Farhan Zaidi

Ramos offers bold response to encouraging Zaidi text message

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There’s a particular way Giants minor league players respond to complimentary text messages from president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi – but Heliot Ramos does it differently. 

Speaking on KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” Thursday, Zaidi, prefacing Austin Slater’s batting deficiencies this season, explained how Ramos -- who is excelling on the plate with the Sacramento River Cats -- responded to his recent encouraging text message. 

“… You know, the point with Austin is it is 30 at bats,” Zaidi said. “And they've been pretty erratic, you know, it's it's, I can't remember the last time he was in the game. So that's a pretty tough spot to put him in. 

“And look, we're always looking at what guys are doing in Sacramento. Ramos, like you said, is playing great. And between injuries and some other things, he actually, you know, had a stretch of playing really well in AAA last year. 

“You want to see him back it up, and he's doing it now. So he's definitely on the radar. Yeah, it's funny."

Ramos, who is hitting .287 with an .940 OPS and seven home runs this season for San Francisco's Triple-A affiliate, didn’t forget to thank Zaidi. But the outfielder also didn’t forget to make it clear to the Giants’ decision-maker that he’s ready for a call up

“I like to check in with our minor league players when they are playing well, you know, send them a text of encouragement like, ‘Hey, we're watching you keep it going,'” Zaidi added. “And Heliot, I just texted him today. 

“And you know, usually guys like, ‘Hey, thanks, I appreciate it.’ He was like, ‘Hey, thanks. I'm ready to help in San Francisco whenever you guys are ready.’ He wants to be here. 

“That's awesome to hear. But he's playing great and again, when you're looking for an offensive spark, guys that are lighting it up down there are definitely on the radar.” 

The Giants selected Ramos with the No. 19 overall pick in 2017. The 24-year-old made his MLB debut during the 2022 season.

During the 2023 season, Ramos played 25 games for San Francisco, registering 10 hits and hitting just .179 while failing to seal an extended stay in the major leagues.  

This season Ramos has continued to develop all of the aspects that made him one of the stars of the Giants’ 2024 spring training.  Zaidi shared how Ramos' progress is an encouraging sign after conversations he had with the 24-year-old about what it would take to make it back to the big league ball clun.

“Yeah, definitely,” Zaidi said. “I think he's matured a lot. You know, we had some conversations with him last year, he got a couple of opportunities early in the season.

“And when we sent him down, he said, ‘Hey, what do I have to do to get back up here?’ Look, I mean, if you look at what he did in AAA in 2022, and I think he might have been there [in  2021] but certainly [in 2022].

“[I] said, ‘Look, you've got to be the best hitter on that team in Sacramento. And you've got to really stand out both on paper and watch the game like this guy is head and shoulders above the competition.’

“And he hadn't done that. And then he went down there. And he did it, you know, and he's continuing to do it now. So, I think the maturity of, ‘Hey, what do I have to do?’ Asking the question, then going out and backing it up. That's what we'd like to see from our young guys. So he's definitely working his way into the picture.” 

If Ramos makes it to the big leagues this season, credit should be given to his work ethic and the commitment he's pledged to his on and off-the-field development – but don’t discount his ability to separate himself from the rest via his text messages. 

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