Heliot Ramos was selected for the Barney Nugent Award which is given to the best of the first-time-in-camp ballplayers. Ramos is only 21 and it is exciting to see his emergence. I suspect we will see him on the big league roster sometime this season. The 2017 1st-round pick went 15-for-36 with 3 doubles and 3 homers. He’s been in pro ball since he was signed out of Puerto Rico at age 17 and has logged over 1100 PAs in the minors. He’ll start the year in AAA-Sacramento.
But the real story of the spring, for me, is that of Logan Webb. He gave up a run against the A’s today in the Giants final tune-up. (The 7-2 win gives them an 11-12 Cactus League record.) What’s notable is that’s the only run Webb allowed in his 17 IP across five starts. The 24-year old from Rocklin has also been in the organization since he was 17 years old and he has logged almost 400 IP in the minors. He’s spent time in the bigs the last two seasons, starting 19 games, but the results haven’t been there. Armed with a new change-up he’s elevated his game and secured a spot in the starting rotation. Webb will pitch on Saturday against the Mariners in Seattle.
Kervin Castro was another spring standout. The 22-year old right-handed starter from Venezuela has yet to pitch above low-A ball and will probably be assigned to the new high-A affiliate in Eugene. Here’s the word from Kap:
“That is a future Major League pitcher,” Kapler said after Castro posted a quick, 1-2-3 inning against the Padres on March 5. “That pace, that tempo, he’s on the mound and ready to deliver the baseball before the hitter is ready. He’s pounding the strike zone, and when he’s not in the strike zone he’s very close to it and throwing his secondary weapons for strikes.
“He’s just a really impressive kid.”
The Giants need good, young players and they especially need good, young pitchers. Let’s hope we see more performances like these.
I’ll do another post on the final roster before Thursday’s opener. Looks like the only NRI that will make the team is Nick Tropeano. The 30-year old journeyman right-hander has mostly been a starter and will likely be the key swingman/long reliever/bulk innings guy out of the ‘pen.
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