Thursday, February 26, 2015

Scouting Reports: Wilson Ramos

Back in our 2014review of Wilson Ramos, we established the Ramos has been hitting more groundballs as he has aged as a hitter. We also saw that he is starting to chase pitches out of the zone more often every year. Let’s see if this jives with his scouting report.

Similar to what we saw with Jayson Werth, Ramos gets a steady helping of fastballs from both left handed and right handed pitchers. Lefties threw four seamers/sinkers 55% of the time to Ramos in 2014 and right handers threw the same pitches 59% of the time. Righties go to the slider 19% of the time, though, and the lefties’ favorite off speed pitch was the change-up at 14%.

When right handers went to the fastball, they kept the ball away from the inner half of the plate, respecting Ramos’ ability to put a ball in the outfield bleachers. Instead, they pounded the outside corner and off the plate away. Given Ramos’ penchant for swinging at pitches outside of the zone, it makes sense to see the clusters of the pitches outside of the zone:


Left handers also pounded the outside corner with fastballs, but were more willing to challenge Ramos inside. The two areas most thrown to by left handers are the low and outside corner and inside and low corner:

Even with the inside cluster, the majority of pitches are still away and a large number ended up outside of the strike zone altogether. Clearly, it’s a point of emphasis for pitchers to work Ramos away.

When right handers went to the offspeed, you really see the full picture of the approach to pitching to Ramos. Here are all the curveballs/sliders that Ramos saw in 2014 from right handed pitchers:

As you would expect, if you have been paying attention to previous scouting reports, the curves and sliders are clustered low and away. Compared to the other heatmaps we have seen, though, the cluster for Ramos is even more focused out the zone, tempting Ramos to chase.

Picture, if you can remember, one of Ramos’ at bats against the Giants in the playoffs. Fastball away, fastball away, slider away for a swinging strike out or a weekly rolled over groundball pulled to the shortstop or third baseman. It’s not a situation unique to the playoffs and the scouting report lines up with the batted ball profile and zone profile we established for Ramos in the review. Ramos is willing to swing at pitches outside the zone, and has a tendency to connect on these pitches. If you can tempt Ramos into swinging at a slider out of the zone (maybe setting this up with a couple fastballs on the outside corner to get Ramos looking that way), he either strikes out on that swing or weakly puts the ball into play. This approach, in my opinion, is based on the knowledge that Ramos struggles to lay off pitches outside the strike zone. When pitchers then start pounding outside the zone away, Ramos keeps swinging at these pitches. When he connects, the only thing he can do with the pitch is put it on the ground, and put it on the ground he usually does.

Don’t miss the previous scouting reports on Denard Span, Bryce Harper, and JaysonWerth.

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