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View Full Version : Is Elizardo Ramirez equal to the Pirates' Zach Duke?



jmcclain19
08-11-2005, 04:43 AM
So here's my half hearted attempt to prove the merits of the Reds Elizardo Ramirez compared to Pittsburgh wunderkid Zach Duke.

Stay with me on this one now till the end

Date Of Birth
Zach Duke: April 19, 1983 - 22 years old
Elizardo Ramirez: January 28, 1983 - 22 years old

Zach Duke 2005 AAA numbers
108.0IP, 108H, 35ER, 8HR, 23BB, 66K, 1.21WHIP, 2.92ERA

Elizardo Ramirez 2005 AAA numbers
102.0IP, 115H, 37ER, 11HR, 14BB, 61K, 1.26WHIP, 3.26ERA

Zach Duke Career Progression
2002 - Rookie
2003 - Low A
2004 - High A / AA
2005 - AAA / MLB

Elizardo Ramirez Career Progression
2000 - Dominican
2001 - Dominican
2002 - Rookie
2003 - High A
2004 - High A / AA / MLB
2005 - AAA / MLB

Zach Duke Career Minor League stats
350.0IP, 276H, 86ER, 14HR, 94BB, 303K, 2.42BB/9, 7.79K/9, 1.06WHIP, 2.21ERA

Elizardo Ramirez Career Minor League stats
505.2IP, 484H, 152ER, 21HR, 75BB, 398K, 1.34BB/9, 7.10K/9, 1.11WHIP, 2.71ERA

Why does this comparison matter?

Duke has gotten all kinds of pub as of late as he's had quite the hot start at the MLB level.

Does this mean that The Lizard is ready to duplicate that? Who knows, that remains to be seen. He certainly didn't impress in his short stint as a major leaguer so far.

It would be interesting to see how Elizardo would have done if he hadn't been so aggressively promoted by hot seat GM's quick on the trigger (hello Ed Wade). But he's having himself quite the season at AAA, his first go 'round at that level, so that's worth getting some kudos. And how better to do that than to compare his year to that of the latest NL Central rookie star. Duke's been considered a "moxie & control" guy, much like Elizardo, so that's something to consider.

When folks are thinking and discussing 2006 options for the Reds rotation, it's important to keep Ramirez in mind.

buckeyenut
08-11-2005, 07:15 AM
Excellent analysis. I didn't realize Ramirez was that good.

Given the numbers you have shared, I like the Lizard's chances to be a solid ML pitcher.

cincinnati chili
08-11-2005, 08:11 AM
At first, I thought you were joking, but this is excellent analysis.

I'm on record as saying that Duke was probably overhyped.... So far that's not looking too good.

Two comments:

1. Duke is left handed: I have no statistical evidence to prove it, but just a hunch that LH starters face slightly lesser lineups in the major leagues, as certain lefty hitters get benched (and those who DON'T get benched have more trouble vs. lefties, usually). Either way, I bet lefties and righties have a slightly different development curve.

2. Duke's strikeout rate has actually IMPROVED slightly in his first year in the major leagues. You can't expect that to happen to most pitchers. I know that Duke had a big strikeout game or two in his early starts in the majors. I bet he slows down, and his numbers come back to earth.

RDriesen16
08-11-2005, 11:58 AM
this is the funniest thing i have ever seen. he couldnt hold his you know what. ive seen both pitch. you cant just look at stats. you have to watch guys. ramirez will never do *(($ in the bigs

fielder's choice
08-11-2005, 12:04 PM
ramirez will never do *(($ in the bigs

watch ye mouuuuuuuuuths :nono:

M2
08-11-2005, 01:53 PM
Interesting comparison jmc, but I think their paths diverged in upper minors.

First thing to note though is in the gross numbers. Duke's a lot harder to hit - 7.08 H/9 vs. 8.61.

That ties into where they diverged. Ramirez has developed longball issues in the upper minors. He's not getting mutilated, but it's enough that when you translate it to the majors, he gets walloped. Duke's doesn't allow that kind of damaging contact and that's a critical difference. Also, looking at their K totals, Ramirez piled up his K totals in the Dominican summer league. That's sub-rookie ball and, to the best of my knowledge, it's not terribly applicable to organized ball here in the states.

Take those Domincan numbers out and you've got pitcher with a 6.13 K/9. In fact you get significantly lesser numbers across the board, including a 3.25 ERA, which is a full run above Duke.

In short, I don't think they're all that comparable when you look a little deeper.

OSURedLeg
08-11-2005, 02:06 PM
this is the funniest thing i have ever seen. he couldnt hold his you know what. ive seen both pitch. you cant just look at stats. you have to watch guys. ramirez will never do *(($ in the bigs

Either contribute something to the post, or shut your mouth. That comment offers no evidence to back your opinion, and it takes a shot at another poster by saying what he proposes is "the funniest thing you've ever seen" meaning it must not have any rational reasoning. However, the thread at least offers some very good statistical background on the players that provides for surprising similarities - which support the argument quite well. I for one don't think Ramirez will be as good as Duke, but I'm not going to write off a 22 year old pitcher that's had a very good season pitching in AAA.

SteelSD
08-11-2005, 02:17 PM
Interesting comparison jmc, but I think their paths diverged in upper minors.

First thing to note though is in the gross numbers. Duke's a lot harder to hit - 7.08 H/9 vs. 8.61.

That ties into where they diverged. Ramirez has developed longball issues in the upper minors. He's not getting mutilated, but it's enough that when you translate it to the majors, he gets walloped. Duke's doesn't allow that kind of damaging contact and that's a critical difference. Also, looking at their K totals, Ramirez piled up his K totals in the Dominican summer league. That's sub-rookie ball and, to the best of my knowledge, it's not terribly applicable to organized ball here in the states.

Take those Domincan numbers out and you've got pitcher with a 6.13 K/9. In fact you get significantly lesser numbers across the board, including a 3.25 ERA, which is a full run above Duke.

In short, I don't think they're all that comparable when you look a little deeper.

Yep. Those Dominican League numbers really jump out as do Ramirez' K numbers above the GCL (mid-5.00 K/9 range) while his Hits per IP and HR allowed numbers took a jump (something Duke avoided).

I've always been leery of control pitchers who post high K numbers at very low levels because I've always felt that those guys can overmatch young competition with precision but that same precision doesn't translate when it's not backed by stuff as they advance. Ramirez just strikes me as one of those guys who has the precision to stay alive, but who doesn't have the stuff to thrive.

M2
08-11-2005, 02:45 PM
I've always been leery of control pitchers who post high K numbers at very low levels because I've always felt that those guys can overmatch young competition with precision but that same precision doesn't translate when it's not backed by stuff as they advance.

They scare the bejabbers out of me.

RDriesen16
08-11-2005, 03:16 PM
Either contribute something to the post, or shut your mouth. That comment offers no evidence to back your opinion, and it takes a shot at another poster by saying what he proposes is "the funniest thing you've ever seen" meaning it must not have any rational reasoning. However, the thread at least offers some very good statistical background on the players that provides for surprising similarities - which support the argument quite well. I for one don't think Ramirez will be as good as Duke, but I'm not going to write off a 22 year old pitcher that's had a very good season pitching in AAA.

yea, it does, i said you have to look at more than stats, especially minor league ones. ive SEEN both pitch, ramirez isnt half as good as duke. hes a AAAA pitcher. good enough to look good in aaa but gets hammered in the bigs.

OSURedLeg
08-11-2005, 04:20 PM
When Harang came over in the Oakland trade, he was considered a AAAA type pitcher with no stuff too. And at the time, he was 2 or 3 years older than what Ramirez is already. And I can't say I was all that impressed with Harang's performance that year either, it seemed like he was always going to be a guy who just didn't have good enough stuff to compete in the majors. BUT, he has learned to get the most out of his stuff and now he is a #3 caliber pitcher that continues to improve. I certainly have been impressed with what he has been able to accomplish with "mediocre" stuff. I look at Ramirez and see another guy who has succeeded at every level under the MLB with so-so stuff and I see another possible Harang. So I'm going to be patient with the Lizard, because he's always been young for the level of play - and has continued to put up solid numbers. I don't anticipate him pitching to the level of Duke, but I'm not going to write him off already because some beer-league scout says so.

Aronchis
08-11-2005, 04:54 PM
The key for the Lizard is physical maturity along with pitching maturity. Harang barely ever threw over 92 in 2004. Now he is solidly 90-93mph hitting 94 sometimes.

The Lizard is only 22 who's makeup has allowed him to advance farther than he should be at this time which is AA.

As he gets older, fills out and more mature, he may have a career as a decent major league starter.

captainmorgan07
08-11-2005, 05:25 PM
i've seen both pitch and i think duke is alil ahead of lizard if u look at both there brief careers in teh majors duke has had much more sucess and doesnt' give up many runs and has a nasty breaking ball

Falls City Beer
08-11-2005, 05:44 PM
They scare the bejabbers out of me.

Ramirez' ceiling looks remarkably Felix Heredia-ish (except for the whole "ability to retire left-handers" bit). :p:

The guy chucks more gas than Amoco.

jmcclain19
06-04-2006, 09:30 PM
Not that I want to toot my own horn.

Well actually wait - yes, yes I do.

2006 numbers

W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV SVO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP K/BB BB/9 K/9 H/9
Duke 4 6 4.23 12 12 1 1 0 0 78.2 80 39 37 9 30 49 1.40 1.63 3.43 5.61 9.15
Ramirez 2 4 3.95 8 7 0 0 0 0 41.0 42 25 18 6 13 28 1.34 2.15 2.85 6.15 9.22

Slider
06-04-2006, 10:45 PM
Small sample size but so far your analysis still looks reasonable.

We'll know a lot more about these two pitchers after they've gone through the second or third time against some of these teams...