Prospect Rising in Round Rock: Neil Ramirez


We like to keep you guys up to date on people making noise in the Rangers organization, and we have a good one. Neil Ramirez is a right-handed pitcher the Rangers picked up in the 1st round of the 2007 draft. Baseball America rated him as the 71st best pick in the draft, and the Rangers grabbed him at pick number 44. For 2011 they had him ranked as the Rangers 27th best prospect, I’m guessing he takes a big jump before next season.

Ramirez spent 2009 and 2010 with the Hickory Crawdads. In ’09 Ramirez started 14 games, with a record three wins and six loses. His ERA that season was 4.75, this dropped to 4.43 in 2010. The numbers those seasons, while good for a prospect didn’t necessarily set the system on fire.

Here’s where the upward mobility started. Ramirez started 2011 with the Single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans. He started one game this season for them; it was a no-decision. In the game he went 4.2 innings allowing one hit and no runs. In the short outing Ramirez accumulated 9 strikeouts.

This was the only time Ramirez played with Myrtle Beach this season. After injuries hit both the Rangers and the Round Rock Express, Ramirez jumped from Myrtle Beach to Round Rock. This move bypassed AA-Frisco entirely.

Initially this was intended as a short term injury replacement, but the righty quickly made them reconsider. In his first game with the Express Neil went 6 innings, allowed only 3 hits and zero runs. He picked up the win in that game as well. With Round Rock this season he’s started four games with a record of two wins and one loss. Over those games he has an ERA of 1.69, allowed a mere 11 hits and has 25 strikeouts. Even better than that he has only four earned runs on the year, and only one home run allowed…ridiculous.

The way the big league club seems to be tearing through pitchers, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him called up at some point. At the very least he shouldn’t go back down. It’s also going to be interesting to see if other clubs want Ramirez in a trade if the Rangers try to go after a big move.

Depending on what the Express plan on doing since the game Sunday was rained out, Ramirez will pitch Wednesday on normal rest or Thursday with an extra day of rest. We’ll let you know how he does either way.