Legendary Manager Saw Giants Rookie Outfielder’s Tools In Minors

Autor: Matthew Postins

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy knew this was in the cards for San Francisco Giants outfielder Heliot Ramos one day.

But on Friday at Globe Life Field, he got to see the 24-year-old outfielder’s rise in person when the Giants defeated the Rangers, 5-2, to start a three-game series.

Ramos started in center field, where San Francisco is trying to solidify the position in the wake of Jung Hoo Lee’s season-ending surgery. Before Friday he only played 16 innings in center field in the Majors. Of course, Friday was also his 62nd career game.

But Giants manager Bob Melvin has to get Ramos’ bat in the lineup and Friday was proof. He led off and went 3-for-5 with an RBI against the Rangers as he boosted his batting average to .320.

This is the player the Giants hoped he would become when they drafted him seven years ago. It’s the player Bochy saw so much promise in while he was in San Francisco.

“He’s really swinging the bat well,” Bochy said before Friday’s game.

Bochy left the dugout in San Francisco after the 2019 season. His Baseball Hall of Fame credentials were secure having led the Giants to three World Series titles in five years.

He and his wife did move to Nashville to be closer to family. But, for three years, until he accepted the Rangers’ managerial job in late 2022, he served as a special advisor to the Giants.

A special advisor job can be a lot of things. For Bochy, that meant watching a lot of baseball. Sometimes it was from his home in Nashville. Sometimes it was in San Francisco. Sometimes he popped into the Giants’ nearby affiliates.

The Giants drafted Ramos in the first round in 2017 out of Puerto Rico, while Bochy was still managing. After COVID-19 shut down minor league baseball in 2020, Ramos resumed his minor-league career with Double-A Richmond in the Northeast League and was later promoted to Triple-A Sacramento.

Ramos had a legitimate breakthrough last season, as he batted .303 with 14 home runs and 51 RBI mostly with Sacramento. He made a smattering of Major League appearances in 2022 and 2023, but never batted better than .179.

Bochy saw quite a bit of Ramos before he departed for Texas. He sensed that Ramos had the tools to be a Major League player.

“I saw this kid come up through the minors with the time I spent there after I retired,” Bochy said. “He’s got power, he’s got a great arm, he runs well. He’s a gifted athlete. We have to find a way to get him out.”

The Rangers struggled with that on Friday. But they’re not the only ones to struggle with it so far this season. That’s why Melvin is looking for any way possible to get Ramos in the lineup.

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