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Post-hype player to watch: Harold Ramirez, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

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Once a near-top 100 prospect, he’s building his way back up the MiLB ladder

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Media Day Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

At the 2016 MLB Trade Deadline, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays executed an under-the-radar yet curious interleague deal.

Their run of contention over, the budget-weary Buccos traded Francisco Liriano and Francisco Liriano’s salary to the Blue Jays along with two well-regarded prospects for a former promising prospect himself, Drew Hutchison.

A financial obligation for Toronto earned them minor leaguers Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez.

McGuire, a high school star and 2013 first round catcher, has yet to pan out and now hides buried under multiple catchers like recently promoted Danny Jansen as well as Riley Adams and Max Pentecost in Toronto.

Ramirez, who turns 24 on September 6, was rated a strong fifth in the Pirates farm system going into the 2016 season, when he was dealt.

Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

He touched up High-A pitching in 2015 and stole 22 bases, but was caught an exorbitant 15 times. In 2016, he was caught more times (10) than successful swipes (seven).

No standout tools matched up too high with the Colombian righty, but he offered promise as a corner outfielder who could develop some pop and fine-tune his running skills.

He was added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster before the 2017 season after hitting .311 between Double-A Altoona and New Hampshire in 2016, his first taste of Double-A.

In 2017, his average fell to .266 and he slugged just .358. Numbers across the board were down for the 22-year old —particularly a career-low five steals—and he lost his 40-man spot in the coming November.

His stock has largely been forgotten about, evidenced by his claim-less waiver trip, but the career .298 hitter in almost 2500 PA is back in form in 2018 for the Fisher Cats.

In 110 games, he’s hitting .310 and has a career-high 10 home runs. He’s running again with 12 steals and 32 doubles easily usurps his previous season-high of 19 set last year.

57 starts have come in right field this season, with 17 in left and has served as New Hampshire’s DH 36 times. Expect him in Triple-A by the end of the year, that being his home to start next year and then from there you’re just a circumstance away.

He’s answered the bell after being outrighted and is a sneaky value as a future fourth outfielder or more, whether it be in Toronto as the Jays enter at least a year or two long rebuild, or elsewhere.