Friday, June 7, 2024

Heliot Trope


The issue I, and many people, had with the Giants for a while was that for the team to work, it hinged on the success of multiple 30-somethings rather than a full youth movement. In 2021, the Giants rallied around Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt, and it got them to 1st. Then Posey retired, the other guys deteriorated, and the team wasn't as good. 

I think the 2024 team, despite not being overly dominant, have achieved the balance between veteran presence and youth development. This is a team that values Jorge Soler and Mike Yastrzemski as much as it values Logan Webb and Patrick Bailey. And now we're actually seeing rookies beginning to find roles and cement themselves into this lineup, which is something that's happened so sporadically over the past few years. 

Heliot Ramos is the big one, as he'd been bubbling up the past few years with no avail. Now that, due to injuries, there's more room in the outfield, Ramos has gotten the chance not only to start but to lead off. So far Ramos is hitting .304 with a .918 OPS, 19 RBIs and 5 homers in 26 games. He's gone from 'hm, let's give him a shot' to 'I cannot imagine the lineup without him', a lot like LaMonte Wade Jr., who sadly just got injured. Ramos is a fearsome hitter with great defensive outfield ability, and he's the exact kind of player this team needs. I'd also throw Luis Matos into that category, but the team still feels the need to keep giving Austin Slater a shot rather than let Matos, with 20 RBIs in 21 games, come into his own. 

Also playing a surprising role in this Giants team is infield rookie Brett Wisely, who's hitting .341 with 7 RBIs and 14 hits in 16 games. Wisely isn't the overwhelming standout Ramos is, but he seems like a nice, versatile, handy guy to have around. You also have Kyle Harrison as a pinned-down rotation option, and while he's not as starry as Webb or Hicks, he's a strong enough innings-eater. 

For the first time in a while, the median age of this team is going down, and the younger players are beginning to pick up the work. And yes, it is nice that Matt Chapman's having a nice season, or that Tyler and Taylor Rogers are still holding it down in the pen, but all of this won't last forever, and this team's gonna need to develop in order to have any chance against the Dodgers going forward. There may be too many flaws at the current moment, but with people like Ramos I do have more confidence than I have previously. 

Coming Tonight: How's this guy already in his eighth season? I still remember watching him play during his first month in the bigs. 

1 comment:

  1. Heliot Ramos is a name that's been floating around Bay Area sports radio for years. Glad to see he's starting to shine at the MLB level. I know Giants fans are excited too.