Few names generated more buzz entering the Rule 5 Draft than Mets farmhand Elvin Ramirez, who paired triple-digit heat with zero command. Everyone seemingly wanted a shot at taming Ramirez, but ultimately the rival Nationals took him with the sixth pick in the draft.
Ramirez, 22, was the fifth straight pitcher taken in the Rule 5; like fourth pick Adrian Rosario, he met with a new level of success in 2010 after shifting to the bullpen. Does that make him a good pick?
It’s tough to say. There are plenty of these guys in the minors, showcasing insane velocity but also walking twice as many batters as they can get away with. Every so often, they find command and turn into dominant relievers, but the majority end up frustrating several organizations and bounce around for years.
If we call Ramirez a generic pitcher of that ilk, there’s something like a 15% chance he becomes an impact reliever, a 25% chance he becomes a Jesus Colome-esque passable big leaguer, and a 60% chance he becomes a Juan Morillo-esque washout. So yes, he’s unlikely to dominate, but the mere fact that the chance exists puts his selection above that of previous relievers like Adrian Rosario or Jose Flores, both of whom are less experienced and have less upside than Ramirez. That makes this a solid selection, even though it’s more likely than not that it won’t pan out–such is the way of the Rule 5.