The Resurrection of ChrisTaylor

Yes, I have crappy Photoshop skills, but I spent all of 45 seconds doing it.

OK, this was not my idea.  The Truth Hurts put me up to it!  

Actually, this may be the second coming because some had Chris Taylor dead and buried a few weeks ago when his batting average dropped to .279. So, again some had him regressing to the mean (whatever the mean is), but he would have nothing to do with it.  Last night he hit his 13th HR and drove in his 5oth and 51st RBI’s.  On the year,he is hitting.313 with a .379 OB%. .534 Slugging % and .913 OPS.

In case you hadn’t noticed, he is also becoming a very good outfielder.  He routinely turns doubles into singles and has a very good arm.  If it were up to me, he would be the Dodgers starting CF next year.  He can play the position as good as Joc… maybe better by then. I am tired of waiting on Joc – he is what he is and I don’t see that changing.  Maybe a change of scenery over the Winter will benefit him, but on my team, Chris Taylor is the CF.  Puig, Toles, Verdugo, Ramos and Rios would be candidates for my outfield.  Of course, I will need to see Rios in LF but Ramos can play it too.  Ramos can play RF as well… and has played CF, but he’s doesn’t have the speed for that.

Henry Ramos is a name to remember Dodger Fans.  He is 25 years old, 6′ 2″ 220 pounds and a switch-hitter.  Henry was signed by Boston in 2010 after being drafted in the 5th round. After the 2014 season, he was rated Boston’s #29 Prospect, but he stalled out.  When drafted, Baseball America had this to say about him:

The best power in Puerto Rico belongs to switch-hitting outfielder Ramos, who stands 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds with a strong, athletic frame. He is relatively new to baseball, spending most of his youth as a soccer player, and his power shows up more during batting practice than in games. When he connects the ball jumps off his bat and goes a long way. Ramos is a below-average runner but is athletic enough and has the arm strength to play right field. He has good makeup and just needs to play every day in order to turn his tools into performance.

In 2014, BA wrote this about him:

A tremendous athlete who had limited playing experience as an amateur, Ramos seemed as if he might be in the midst of a career breakthrough at Double-A Portland in 2014. The switch-hitter was one of the team’s top performers through 48 games before fouling a ball off the side of his left knee, creating a stress fracture on the opposite side of the knee that ended his season. Ramos returned to the field by the end of instructional league and appeared to be unhindered as a runner. His plus range, plus arm and average speed in right field suggest a player who could fill an extra outfielder role in the big leagues. Ramos has shown improved pitch recognition as he’s moved up the ladder, and he has the strength to drive the ball out of the park. “If he hits at all,” said one National League evaluator, “he’s a starter.”

After 6 years in Boston’s system, he elected minor league free agency last winter and the Dodgers signed him with a Spring Training invite.  He had some injuries that slowed him down, but since he was activated he has torn the cover off the ball. This year, in 97 combined at bats between Tulsa and OKC, he is hitting .423 with a .468 OB% and 1.138 OPS.  He has 6 HR, 18 RBI and has taken 10 walks. He is very Chris Taylor-esque!

Now, I realize this is a small sampling, but if you watch him, you can see he has a good idea of what he is doing at the plate – he swings with confidence, much like Chris Taylor and his made-over swing.  He can also bunt:

He can also play a little defense:

Of course he hits home runs too:

Here’s his AAA debut:

If FAZ keeps finding these guys, they won’t have to sign the Harpers, Machados or Arenados of the world.

Henry Ramos – that name just sounds like a ballplayer!

Minor League Report

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don’t do game recaps or such things — lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don’t think they are the “end-all-be-all.”. This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We’d like to hear your voice.

This article has 74 Comments

  1. I remember seeing Henry Ramos in Spring Training. It was only a couple of at bats, but he left a good impression. I never kept up with him when he went to Tulsa and OKC so I appreciate the update. Sounds like he offers additional outfield talent. Oh Henry!
    .
    I agree with you that Joc is at risk of losing his starting CF position. Unlike you, Mark, I think he will eventually overcome some of his bad habits at the plate – it will take some time though. If CT3 can show good routes in CF, he could push out Joc. An outfield of Toles/Ramos/Verdugo in LF, CT3 in CF, and Puig in RF – I could see it. It would be interesting to see what kind of offensive production as well as defensive runs saved that outfield could deliver in 2018.

  2. I watch the Dodger minor league teams very closely, but I also watch the Red Sox and Phillies farm teams as well. I have been following Henry Ramos since 2014 when he first appeared at Portland (AA). He did not do anything special, but he did everything fairly well. I think because he was relatively new to baseball is what first drew my attention to him. When the Dodgers signed him last winter I thought, great now I can really follow him. He is 25…younger than Trayce Thompson. I watched his first game at AAA, and he did not disappoint. I did not get to see his game last night as I was watching a Beatles tribute band, and they were awful. So far Rain is the only Beatles tribute band worth seeing (IMO).
    .
    Henry should certainly get a good look next Spring for a #4 or #5 OF spot. I do not see Thompson in the Dodgers organization next spring.

    1. Back in the early ’80s, Rain would play at the club I worked at in Woodland Hills (Tennessee Gin & Cotton) every Tuesday night.
      They were very good. I’m sure there has been quite a turnover in members since then.

      1. I saw a Beatles tribute band in the early 80s in LA, and I believe it was at the Pantages theatre, and they seemed to be pretty good.

    2. I think that is very possible if Joc’s defensive numbers, don’t get better by the end of the season.

      Believe it or not, most or all of Joc’s WAR, is from his offensive numbers, because most of Joc’s defensive numbers, are negatives, and his defensive runs saved, is negative 10.

      But these saber metric defensive numbers, tend to have bigger differences, from year to year then you would think.

      I do know that Joc is one of the slowest centerfielders in all of baseball.

      But like I said, these defensive numbers, are not always stable.

      1. I find it odd when people say Verdugo can’t play CF because of a lack of speed when we have Joc in CF. Joc is getting slower each year. He gets good reads on fly balls and bobbles a lot of balls that land in front of him. I would say he’s an above avg defender.

  3. I do not see Thompson in the Dodgers organization next spring”.

    See, that just proves FAZ doesn’t know what they are doing. Thompson, Montas, Latos, Peraza, Olivera, Schebler – these guys are morons!

    What? Best record in baseball? Most depth in baseball?

    …. never mind!

      1. AC

        What did you see with Cingrani last night?

        I didn’t see it, because the game went off the air, right after Wood got that pick off, and the double play, to get out of that tough inning.

        I looked at Red’s fans comments after Cingrani was traded, and all the fans seemed glad that he was gone, because he had given up, to many HRs this year.

        1. MJ, I did not see the game last night so I was not able to see Cingrani pitch. From what I have read, the Dodgers want him to throw the slider more often. He has been relying on his 4-seamer for 82% of his pitches. I do not know the pitch he threw to Albies, hopefully somebody who did watch the game can advise. I did notice that he did have two strikeouts after the HR to Santana and Phillips. I did not expect that he was going to turn it all around in his first Dodger outing, but I am also not going to judge him on one game as a Dodger. Let’s let Honey work with him in the pen. Hopefully Grandal/Barnes will get the scouting report and pitch repertoire from Honey, and then Cingrani will let them dictate how to work in the game. The Dodgers obviously see something in him, so I am going to give them the time to help him. Their track record of resurrecting careers has been pretty good. Maybe not 100%, but pretty good nonetheless.

          1. AC thanks!

            I knew he had something that the front office liked, so I knew it wouldn’t happen over night.

            Our GM talked about having Cingrani use a different strategy, when he is pitching.

            Our GM said they did the same thing with Fields.

            Sorry, I don’t know how I forgot that you were watching that Beatles, tribute band, it was only right in front of me.

  4. I agree that Peterson would be better off on another team. I don’t know the guy at all so my comments don’t hold much watter, but he just doesn’t seem to be fast mentally nor a mature as most of the other players.

    I also agree that Thompson doesn’t seem to be a major league hitter. He is a great athlete and he may improve his hitting, but right now it looks like he may be gone soon.

  5. MINOR LEAGUE REPORT:
    .
    OKC lost 4-0 to Las Vegas 51’s (Mets) – The offense was comprised of seven singles. Yaisel Sierra had a decent outing going 3.0 innings allowing 1 run (HR) on 2 hits, with 0 walks and 4 strikeouts. 32 year old knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa gets his OKC Dodgers debut tonight. After being released by the Rangers, Gamboa was signed by the Dodgers and was assigned to Tulsa. He has pitched okay, but nothing very special. He first starting pitching a knuckleball in 2013 after being tutored by Phil Niekro. He is not the next Charlie Hough. However, since he went to UC Davis, I pull for him.
    .
    Tulsa 8-3 win against Arkansas Travelers (Mariners) – Errol Robinson went 3-5 with a triple. Matt Beaty had yet another multi-hit game going 3-5. Johan Mieses (11) and Jacob Scavuzzo (15) each hit homeruns. Luis Ysla made his Dodger debut going 2.0 innings, allowing 0 runs on 1 hit, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout.
    .
    RC lost 5-2 to Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies) – Zach Reks had back to back 3 hit games going 3-4 with a walk. DJ Peters had 2 hits for the Quakes. No standout pitching.
    .
    Ogden 4-3 win over Billings Mustangs (Reds) – That is the highlight.
    .
    AZL Dodgers 5-3 win over the AZL Royals – Marcus Chiu had 2 hits (including his 2nd HR). Marshall Kasowski (2017 13th round) pitched in his 5th game and still has not been scored on. He has pitched 5.1 innings allowing 1 hit and 3 walks with 9 strikeouts. Riley Ottesen (2017 5th round) pitched in his 7th game (2.0 IP). After a shaky first two games, he has gone 10.0 IP in his last 5 games. He has allowed 1 run on 6 hits, 1 walk and 10 strikeouts.
    .
    Great Lakes Loons – Now the best game of the night/week/month…. – Great Lakes beat the Dayton Dragons (Reds) 16-5 – This game has so many story lines. Cody Thomas and Carlos Rincon hit back to back HR’s twice in the 1st inning. Cody Thomas hit his third later in the game, and now both Thomas and Rincon have 18 HRs on the year (tied for 3rd in League). Jared Walker also added 2 HRs (including another in the 1st inning).
    .
    Anthony DeSclafani started on a rehab assignment and promptly went .1 IP, allowing 8 runs before leaving with forearm tightness. DeSclafani has been on the DL for the year with a sprained UCL. With last night’s setback, who knows when he will be back?
    .
    Then there was Jordan Sheffield. Jordan went a very strong 7.1 innings and then hit a wall. In 7.1 innings before he hit the wall, he allowed 0 runs on 1 hit, 0 walks, and 10 strikeouts. After starting the 8th with his 10th K, he then allowed 3 singles, a double, and a walk before being replaced. His final numbers did not look pretty, 7.1 innings, 5 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts. But before he ran out of gas in the 8th, this was his best professional game.
    .
    Besides the 7 HRs, there were 3 hits from Gavin Lux (including 2 doubles), and 2 hits from Moises Perez. Maybe something has finally clicked for Gavin. In his last 10 games, Lux is 14-39, with2 doubles, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs, 5 walks, 1 HBP. Over those 10 games, he is batting .359/.444/.641/1.085. Let’s hope he continues to finish strong for the Loons and can feel positive going into 2018.

    1. AC – I sincerely enjoy and appreciate your Minor League Reports. I specially appreciate that your insight goes beyond just the “stats. Looking at Sheffield’s line last night, the initial impression would be that he was just mediocre. Knowing that he pitched 7 innings of one hit ball, with 10 strike outs paints a much different picture.

      What do you know about Zach Reks? That he’s been promoted to Hi A in his first year and he continues to rake the ball is quite impressive.

      1. Zach Reks is the epitome of goods things come at the right time. Reks was a small high school baseball player who ended up on the 2013 Air Force Academy baseball team. He left after one year (no future) and transferred into University of Kentucky where he tried out and was told he was not good enough. He was out of baseball for a year when an UK Assistant Coach saw him and asked him to try out again, and this time he made it.
        .
        In college you have 5 years to play 4, and Zach used all of those years. So he is older than most draftees (23 – will be 24 in November). Usually the 9th and 10th round guys get signed for very VERY little, so there is enough in the bonus pool to pay the top guys. This year Zach was the 10th round selection and signed for a monstrous $1,500 bonus to play for the Dodgers. Connor Strain was the 9th round selection, and he signed for the same.
        .
        Because of his age, he is undoubtedly being pushed quickly to see how far he can go. He has zero power so he is not a corner OF candidate, and not nearly enough speed to play CF. He is absolutely living his dream, but for how much longer? He is a very intelligent young man, so the writing on the wall will become visible at some point (maybe??). But as long as there is a dream, you keep playing until they tell you that you cannot play anymore. He is facing stiff odds, but not impossible odds. I wish him a lot of luck that he will someday realize the completion of that dream.

    1. Harlan

      I would agree with you, about that.

      But his defensive numbers don’t look good at all this year,, but like I already said, those defensive metrics are not always stable, so I don’t put to much into them, for one year.

      But I don’t agree that he has plus range, but he does get to most of the balls, he should.

  6. I watch every Dodger game. The other team I watch is Seattle when I can. When Tayor played for Seattle, he played SS. He was a singles hitter and low batting average. I did not think much of the trade at all. Something happened over the winter. This Spring he looked really good. I could not believe what I was seeing. I kept saying to myself when is he going to revert back to the player I saw in Seattle. I still think he may be a 270-290 hitter, but I will have take it. I hope he hits 300 all year. I love the fact that he made himself into a major league player. I thought he looked tired to me. Three hits and a HR. I will just shut up and enjoy.

    1. Idahoal

      I didn’t mean that is a dig to you, because I know you were not criticizing Taylor, you were just concerned, because you like him a lot!

  7. I do agree with you about Joc. I just think we can do better. I have never liked Joc because he just does not adjust. You can see Puig trying to adjust and do what the coaches are asking him to do. I find it hard to believe the coaches are not trying to help Joc. I can see Taylor going to second next year. He was a very good defensive SS at Seattle. Bring up Verdugo and Ramos. Besides Ramos is a switch hitter. Let’s see what they can do. If Ramos turns out to be pretty good, that will be three FAZ pulled off the junk pile. The three are Taylor, Toles and Ramos.

    1. Joc does take good routes to the ball, has a decent and accurate arm and usually gets nice jumps off the bat and credits his father hitting him tons of fly balls growing up. He sometimes loses track of the other outfielders and the wall focasing on the ball. At this point he is better than Taylor and Kike in CF but Taylor has shown improvement and Joc has not this season. My issue is his offense and although his exit velocity leads the team it’s not surprising as he swings so hard. He needs to go the other way when pitchers pound the outer half and shorten up with 2 strikes to put the ball in play. He deserves a dead red swing early in every at bat if he gets his pitch. His power, defense and upside, combined with youth and contract would bring back something useful.

      Cory, Cody and Taylor are everyday players now, JT gets a weekly day off. Taylor might need a day here and there but hard to sit a guy who hit .394 for the month of July. He is aggressive and strikes out a bit too much and occasionally has a rough game but seems to bounce back nicely. He is a player who can manufacture runs with his speed and looks good at the top of the lineup setting the table. His defense has been good in LF but not elite, however he has improved a ton in a short time. He could handle CF with time to work on his angles to the ball.

      Today the Dodgers can go to 42-7 and exceed the streak from a few years back but draw a tough assignment with DeGrom. If the bats can get 3 or 4 runs or get his pitch count up early I like their chances. Darvish will be pumped up and the Mets lineup can be shut down.

      Cingrani will be given some rope and that’s fine, just no high leverage situations yet. Being a leftie and 2 more years of control make him more than a rental. He also has options left so can be sent down to work on things (a new pitch?) Maybe Jansen can teach him a cutter or Kershaw a slider. Honeycutt needs a little time to work with him too. After the HR yesterday Doc stuck with him and he got the last 3 outs. The kid who took him deep is the #19 prospect in baseball when called up.

        1. You are correct, I just checked an MLB site and Cingrani is out of options. There were several posts that I read after the trade saying he had options left but #$% internet is sometimes fake news! Thanks Hawkeye!

          1. It’s the first thing I wondered. Fortunately, they have a big enough lead to carry a project. Right now he’s a left-handed Hatcher, but only worse and with only one pitch.

  8. Absolutely beautiful representation Mark, lol. How can everyone not love this guy? I had never heard of this man before the season started, unbelievable his story.

    I agree about Joc, he is the weak link in this order, that swing just gets uglier by the minute and he can’t keep his hat on in the outfield either. I have never had as much hope in him as some, some of the most frustrating at bat’s I can remember for years. Nice kid, just wish we could upgrade a position by getting rid of his, like Mark said move (T) to CF go from there.

  9. Day 3 of the Galway Racing Festival @ I’ve had about 10 pints of Guinness but one things for sure – I’m watching Yu’s debut at quarter past midnight,
    Truth – put me down for a shirt please.

  10. The Dodgers keep adding the 40th man. They claimed Dylan Floro off waivers from the Cubs and moved Guitierrez to the 60-day DL.

    The guy who broke the JT and Kenley signings on Twitter last winter tweeted that the Dodgers are looking at guys like Ben Revere and EY jr as roster additions so they can have a guy to steal a base when needed in the post-season.

    1. I can see a base stealer, but that has not been the Dodgers game. I figure with 8 position regulars, 4 starting pitchers, and 8 relievers, that would leave room for five bench players. 4 would have to be Barnes/Utley/Kike’/AGon. That would leave one spot to be filled by Ethier or Farmer or Verdugo or another pitcher or the base stealer. The Dodgers play for the big hit, and are not well versed in little ball. They also love to use the bull pen. That would seem to indicate Ethier or reliever #9 (Stripling or Stewart). I can see them getting a base stealer (say Ben Revere) and having them audition in September. The Astros just signed Rico Noel, assuming for the very same purpose, who I would have preferred.

  11. Best Beatles tribute band: The Fab Four. Seen them 4 times. Check them out on You Tube. Have been on PBS. Great show. I keep thinking how shitty this season will be if after all the smiles, the team lays an egg in the playoffs. Kershaw v Scherzer? Vs Grienke? It may depend on the #’s 3 and 4. Hill might be the most important piece of the playoffs. And the bullpen.

    1. Most likely Kershaw will be lined up against Ray or Godly, Zach G will most likely start the Wild card game. Who starts game 1 of the LCS will depend on how long the LDS goes.

        1. Me too, the point is whoever is in the wild card game will most likely have used their number one before the LCS

  12. I would assume that would be Greinke vs Freeland. And as you pointed out the DBacks can follow with Ray and Godley and then Corbin. The Rockies will have in some order Gray, Senzatela, and Hoffman. Let’s hope Blackmon, LeMahieu, Arenado, and Reynolds tee off on Zach.

    1. that’s only if those 2 teams have the wild card game locked up and can save those 2 pitchers for the Wild card game on Tuesday, Oct 3. If there’s a battle for the wild card with the Brewers/Cubs and anyone else, then who knows whose turn to pitch it will be that Wild Card day!

      1. Mark

        I have a feeling, that a lot of Dodger fans, will join Hawkeye’s Darvish fan club.

        But it was only Hawkeye, that insisted it had to be Darvish, because no other starter, would really make that difference, on this really good team.

          1. That’s true I wanted him but am hopeful they find a way to resign him and also go after Otani whose favorite player is Darvish. I know the luxury tax but I think it could be done in the off season if both the Dodgers and Darvish want it to happen.

      2. That would pay more than the lobbying I do. Just the Mets but a nice start and to think he and Yasmani don’t even know each other yet.

        1. Hawkeye

          I was thinking about the difference in Grandal’s framing, since that former catcher from the Brewers, didn’t have good numbers, in framing this year.

          I can’t remember his last name but it is a French name I believe.

          Darvish said that Grandal called a good game for him tonight, and he really meant it, you could tell!

  13. What I was thinking after Chase hit that ball out, what a mistake Mattingly made, by not playing Chase, against the Mets in the post season.

    I remember Mark insisting that Mattingly had to play Chase in that series, but Mattingly didn’t have the cojones to do it.

    I am so glad he is gone!

  14. I decided to listen to the Mets broadcast feed for the game in the first inning. It’s interesting to hear their perspective. Ron Darling knows the game pretty well, but he’s not that familiar with the Dodger lineup and some of their players. A lot of their opinions are based on the batting average.
    – They are trying to figure out where CT3 came from. He literally came out of nowhere and they are really impressed/jealous that the Dodgers found a pretty lead off hitter without paying hardly anything to the Mariners.
    – They are still bitter they let JT get away. Always referring to him as “the former Met” who leads the league in batting average
    – They are duly impressed with the first 4 hitters in our lineup, but feel the bottom half is vulnerable. That was before Puig and Utley went yard. I don’t think the rest of the league is picking up on the gradual transformation in Yasiel Puig this season.
    – Speaking of Utley, they should keep booing him. He focuses even more.
    – Darling felt that DeGromm had really good stuff to start the game. His slider was sharp and he had good life to his fastball. However, CT3’s great AB to start the game was “disconcerting” to DeGromm. So much so, Darling thought he was unable to take advantage of his good stuff tonight. That’s the value of a great leadoff hitter.

    1. Knight

      Against Degrom in the post season, the Dodger players, were going after his fastball, just out of the strike zone.

      But our guys today, all had excellent at bats, to chase him out of the game.

    2. Same thing happened to Stewart the night before when a Met ran a 9 pitch at bat against Stewart in the second I believe.

  15. Dang, Yu Darvish, don’t even know where to start. Months ago, when we were all giving our preseason predictions, I threw out that we would get Darvish at the trade deadline. Believe me, I ain’t that smart, that was just wishful thinking back then. Just watching him tonight, did you guys get the feeling that this guy has an aura of just being a flat out imposing bad ass. I love Kersh, always will, but Darvish just seems like the ultimate Doc Holiday to Wyatt Earp. Man, what a steal for FAZ! This guy is the black hatted physical kind of enforcer starter that just feels so right for this team right now. WOW, Just, WOW. Can it get any better? (what a minute, Walker Bueller is coming up in about a month)

  16. Went to bed at 04.30 MJ.

    Feel terrible as I sit on the plane waiting to head home, but it was worth it.
    What a debut!
    What an assortment of pitches!
    Even through a Guinness induced haze he looked sensational.
    Let’s hope Kershaw comes back strong.

    What wouldn’t the Starting Rotation in the playoffs?
    Kershaw & Darvish but then is it Wood or Hill third?
    Still nice decisions to have.

  17. This team grinds it out every night. Look at all the good at bats. Many times the batter would be 0-2. Then it would be 3-2. They had DeGrom out in 5 innings. Joc needs to pick it up one notch.

    Maeda and Ryu had good outings last time. Those SP are going to feed off each other.

    At the beginning of the year I predicted they would win 92 games. That is going to be a little low.

  18. Great debut for Yu… A new team, a new challenge. Sometimes all a guy needs…
    You can guarantee the Met hitters get on their IPADs and send the word out to their buddies… A game of adjustments..
    Good game called by YG.

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