseball America recently ranked him the #3 guy in the Twins system, and John Manuel claimed to have considered him seriously for #1, and that he believed Ramos to be one the of top 5 catching prospects in the minors, and that several Twins people referred to him as 'untouchable.'

Compelling stuff.  On the other hand, according to John Sickels here and Kevin Goldstein at BP, Ramos is either rumor, ghost or figment of the imagination, as I haven't read a syllable about him from these two sources -- it appears he didn't even make John's book.

In 73 games in the Midwest League, Ramos hit .291/.345/.438 in 73 games, an OPS of 783 in a league that averaged a 696 OPS and on a team that had a 672 OPS. He did this as a 19 year old at a premium position, and the BA writeup mentions him as a possible 5-tool catcher.

Last year, he hit .286/.339/.435 as an 18 year old in rookie ball, putting up a 774 OPS in a league that averaged 664, and on a team that averaged 673.

Scouting report from BA: "Ramos blends catch-and-throw talent and offensive upside in a manner rare among current minor leaguers. He has excellent strength, helping produce above-average bat speed and power to all fields. A solid-average runner for now, Ramos rounds out his tools with an accurate, above-average arm and the hands to be a sound receiver. He threw out 41 percent of basestealers in 2007."

John Manuel, in the chat: "I think the scouting report on Ramos says it all; he's all tooled up, young, can catch-and-throw and has offensive upside. He's one of the top 5 guys in the minors for me and has a chance to be an all-star. He was considered strongly for the No. 1 spot; when you have people in the organization calling him "untouchable," you have to listen, and at least two scouts we talked to in the Midwest League called him Beloit's top prospect."

Later: "I think the thought is, the Twins probably believe Ramos is in the top 3 catchers in the minors and would have to be overwhelmed to deal him."

So, you have one publication touting him as possibly one of the three or five best prospects at a premium position, and then you have Sickels and Goldstein, who are seemingly unawares of the guy.

Intriguing!

I'd picked him up in my DMB league a month or so before the BA list came out, based on his age, position, stats and a comment in one of the BA chats that league scouts thought Ramos a better all-around prospect than Conger, though Conger had the stronger bat.

In another chat, Jim Callis mentions Ramos as someone who could've been the number one Twins prospect, so it may not just be a case of Manuel having a boner for a guy.

Should a collective boner be growing for this guy?  Why haven't Sickels or Goldstein mentioned him?

Bryan Smith at BP lists him as a breakout for 08 guy, and writes:

"A raw Venezuelan catcher, the Twins planned on keeping Ramos in extended spring training before moving onto the Appalachian short-season league. However, an injury to the starting catcher in Beloit coupled with an impressive performance in that extended spring work led to an early June assignment to full-season ball. Ramos was brilliant in his full-season debut, hitting two home runs in just his fifth game at the level. The Twins like Ramos' ability behind the plate, where his strong arm led to an impressive 40.9 caught stealing percentage. At the plate, Ramos' plate discipline--only 19 walks in 318 PA--shows his lack of refinement, but his power numbers reflect that there's some pop in his bat. Ramos was hurt in August, but he continued to get at-bats in the Twins instructional league. While hellish hitter's environments in Fort Myers and the Florida State League delay a 2008 breakout, Ramos' ability will be widely recognized soon enough."

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