The New York Mets have signed journeyman reliever Yefry Ramirez in an effort to add depth to the team’s bullpen.
Ramirez is a well-traveled player. The 26-year-old reliever has played for four different organizations. He originally signed to play shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international free agent in 2011, but he was quickly converted to a pitcher.
He excelled as a pitcher in short-season ball from 2012-2014 before struggling mightily in 2015 as a starter in rookie ball. Still, the New York Yankees took a chance on the former position player, selecting him in the minor league Rule 5 draft.
Ramirez spent just one full season in the Yankees’ system. He was an electric starter with the Yankees in 2016, posting a 2.82 ERA with 9.6 Ks/9 and 2.3 BB/9 between class A and A-plus.
He continued that success in 2017 in Double-A, but his value wasn’t high at all. The Yankees sold Ramirez to the Orioles for international pool money. By the end of the season, Ramirez was ranked as the Orioles 23rd best prospect by MLB.com.
Ramirez continued his success as a stater in 2018 in Triple-A and earned a major league callup, but once he arrived in the majors, he collapsed. He pitched to a 5.92 ERA, 5.29 FIP, 8.5 Ks/9, and 5.0 BB/9.
Last season Ramirez split time as a starter and a reliever, but he wasn’t the same. His numbers in Triple-A were all down from the year before. Yet, the Orioles called him up again and he was even worse coming out of the bullpen.
He was designated for assignment and traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in May. With Pittsburgh, Ramirez saw his ERA rise, but his FIP drop significantly. He also saw a rise in strikeouts and a drop in walks.
Ramirez won’t light up the gun with his velocity, but both his fastball and curveball spin are above-average.
It’s not likely that Ramirez will contribute in a major way in 2020 for the Mets. However, there’s reason to believe there could be some hidden potential that makes him a useful player.