San Francisco Giants: Heliot Ramos, you’re an All-Star

Good things come to those who wait.

Heliot Ramos, the Giants’ 24-year-old sensation, is the embodiment of patience and perseverance. An afterthought on San Francisco’s roster to begin the season, Ramos has shown enormous resilience to not only force his way back into the Giants’ plans, but become a budding superstar. 

All of his hard work has finally been rewarded; Ramos was announced as a first-time All-Star on 7 July 2024. The Puerto Rican earned his invite to Texas with a relentless first-half display, and will rightfully take part in the 94th Midsummer Classic, alongside the best players in the game.

It has been a bumpy road to this point, as I’m sure Ramos would be quick to point out. 

The young outfielder featured in just 34 games for San Francisco between 2022-23, a yo-yo between the majors and minors, never finding his rhythm with the Giants in the brief opportunities he was given. The development of major-league prospects is rarely smooth sailing. Many talented players will ultimately fall by the wayside and be discarded by their clubs. Before the season began, Ramos looked perilously close to becoming a forgotten man.

Thankfully, Bob Melvin and the Giants afforded him one more chance, and Ramos took it.

He didn’t make his season debut until 8 May but made up for lost time with a blistering start, proving to all the doubters exactly why he was so highly regarded in the past. Over his first two months Ramos hit .294/.368/.508 (BA/OBP/SLG) with 10 home runs and 37 RBI, for an astoundingly good .876 OPS. It’s the sort of statline that puts Ramos in elite company, among the best hitters in baseball.

Ramos firmly established himself as one of the Giants’ leaders in the lineup, a dependable middle-of-the-order bat who could hit for power and average. San Francisco sorely needed a hitter like this and Ramos stepped forward at the perfect moment. 

He also plays a terrific centre field, exhibiting a grace and athleticism unexpected for his size. Listed at 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, Ramos is broad like a cruiseliner; they say everything is bigger in Texas but there are few bigger than Ramos. However, Ramos has shown remarkable agility in the spacious outfield of Oracle Park, and was moved to centre field in June and has stuck there ever since. He looks to possess all the skills you want from a quality centre fielder. 

Need proof? Look no further than the night of 25 June, when the Giants honoured the late Willie Mays at home against the Cubs. Sporting Mays’ iconic number 24 on his back, with a towering fly ball arcing over his head, Ramos sprinted into action. Just like Mays seventy years prior, Ramos tracked the ball flawlessly, and extended his glove to snag an incredible basket catch for the final out of the inning. It was a perfect Mays tribute.

What makes Ramos’ All-Star selection extra special is that he’s a homegrown talent, drafted by the Giants in the first round in 2017. Ramos will be the first homegrown outfielder to represent the Giants since 1986, when Chili Davis was last selected (Davis was drafted all the way back in 1977).

If Ramos is suddenly upgraded from All-Star reserve to All-Star starter (which could happen, as Fernando Tatis Jr. is an injury concern), Ramos would be the first homegrown Giants outfielder to start an All-Star game since, you guessed it, Willie Mays (in 1971, when Mays was 40-years-old!)

Accompanying Ramos will be ace pitcher Logan Webb, who finally earned his first All-Star selection after years of missing out. Webb has been one of the best pitchers in MLB, the NL Cy Young award runner-up in 2023, and has continued to dominate this season: Webb has a 3.09 ERA over 119.1 innings (a National League-high) and has been the rock in an unsteady Giants rotation all year long. Webb has pitched at least seven innings in 11 games this year, the most in the Majors, and continues to generate weak contact with his signature sinker-changeup combo.

Together, Ramos and Webb will represent San Francisco with tremendous pride, two homegrown products on the big stage. 

The 2024 Giants would be a lost cause without them, but with both All-Stars playing at their best, hope remains in San Francisco this summer.

Ash Day is the San Francisco Giants writer for Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on X (Twitter) @AshDay29

Photo credit for featured image by Casey Sykes/Getty Images.

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