Nearly eight years after being signed by the Mets as a non-drafted free agent, Elvin Ramirez will finally get his chance. Tomorrow, along with Josh Thole, Ramirez will join the big league squad and hopefully provide some much-needed bullpen relief.
So who is he? Let’s start from the beginning.
On September 16, 2004, the Mets signed the San Cristobal, Dominican Republic native a month before his 17th birthday. The righty with a golden arm began playing in the Mets’ system in 2006, starting in the Dominican summer league before moving to Kingsport in ’07. He spent 2008 and’09 at single A Savannah, having moderate success but never quite reaching lights out status. Then, in 2010, he moved on to high-A ball at St. Lucie and finished the season at AA Binghamton, occasionally touching 100 mph on the gun.
Because Ramirez was signed when he was younger than 18 and had five years of professional service, he became eligible for the Rule 5 draft in December of 2010 and was picked up by the Nationals. Then, his road to the big leagues hit another bump when he injured his throwing shoulder, undergoing surgery that required him to miss the whole 2011 season.
At the end of last season, the Nats offered Ramirez back to the Mets for $25,000, and they accepted. Now, it looks like it might pay off.
In 27.2 innings in 2012 — split almost evenly between Binghamtom and AAA Buffalo — Ramirez has been absolutely dominant out of the bullpen. He’s sporting a 0.65 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 11.4 K/9, and 4.38 K/BB. In 14.2 innings at Buffalo, he’s fanned 19 and walked just one.
The 16-year-old kid the Mets took a chance on in 2004 is now a 24-year-old stud who looks big league ready.
Now, it’s up to him to seize the opportunity.