Upbeat outlook for Wilkin Ramirez

Wilkin Ramirez arguably had reason to hang his head wonder about his place after starting the season back in Double-A and watching fellow Tigers outfield prospects Brennan Boesch and Casper Wells get their shots in the big leagues. Instead, he’s happy for Boesch to be breaking through and using it as proof that youngsters can get an opportunity in Detroit.

Likewise, Ramirez could’ve treated his second Futures Game appearance in three years as a repeat trip. But he looks at it as a new vote of confidence from Tigers management.
“I started my year in Double-A,” Ramirez said. “When you move backwards, you have that little thing in your mind. Getting invited here, it gives you a lot of confidence. I thank the Tigers for that. I feel pretty good.
“I want to thank the Tigers and whoever made the decision to pick me to be here. It gave me a lot of confidence, and I feel very good. At the beginning, I felt left out. It gave me a lot of confidence, and I’m happy to be here.”
Ramirez went 1-for-2 with a single and a fly out in Sunday’s Futures Game. It was a midseason honor in what has been a mixed bag of a season for the 24-year-old multi-tooled prospect.
His athleticism has always wowed. As team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski put it a couple weeks ago, when the Futures Game rosters came out, “He’s the type of guy that you’re always hoping that at some point he’s just going to put it all together. If he does, then he has the chance to be a star.”
His stats reflect the potential. His strikeout totals are astounding, 128 of them over 356 plate appearances between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. Yet exactly half of his 76 hits have gone for extra bases — 18 home runs, 14 doubles and six triples.
“Especially at the beginning of the year, I was more aggressive, because I think I was trying to do too much,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t really want to be there. I wasn’t expecting to be there, so I wanted to do the best I can, so I was trying too hard.”
An early-season vote of support from Erie manager Phil Nevin, he said, gave him a boost. Renewed confidence from Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish and hitting coach Leon Durham have helped, too.
He admits he has a problem with strikeouts, but he’s trying to focus on making sure his swings are productive. He swung at all three pitches he saw Sunday, and put two of them in play.
He doesn’t look at the Tigers roster picture as an opportunity passed up. He looks at Boesch as inspiration.
“You know what? I’m so happy for Boesch, that he’s doing that good,” Ramirez said. “Every at-bat, every home run that he hits, it makes me feel good myself. Boesch works so hard. Boesch played at Double-A last year, and that showed a lot of people that young people can go to the big leagues and do very very good. And that made me so happy that he’s doing that.”


I think the Futures selection was a way for the Tigers to showcase Ramirez for a trade and convince other teams that they still think he’s a star in the making. I think that, internally, they do not feel this way and are looking for a way to get rid of him while getting something in return. If no one bites, maybe they are hoping the Futures appearance rejuvenates Ramirez and turns him inot a baseball player rather than an athlete.

Hi All,
I hate this week with no real games. I’m super stressed at work to boot, so not having baseball to talk about and provide some distraction is tough.
Any word on the Tigers making a trade of some sort?
Bummer for the AL in the ASG, but the Tigers made me proud. Valverde was certainly in his element.

I’ve read some media speculation (which is a fancy term for a writer making a wild guess and getting an article from it) that the Tigers need a shortstop. I have to wonder why anyone would think this when the players mentioned aren’t as good as Santiago and, so far, Worth. Acquiring a shortstop would be an unnecessary move, IMO.
Where we have a need is for a relief pitcher and a starter. Unless someone gets creative, I’m not excited about any of the names being floated about at this point. Aardsma maybe. Forget Kerry Wood.
We don’t have to make a trade at all. You can bet, however, that DD will make a waiver deal during August and you can further bet that Leyland will play the guy into the ground no matter how bad he is, thus joining the ranks of Neifi Perez, Matt Stairs, and Aubrey Huff.
Or are we saying that the Tigers can’t continue their 48-38 pace for the second half?

A…..R…..A…..Anxious, Resigned, Astounded. I will be Anxious to see if the Tigers can duplicate the 48-38 pace in the second half. Can 88-74 (.545) take the Central Division?
The Twins are having a rough time right now but they have always had a second-half surge. I just can’t believe the Sox will maintain their torrid pace. To me, they have an old team and now have lost Peavy. If the Tigers start to fade as they have in so many recent seasons, I will be Resigned to another lost year. If they hang in there and maybe even get better down the stretch, I will be Astounded. They seem to have so many “holes.” Starting and relief pitching, catching, shortstop. If Avila and Damon can improve their hitting, that might cover for shortstop. But who will they lose to get that pitching?

I completely agree Rich. Every deadline trade the Tigers have made since the 2006 season has not worked. Worse, they have all, at the very least, altered the chemistry enough to bring the Tiger second half hopes to a sputtering, fizzling, halt. It’s been depressing. I wish for once, as Sparky might put it, that they would stick with the horses that brought them this far. Santiago and Worth are not hurting this team. Th Tigers could always use another relief pitcher, but I think up to this point JL has done a pretty decent job of bringing up the young players and plugging them into the right situations. I am very confident and happy with who we have right now.
What I’m afraid of is that as this team continues to win and just as it hits 15+ games over .500, management makes a move that starts everything going back south. Having said that, acquiring a genuine impact player would makes things very interesting, but please, no nickel and dime upgrades. We don’t need any. The guys we have now are the ones that have earned the good winning record we are enjoying. It has not been a fluke or the result of luck.

Nice to hear Boesch mentioned on MLB Network as possible rookie of the year.
Surprised to hear the Giants signed Willis to a minor league contract. Will it work out this time??? Will be interesting if it does.
Thought I would enjoy watching the Twins beat the White Sox tonight, until the Sox got the lead back. Can’t they just go quietly? Maybe they are promoting their MLB Network reality show. Are you all going to watch?
Tracey, I agree, the game is such a nice escape. And it keeps my mind occupied while on the treadmill!

Injuries have hit the relief corp in the majors and minor. Perry, Bonine and Weinhardt are going to be key with the expectation that Coke and Valverde will continue their strong performances.
I am comfortable with JV and Max; hopeful with Bondo; it does not look like Oliver is ready. The key is Porcello, if he pitches like the second half of last year and Armando gains some consistancy the starting staff could come together. Those are two big ifs right now.
The everyday line up has looked good lately and the dark hole at the bottom of the order has really picked it up. The cost of adding a major upgrade at shortstop is to great. Worth slumped when he was recalled, but has picked it up the last two series. Plus .260 average from the shortstop combination is not hurting the team.
Looking forward to my summer baseball vacation as we will be taking in six games in seven days. If the Tigers are in first place when we get home, it will be a great trip.

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