Since this is the mid-season write-up, it's just a quick overview of the player. When we get to the preseason re ranking in the offseason, they'll be a lot more involved.
All stats are current as of 8/4/2019.
All write-ups were published during all-star week.
Prospect #22: 1B/OF: Rangel Ravelo
Memphis Redbirds/St. Louis Cardinals
Signed as a minor league free agent in April of 2017
Well, that's certainly the longest list of stats that I've ever put into a D35 article.
As you know from the preseason rankings, when I had Ravelo as the 35th prospect on the list, it isn't easy for me to put a player as old and as minor league-tenured as Ravelo on the list. I just have my reservations about putting an older guy with multiple years at the highest levels on the list. It shouldn't be that way, and there really isn't much logic in my thought process, but it's what I do and I'm probably pretty dumb for being this way.
However, Ravelo is more than just an older and long-tenured minor leaguer. He's a very good contact hitter, with an intriguing amount of slug in his bat. He gets his hands out in front of his barrel a little too often, but that hasn't really hurt him in the minors in a very long time.He's a very good defensive first baseman, as well, even if you'd prefer that he doesn't play the outfield.
The beautiful thing about a player like Ravelo is the perseverance. After ten minor league seasons of battling, and being released and traded by other organizations, then getting off to the worst start of his minor league career, Ravelo finally earned the promotion to the major leagues.
Just think about it for one second: you're starting your tenth season in the minors. You just had a great spring camp, but you aren't on the 40-man, and you're blocked by both Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter in the event of a Goldy injury, more than likely. Then, you hit 173/253/307 over 83 plate appearances in April. That would probably get you down, right? Sure, you probably wouldn't stop fighting for your dream, but you and I both know that it's gotta be a hard crater to climb out of.
Well, you can't keep Ravelo down, and he responded by hitting 417/494/667 over his next 166 plate appearances, starting on May 1st and extending to the game before he joined the Cardinals. If ever there was a promotion that was "earned", in every sense of the word, it's Ravelo's promotion to the majors.
The next decision that I had to make was how far I should move Ravelo up the list. Because of those reservations that I mentioned earlier with this type of player, I was reluctant to move him that far up. He's on the 40-man now, and that changes the conversation a little, but moving him this high up on the list doesn't make much sense when looked at in a vacuum. No, the reason that Ravelo moves up so far on the list is, in part, to demonstrate just how tough the season has been for many minor leaguers in the system. Ravelo deserves the recognition, but the true message to take out of his placement on this list is that I had to go out of my personal comfort zone, and not in a positive way, to put a prospect this high on the list for the simple reason that the system is falling around him.
We've spent a lot of time talking about who Ravelo reminds us of. I've gone out of my way to say he's a Nick Martini or Jeremy Hazelbaker type, more than anything else. With that being said, his contact tool is a lot like Jose Martinez's, and I have reason to believe that the contact tool will propel him to success that exceeds both Hazelbaker and Martini, if given a longer opportunity.
Thanks to Fangraph for the stats!
Thanks For Reading!!