In perhaps the most unsurprising win of the award in several years, Heliot Ramos has won the 2021 Barney Nugent award given to the best player in his first big league spring training camp. The award, which is voted on by players, coaches and training staff, is a yearly award prized by their peers.
Ramos has had a dominating spring, batting .417 with a .432 on-base percentage and a .750 slugging percentage, with three home runs and three doubles in 36 at-bats. He has been turning heads all spring and getting a lot of talk about when he might make his major league debut. Ramos was rewarded by not being sent down at the same time as many of his prospect peers, though he was reassigned to minor league camp later in the Spring.
It’s still unclear whether Ramos will start the year in Double-A or Triple-A. Ramos last played at the Double-A level in 2019, with just 25 games there. However, most feel it’s very clear that he will be in the Majors sometime this season. During Sunday’s game with the Oakland Athletics, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow were very enthusiastic about his arrival.
In 2019, Ramos hit .306/.385/.500 in 77 games at High-A San Jose, earning a mid-season promotion to Richmond. He hit .242/.321/.421 in 25 games there. He spent 2020 at the Giants alternate site with other prospects and players the Giants were preparing to bring up to the Majors if needed.
The last player to win the Barney Nugent award was Joey Bart in 2019, as Spring Training in 2020 was cancelled midway through the spring. There was no equivalent given in the summer training camp before the start of the delayed season. Other recent winners include Chris Shaw in 2018 and Jae-gyun Hwang in 2017.