Heliot Ramos is Looking Like a Breakout Star for the Giants

The San Francisco Giants lineup has been kept afloat lately by Heliot Ramos, a former top prospect who is finally putting it all together.

Heliot Ramos
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 15: Heliot Ramos #17 of the San Francisco Giants hits a two run home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the bottom of the first inning at Oracle Park on June 15, 2024 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tony Avelar/San Francisco Giants/Getty Images)

The San Francisco Giants were once a dynasty whose roster consisted of several homegrown stars. High-caliber hitters like Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval along with high-profile pitchers like Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner, who all came up through the Giants system and contributed greatly to the franchises three World Series in five seasons from 2010 to 2014.

Since that impressive five-year run of dominance, the Giants have only managed to make the postseason twice, in 2016 and 2021, and have failed to progress beyond the National League Divisional Series both times.

And within this time of decline, those same names that once lead them glory have come and gone, leaving the Giants searching for impact players to make a long-term difference.

They’ve seemed to have found their next Lincecum or Bumgarner in the 2023 NL Cy Young runner-up Logan Webb, but have yet to really find that impact bat.

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And they’ve certainly tried in the recent years to find other ways to obtain what they desperately desire offensively, swinging and missing on big free-agent names like Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa in the past two off-seasons.

But the Giants may have the answer right in front of them, in the form of Heliot Ramos, a homegrown talent just like they’ve developed so successfully in the past.

After being selected by San Francisco in the first-round in the 2017 MLB Draft, Ramos became a consensus top-100 prospect in baseball, appearing on various top 100 lists from 2018 through 2022. He also played in three Futures Games, in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

Ramos has spent the past few seasons splitting time between Triple-A and the major leagues, where he had struggled to find success, posting a 47 wRC+ in 25 games last year.

But since Ramos was recalled from Triple-A on May 8th this year, he has been given the reigns in the Giants’ outfield for really the first time in his career. And he’s been up to the task to this point, as he’s been one of the leagues best hitters in recent weeks.

Ramos is an All-Round Force at the Plate

Heliot Ramos is by no means a one dimensional player that plate. This season he is showing a strong mix of both power and contact, leading to a 2.1 WAR already.

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Through his first 34 games and 145 plate appearances the power Ramos has shown has been outstanding.

He sports a 56.5% hard-hit rate, which ranks 5th among hitters with at least 50 batted-ball events according to Baseball Savant.

Ramos is certainly in good company here, trailing only Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

His high hard-hit rate has led him to put up an impressive .571 slugging percentage with an even slightly higher xSLG of .562. It’s also lead to Ramos posting a top 15 average exit velocity at 93.3 mph..

His ability to hit the ball hard is in large part due to the fact that he finds the barrel at such a frequent rate. His Barrel% in 2024 ranks as the fifth-highest in the league at 18.8%.

The fact Ramos hits pitches hard and finds barrels has not only lead to higher power but solid, quality contact.

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He finds himself hitting at .325, ranking eighth amongst hitters with a minimum of 100 PA according to Fangraphs. And it’s not just a fluke of a hot start for Ramos as metrics show he can maintain an above average expected batting average, which currently sits at .277.

Ramos’ profile goes beyond just his ability to put bat on ball. He’s also displayed a measured and patient approach at the plate so far this season.

He currently walks at an 11.7% rate, which ranks well above average. Along with his power, this has helped contributed to Ramos’ strong .978 OPS this season.

He has paired that with good swing decisions, as he boasts an above average chase rate at just 25.2%.

Ramos Provides More Than Just His Bat

Ramos is not just an all-round hitter, he’s an all-round player, providing solid play both on the basepaths and on defense.

As a baserunner Ramos can hold his own. While it’s not represented through stolen bases to this point, with just one to his name so far in 2024, Ramos ranks in the 73rd percentile in sprint speed at 28.0 ft/sec.

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And Ramos’ above average fielding abilities have been on full display in 2024 as well.

He currently sits at three outs above average, which ranks him 87th percentile league wide.

He also boasts above average arm strength at 87.0 mph and an arm value of one fielder run, which rank in 67th and 75th percentile respectively.

Ramos Has Staying Power in the Giants Lineup

Although Ramos was not part of the Giants Opening Day roster in 2024, he has made the most of his opportunity after being recalled, and it has shown in where he resides in the lineup and in the outfield.

Ramos has found himself continually hitting in either the first or second spot since June began.

And since he made the jump to the top portion of the lineup on June 2, Ramos is slashing .404/.491/.851 while hitting six home runs and driving in 17 runs.

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In this 12-game span, Ramos has seen 57 plate appearances and managed to accumulate a 1.4 WAR and a 270 wRC+. Both of those marks lead all of baseball, as Ramos has been even better than AL MVP frontrunner, Aaron Judge, across this two-week span.

And in terms of where he stands among Giants outfielders, Ramos has more than solidified his everyday spot.

Most recently Ramos has made a home for himself as the everyday center field option after Jung Hoo Lee went down with injury in the middle of May and Luis Matos was demoted to Triple-A on June 5.

And the numbers show there is likely little competition to oust Ramos out of his everyday outfield role, as he is by far and away their best outfield option right now.

Heliot Ramos34145.325.407.5711792.1
Michael Conforto48193.240.295.4251080.0
Mike Yastrzemski62201.215.290.398990.5
Austin Slater3171.203.338.2376-0.1
San Francisco Giants Consistent Outfielders 2024

The Giants will certainly have decisions to make in their lineup, such as the return of the six-year, $113 million man in Lee next season. And considering how aggressive the Giants have been on the free-agent market in recent off-seasons, or at least tried to be, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think they could be just as aggressive in off-seasons in the near future.

But with how dominant Ramos has been, he’s foreshadowed stardom. And if he continues at this electric pace, the Giants will have no choice but to plan around him for the future, which is something they should be more than happy to welcome.

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