Note: This page is for pitcher Carlos Ramirez who made his major league debut in 2017; for others with the same name, click here.
Carlos Alejandro Martinez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 205 lb.
Carlos Ramirez was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays as an amateur free agent on March 5, 2009. He was an outfielder at the time and began playing that year with the DSL Blue Jays, where he hit .229 in 52 games. In 2010, he moved to the GCL Blue Jays and continued to hit poorly, with a .205 average in 47 games. He showed some slight improvement with the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League in 2011, batting .232 in 40 games. In 2012, he finally got out of Rookie-class ball, as after 10 games at Bluefield, where he hit .273, he went to the Northwest League, batting .245 in 42 games for the Vancouver Canadians.
In 2013, he moved to full-season ball with the Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League. However, the results were not visibly better. In 114 games, his batting line was .228/.297/.375, although he did show some power, with 27 doubles and 7 homers. He also struck out 102 times against 33 walks. He was back at Lansing at the start of 2014, but he hit just .176 in 28 games and the Blue Jays, figuring he would never learn to hit, decided to transform him into a pitcher. He went back to the bottom of the ladder with Bluefield, where he was 1-0, 2.62 in 17 relief appearances. That was encouraging, but his 2015 season was a bit tougher. Between Lansing and the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League, he was a combined 2-3, 4.76, although he did record 8 saves. He allowed a lot of baserunners, though: 48 hits and 24 walks in 39 2/3 innings. In 2016, he showed some flash of brilliance in Dunedin, even though he only pitched 30 times. His ERA was a solid 2.20, he went 3-0 with 9 saves, and struck out 41 batters in 41 innings.
Ramirez had a break-out season in 2017. Starting with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats, he did not give up an earned run in 23 2/3 innings spread over 18 games. He was then promoted to the AAA Buffalo Bisons and continued to pitch lights out, with 14 scoreless innings over 7 appearances. In addition to his virgin ERA in the minors, he also struck out 45 batters in 37 2/3 innings, while giving up just 16 hits and 10 walks. The Blue Jays had no choice but to call him up when rosters expanded at the start of September. He made his debut on September 1st and continued his domination, giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk over 8 innings in his first 5 appearances. He had a couple more scoreless outings before being finally touched on September 20th, when the Kansas City Royals lit him up for four runs, including homers by Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas in the 6th inning of a 15-5 loss. He only gave up one other run that season, on a solo homer by Mitch Moreland of the Boston Red Sox on September 27th, ending up with an ERA of 2.70 in 12 appearances covering 16 2/3 innings. He did not have a decision and struck out 14 batters while allowing just 6 hits and 3 walks.