December 2, 2015 at 7:00 AM
This week, we recap the next six players in the season-end Top 40, going from 28 to 23. All entries in this year's Top 40 Season in Review series can be found here.
#26 Noe Ramirez, RHP
2015 Teams: Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston Red Sox
Final stats: 42 2/3 IP, 2.32 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 38 K, 18 BB (minors); 13 IP, 4.15 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 13 K, 7 BB (majors)
2015 Peak Ranking: 22 (Current)
Season in Review: A third consecutive standout season by Ramirez took him all the way to the major leagues in 2015, making him the eighth member of the Red Sox fruitful 2011 draft class to make it to the show. The 25-year-old righty made his big league debut on July 3, coming on for the 10th inning and taking the loss against the Houston Astros. His first three major league outings were inauspicious, as he allowed nine runs, only three earned, in five innings. Ramirez was much better after his September 1 recall, giving up three runs on six hits in eight innings across 14 appearances.
The Cal State-Fullerton product had a strong campaign with the PawSox, posting a sub-3.00 ERA for the third year in a row. Ramirez appeared in 30 games, striking out 38 and walking 18 in 42 2/3 innings on his way to a 2.32 ERA. Most importantly, he was again able to consistently keep the ball inside the park. After not allowing a home run in 2014 while with Portland, Ramirez surrendered only one during his time with Pawtucket, keeping the ball on the ground to the tune of a 1.84 groundball-to-flyball ratio in the minors. - James Dunne
Scouting Report and 2016 Outlook: Ramirez is a tall right-hander with a funky, low three-quarters delivery reminiscent of Justin Masterson, although more upright. Ramirez does not have one standout pitch, but utilizes a three-pitch mix well, mixed with a deceptive delivery and solid command and control. He leans most heavily on his 88-92 mph fastball with sink and run in on right-handed hitters. When down in the zone, the pitch can be very hard to lift and results in weak groundballs. His best secondary pitch is his changeup at 82-84 mph with depth and late sink. The slider is his third pitch, which is inconsistent and can be slurvey at times, coming in the 78-82 mph range. He uses it as a show-me pitch to steal a strike and to give a different look.
Overall, Ramirez profiles as a right-handed specialist and middle reliever at the major league level. The funkiness of his delivery makes it especially difficult for right-handed batters to pick up the ball. In the majors, he faced 49 right-handers and 12 left-handers, a split that is likely to continue going forward. In Pawtucket, he held right-handed hitters to a .188/.298/.263 line and induced a 2.45 groundball-to-flyball ratio, while lefties had a bit more success with a .250/.300/.347 line. With two options remaining, Ramirez projects to return to the Pawtucket bullpen to begin the 2016 season as major league depth, and it would not be surprising to see Ramirez riding the I-95 shuttle for the next two seasons. - Matt Huegel
#25 Carlos Asuaje, 2B
2015 Team: Portland Sea Dogs
Final stats: 570 PA, .251/.334/.374, 8 HR, 56 BB, 88 K
2015 Peak Ranking: 20 (June)
Traded to San Diego with Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, and Logan Allen on Nov. 13 (ranked 25th at time of trade)
Season in Review: 2014
Season in Review: Asuaje was a model of durability and consistency, leading all Red Sox minor leaguers with 131 games played and 570 plate appearances and posting a 29-game on-base streak between April and May. After spending a year split between Greenville and Salem and dividing his time evenly between second base, third base, and left field, Asuaje spent nearly the entire season at second, his best position. Asuaje continued his mostly steady, if unspectacular, production throughout the year, showing a professional approach but failing to repeat the heights of 2014 when he hit .310/.393/.533 with 15 home runs across two levels.
Asuaje finished the year with a strong performance in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .329/.359/.425. The 2013 11th-round pick will bring his advanced approach to the San Diego Padres organization in 2016, as he was part of the package that brought reliever Craig Kimbrel to the Red Sox. - James Dunne
Scouting Report and 2016 Outlook: Ian Cundall and Chaz Fiorino wrote up detailed scouting reports of the prospects traded to San Diego for Craig Kimbrel in our Trade Analysis feature.
Photo Credit: Kelly O'Connor