Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

Ramos likely not long for Richmond

Top Giants prospect off to blistering start for Flying Squirrels

- BY MICHAEL PHILLIPS AND JOHN O’CONNOR

Want to see red-hot San Francisco Giants prospect Heliot Ramos? It might be wise to head to The Diamond as soon as possible.

Ramos, a former firstround pick, whose first name is pronounced “Elliott,” may not be in Double-A much longer.

The Giants were conservati­ve in their placement of top stars coming out of spring training, and Ramos was sent to Richmond. If this week is any indication, though, he’ll be in Triple-A Sacramento shortly.

On Thursday, the 21-yearold Ramos hit a three-run homer, his second homer in three games, delivered an RBI double, and singled in the Flying Squirrels’ 12-6 win over Hartford.

After the home run, he was handed a football helmet in the dugout to protect his head while teammates saluted his effort.

For the 2-1 Flying Squirrels, Ramos has gone for six for 13.

In 21 spring-training games with the Giants, Ramos, who’s from Puerto Rico, batted .410 (16-39), with three doubles and three homers.

He didn’t get a chance to stay hot on Friday, as afternoon storms resulted in the postponeme­nt of the evening’s game before it began.

The Squirrels will make up the game as part of a Saturday doublehead­er, with two 7-inning games set to begin at 4:35 p.m. and fireworks

slated for the conclusion of the second game.

Because of the team’s limited capacity at the moment (2,943), fans holding Friday tickets can exchange them for a future game, but not Saturday’s games, which were already sold out.

As of Friday night, a small number of tickets remained for Sunday afternoon’s Mother’s Day celebratio­n at the ballpark.

After Sunday the team hits the road for a week, meaning Ramos may not return any time soon.

There will still be more of the Giants’ young talent to see, though, and Thursday marked the first appearance of the season for a pitcher who was also in Richmond in 2019.

Six-foot-11 right-hander Sean Hjelle, a former second-round pick and the team’s top prospect on the mound, also had a memorable night.

Hjelle (pronounced like Jelly), in his first profession­al plate appearance bounced a two-run single up the middle in the Flying Squirrels’ six-run second inning and drove in another run with a groundout. In 3 2/3 innings, Hjelle, 23, gave up three homers among five hits (six runs), and struck out seven, with three walks.

The staggering start times between the major and minor leagues this season mean Ramos and Hjelle are getting their seasons started later than their pro counterpar­ts.

Ramos went through two rounds of spring training, excelling with the Major League team and then continuing to rake at an alternate-site camp that took place after the Giants went to San Francisco.

During his time in the big league camp, Ramos won the Barney Nugent Award, which the team gives to its top newcomer each year. The award is voted on by teammates, coaches and staff, and is named for a former Giants trainer.

 ?? ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DISPATCH ?? Flying Squirrels outfielder Heliot Ramos pointed toward the dugout on Thursday after drilling his second home run in three games this season.
ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DISPATCH Flying Squirrels outfielder Heliot Ramos pointed toward the dugout on Thursday after drilling his second home run in three games this season.
 ?? ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DISPATCH ?? Heliot Ramos was met by Squirrels teammate Andres Angulo after hitting a home run at The Diamond on Wednesday. The powerful Ramos, ranked among the top prospects in the Giants’ system, could quickly hit his way out of Double-A.
ALEXA WELCH EDLUND/TIMES-DISPATCH Heliot Ramos was met by Squirrels teammate Andres Angulo after hitting a home run at The Diamond on Wednesday. The powerful Ramos, ranked among the top prospects in the Giants’ system, could quickly hit his way out of Double-A.

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