No. 3: Roel Ramirez from the St. Louis Cardinals, 27th prospect
Roel Ramirez has been in the minor league system for quite some time after being drafted in 2013 by the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth round. Ramirez has pitched both as a starter and a reliever, but he officially transitioned into a relief pitcher in 2017. The 27th Cardinals prospect has a minor league ERA of 4.03, pitched 462.1 innings, a 1.29 WHIP, and struck out 382 batters.
Ramirez also made his major league debut in 2020, but he had a very rough outing. He gave up six runs and was only able to record two outs. Although his numbers are not the greatest in the minors and majors, he does have good stuff. Roel has a mid 90s fastball with a natural cut and mixes in a slider and splitter. His secondary pitches have improved a lot in 2019 and he has shown a better feel for controlling his breaking pitch.
Ramirez is 25-years-old and has a 6’0″ frame weighing in at 235lbs. I think Ramirez’s measurables will fit really well into the MLB and you cannot teach a cutting fastball very easily. The Mariners are trying to build a bullpen to give different looks for the opposing hitters, and having a hard-throwing cutter specialist in the pen would be outstanding.
I am not saying that Ramirez will be the next Mariano Rivera or Kenley Jansen, but natural movement on a fastball is a plus and something that cannot be ignored. Ramirez will be looking to redeem himself in 2021 after a terrible MLB debut, and the Seattle Mariners should give him a chance if Burrows or Kuhnel is not available.
No. 4: Parker Dunshee from the Oakland Athletics, 27th prospect
Unlike the past three, Parker Dunshee, shown at the top of the page, has mostly been used as a starting pitcher but his stats are incredible. The 2017 seventh-round pick by the Athletics is currently the 27th prospect in the Oakland farm system. Dunshee has been very successful at each minor league level except Triple-A when he started 19 games in 2019.
In 2019 with the Athletics Triple-A team, he posted a 5.38 ERA. But during his time with other teams, Dunshee has been hovering around the 2.00 ERA area. His minor league career ERA is 2.94, pitched 321 innings, and struck out 335 batters. He has kept batters off the base paths shown by his 1.06 WHIP.
Dunshee is 25-years-old and had a successful college career which boosted his draft stock. The Athletics starting pitcher does not have a high 90s fastball, but he gets batters out by deception. Dunshee’s fastball sits in the 90-91 mph and has a great slider, a curveball, and changeup which are getting better. According to MLB.com, he has been working “on a cutter that’s sort of a hybrid off of his slider.”
My thinking with Dunshee is that his struggles in Triple-A exposed his lack of “amazing stuff,” but I think if he continues to improve his other secondary pitches, he might find great success out of the bullpen. My other thought is that he is conserving his arm to pitch deep into games, instead of letting loose for one to two innings. Dunshee has proven himself at almost every level of the minors, and I think the Mariners should give him a spot if it comes down to him during the Rule 5 Draft.
Dunshee could also be a spot starter if the rotation needed help every once in a while. But also, if the Mariners want to add more starting pitching depth, Dunshee could be a future part of the rotation. Remember, many of these Rule 5 Draft prospects still have a long career ahead of them as young professionals. Because he would be a Rule 5 pick, he would need to be in the 26-man roster in 2021, so there would need to be some moving around if they want him in the rotation.