I don’t know who he is, but the Chicago Cubs have this new slugging prospect at AAA Iowa named Manny Ramirez, and the guy just hits. He’s only a couple games into his Iowa career, but he’s got an OPS over 1.100, and last night he blasted a monster homer to center:
My early take on this guy is that the bat will play, but I have some questions about the defensive ability in left field. He might be more of a DH type. You also have to wonder about his age – at 42, he’s just a hair older than you’d like to see your AAA prospects, typically.
But seriously, it’s cool to see Ramirez having a big game as the Cubs’ youngsters look on. He says to them, metaphorically: “Look, young men, at what I can do at twice your age. Listen to some of my advice, and maybe you can improve a bit, too.” I love the premium bat flip (Manny was always good at that), and then the greeting he gets from teammates on returning to the dugout. That’s symbolic of the kind of hybrid player/coach connection the Cubs are undoubtedly hoping for.
Although we can’t literally say he listened to Ramirez and it caused him to do it, Kris Bryant followed Ramirez later in the game with a grand slam:
My favorite part? For a split second, the pitcher points to the sky as if to indicate it’s a pop-up. And then you can see the thought-bubble escaping from his head, “Oh, wait, that’s Kris Bryant. Crap. That ball’s not coming back, is it?” And then the ball lands well past the 400 foot sign in center field.