Prospects To Watch: Richmond Flying Squirrels

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As part of a new feature we’re going to try out over here at PatriotsBaseball.com — We!  All one of us! — I…ahem, we thought it might be fun to take a look at the top prospects on each team before they set foot in TD Bank Ballpark.

We’ll start that this week with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, who, even with all the geographical realignment in trying to get affiliates closer to the big club, remain the Double-A squad for the San Francisco Giants.  Going by the current organizational prospect rankings in Baseball America — so not what you read in their Prospect Handbook, which is essentially for anyone in this business — the Flying Squirrels will bring two of San Francisco’s top 15 prospects to Bridgewater starting on Tuesday, including one of the Top 100 prospects in all of baseball.

Center fielder Heliot Ramos, currently at No. 73 in the BA Top 100 and third on the Giants behind Marco Luciano and Joey Bart — and starting pitcher Sean Hjelle (13) will make their TD Bank Ballpark debuts, and both have been living up to their lofty prospect statuses early on.

Ramos, who was already a Top 100 prospect at the time, opened a lot of eyes in big league spring training this year with a huge performance in which he hit over .400 and smacked three homers in a lengthy look at the top level.  A two-time selection to the Futures Game who may very well go for a third time in Denver this year, the 21-year-old Puerto Rico native is batting .281 with five homers and 14 RBI so far this season with Richmond.

As for Hjelle, well…the first thing you’ll notice about him is that you can’t miss him.  At a whopping 6-foot-11, the 24-year-old righty was the Giants second-round selection in 2018 out of the University of Kentucky and returns to the Flying Squirrels this year after finishing up his 2019 campaign with a five-start call-up.  This year, he’s 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA over seven outings, striking out 42 batters in 33 1/3 innings of work.  As his last start was on Friday, you could expect him to get the ball most likely on Thursday if he stays on turn.

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