Big League Debut: Harold Ramirez and Austin Allen

Harold Ramirez, OF (MIA) - The “life” of a prospect is a funny one. Full of ups and downs, role changes, organization changes, and more. The Colombian native has seen all of this first hand. Ramirez was once a sleek, quick centerfield prospect in the Pirates system that could steal bases and hit atop a lineup. He was then sent to the Blue Jays along with Reese McGuire and Francisco Liriano as part of the Drew Hutchison deal in 2016.

He hit .266/.320/.368 as a 22-year-old in Double-A in his first full year in the Blue Jays organization. That down year along with the body thickening up and limiting him to a corner drove his prospect status into the ground. He bounced back in a big way in 2018. He repeated Double-A and won the batting title. He slashed .320/.365/.471 with 11 homers and 16 stolen bases in 120 games. In addition to the 11 homers he collected 37 doubles, showing that there is more power potential there.

Because he signed with the Pirates in 2011, Ramirez was granted minor league free agency after the Blue Jays elected not to add him to the 40-man. The Marlins swooped in after a strong winter league campaign that saw him hit .366 while with Caracas in Venezuela. In his first taste of Triple-A he was off to a strong start hitting .355/.408/.591 with a sub 16 percent strikeout rate and strong contact skills before getting the call from the Marlins. After all of that it’s hard to believe he’s only 24 years-old. Ramirez is worth a pickup in all 15+ team leagues and NL-only formats as I do believe there is playing time to be had in the Marlins outfield. Long live zombie prospects!

Austin Allen, C (SD)- Allen can hit, and has a career .289/.351/.464 slash line to his name. The 2015 fourth rounder out of Florida Tech is a bat-first catcher now, but might be moved off the position in the near future as his defensive skills are all below average across the board. He’s a left-handed hitter without pronounced lefty splits, but there’s a bit of swing and miss present, which limits the offensive upside. He can hit the ball a long way when he connects though as he has no issues getting his raw power to translate in game as shown by posting back-to-back 30 double and 20-homer seasons in the minors. The Padres may have to get a bit creative, but Allen could be a valuable role player in the future. I do not think he can catch everyday though, and with Austin Hedges around you don’t have to worry about that anyways. Allen can be left on the wire in all redraft formats, but is worth an add in dynasty, especially if he becomes the part-time catcher we all want Zack Collins to be.