The minor league regular season came to a close on Monday and I went into shut down mode for a few days. Not voluntarily as I tried to write but I kept zoning out, no focus. I guess I needed a break. It was a long season, a lot of fun though.
I want to say first congratulations to the Asheville Tourists and the Hickory Crawdads for making it to the championship.
Hickory narrowly escaped against the West Virginia Power and Asheville needed to win in Savannah and got it done. It’s a best of 5 and should be an exciting series.
Last week I put out my top 6 1st basemen in the Sally part 1 and that covered Rhys Hoskins, Ryan O’Hearn and KJ Woods. Here’s the link in case you missed it. http://notesfromthesally.com/2015/08/30/top-6-first-basemen-in-the-sally-part-1/
I’m back with part 2 and there’s been a small adjustment as I originally planned to include Roberto Ramos, Nick Longhi and Ronald Guzman in this article but since decided that with less than 100 at bats in the Sally this year Guzman wasn’t really the best choice and swapped him out for Jose Marmolejos-Diaz
Roberto Ramos- age 20, listed at 6’5″ 220 lbs I’d guess he’s 10-15 lbs heavier than that. Bats left and throws right.
Ramos (Raa-Mos) has a long swing, a pretty fast bat and 70 grade raw power. He utilizes the whole field and he has shown the ability to hit the ball out to any part of the park which is pretty rare for a 20 year old. Ramos didn’t start the year in Asheville and he’s only accumulated 149 at bats there in 2015. He has 23 extra base hits during that time with 9 home runs and a 275 ISO. Asheville is known for being friendly to lefties but Ramos can hit the ball out of anywhere. He makes decent contact for a big man (22% K rate) and he’s walking at a 10% clip. Ramos is crushing lefties as well as righties right now which is a positive sign but SSS. A look at the batted ball rates, Ramos has a 32% fly ball rate this season, which is a little low (Thome, Howard and Man Ram were consistently in the 36-44% range) the more balls in the air for a big man the better. Ramos has a really high line drive rate though (26%) (Man Ram high was 25% average was 22%, Thome high was 24% average was 20% and Ryan Howard high (this season) 28% average 23%) (Batted ball wasn’t kept until 2002 so there’s no data for Man Ram and Thome at the beginning of there career’s).
Here’s a good look at Ramos’s swing as he takes one out the other way, courtesy of minor league baseball.
Longhi turned 20 a couple of weeks ago, he’s listed at 6’2″ 205 lbs that looks accurate. He bats right and throws left.
It seems like Longhi was sometimes overlooked in the talent laden Greenville Drive lineup but he can play. At the plate he holds his hands high and there’s some pre pitch bat wiggle, he’s got a long, level swing and a quick bat. He utilizes the whole field with a lot of sharp grounders and low line drives. He makes decent contact (18% K rate) not uber aggressive will work counts, definitely not passive though, if he sees his pitch he hacks.
Longhi probably needs an approach change however as he’s hitting the ball on the ground at a 56% clip which is high for a corner bat. His 21% line drive rate is good though. I’ve seen Longhi drive a few balls a long way so the power is in there. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a big time home run guy though more of a 40 double, 20-25 home run type of player and there’s nothing wrong with that. He just needs to get the ball off of the ground more. He’s young though and plenty of time for adjustments.
Here Longhi hits a bomb the other way, courtesy of Minor League Baseball
Marmolejos-Diaz is 22 years old, 5’10”, 185 lbs bats and throws left.
Marmolejos-Diaz utilizes a closed stance he has a quick level swing and the ball jumps off of his bat. He makes decent contact (18% K rate). He uses the whole field and but most of his 11 home runs have been to his pull side.
A closer look at the numbers reveals a 54% ground ball rate 26% fly ball and a 17% line drive rate. Marmolejos could benefit from incorporating a little lift in his swing. He doesn’t strike me as a guy with even 20 home run power currently more in the 14-18 range, for that to work in a corner infield position going forward he’ll need a 65-70 hit tool. I only got one look at Marmolejos and the Hagerstown Suns this year but in my limited look I would put a 50/55 on the hit tool.
It’s a difficult profile I would like him better if he were in the middle of the diamond. He feels like a tweener to me. I hope I’m wrong.
Here Marmolejos-Diaz puts a charge into one courtesy of MILB
It felt good to accomplish something I’m about halfway through my 1st team all Sally and that will be followed by the 2nd team and 3rd team. Cheers