Luis Ramirez showed notable growth from last year in his first four starts of the season this spring. The Long Beach State right-handed pitcher was trending upwards until a shoulder injury in March caused him to miss three weeks of the season.
Ramirez tried to return, making three appearances, before shutting it down for the rest of the season. Now, Ramirez is rehabbing and preparing for workouts in anticipation of July’s MLB draft. Scouts considered Ramirez as a potential early-round pick in the draft.
“It was for sure difficult and stressful with handling the draft interest,” said Ramirez on getting hurt. “I have just tried to say humble. Everything happens for a reason, and it will all work out how it should.”
Ramirez has served as a reliable pitcher for Long Beach State during his first three years of college baseball.
As a freshman in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Ramirez posted a 2.73 ERA with 27 strikeouts and eight walks allowed in 26 1/3 innings. As a sophomore, he pitched a larger workload, recording a 4.27 ERA with 58 strikeouts and 25 walks allowed in 65 1/3 innings.
Ramirez pitched well this season until his final start of the spring, despite making only seven starts. He recorded a 2.14 ERA with 38 strikeouts and 11 walks allowed in 33 2/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs in his first 30 2/3 innings until surrendering six earned runs in three innings against UC Santa Barbara on April 22.
“The season started great, but unfortunately, it ended with an injury,” Ramirez said. “I feel like I performed at my best when I was healthy.”
Ramirez is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound right-hander who throws a four-seam fastball, two-seamer, circle changeup, slider and curveball from a three-quarters arm slot and low-effort delivery.
He primarily uses his two-seamer in comparison to his four-seam fastball. It sits 91-94 mph, touching the high-90s, and features heavy sinking action.
Ramirez’s slider and changeup are above-average offerings. His slider has made significant strides throughout his collegiate career and serves as his outpitch. He features noteworthy movement, and Ramirez is comfortable throwing it in any situation.
Ramirez has intriguing potential due to his pitch mix and command and control. He believes his mentality on the mound is his biggest strength.
“That competitive mentality is big for me,” Ramirez said. “I just get after it no matter how the inning goes or no matter how I am doing. If something bad happens, I don’t show it up there and just keep pitching my game.”
Ramirez is back throwing and preparing for the MLB Draft Combine on June 14-20 at Petco Park in San Diego. As he recovers and regains the strength in his arm, he wants to develop more stamina and prove to scouts that he can handle a starting pitcher’s workload.
“I am just building up and making sure my arm feels good,” Ramirez said. “I’m working on getting my feel back for my pitches.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for seven years. He has interviewed 356 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.