Nick Ramirez began to transition to the mound last season, but is not giving up on hitting. The Milwaukee Brewers now have two, two-way players on their roster.
During the offseason the Milwaukee Brewers signed a minor league deal with Christian Bethancourt, who also fits the mold of hitting and pitching. This gives the organization two different Shohei Ohtani-type players.
It was tweeted out earlier today that Ramirez will still be hoping to play first base in 2018. He pitched exceedingly well in his first professional attempt. But he still does love hitting and will try to continue with the bat.
As a hitter, the former fourth rounder is a career .243 hitter, who has hit as many as 19 homers in one season. He is not a superstar hitter, but he can get by. It is his pitching that will carry him into the majors.
In 49 relief appearances over two levels last season, Ramirez posted a sub two ERA. Opposing hitters were hitting under .200 as well. He was very impressive on the mound, which included one appearance in Triple A.
He might be a new member of the Milwaukee Brewers, but he has experience pitching and hitting at the major league level. The former San Diego Padre is currently assigned to Colorado Springs. Bethancourt will be more focused on catching this season.
As a hitter at the major league level, Bethancourt is a career .222 hitter. But in the minors he is a career .275 hitter, so the talent is there. The 26 year old does not flash a ton of power, but he can keep the line moving.
Switching to his work on the mound, it is safe to think that Bethancourt would rather not talk about it. His ERA is over 10 through five innings of work. He might be serviceable in a pinch because of his experience on the mound, but he is not someone to bank on as a pitcher.
Will There Be A Two-Way Player On The Brewers?
Nope. At least not this season.
Based on his trial last year on the mound, Bethancourt will truly be a catcher again. It is doubtful that he will be extremely focused on pitching. By the end of the year, there is a chance that Bethancourt is once again just a catcher.
Ramirez is the best chance. If he is able to focus on first as well, he will eventually get a call. But I doubt it is this season. He still has work to do on the mound and with the bat. Being a two-way player is not easy, and it will take him time to adjust. If he is up this year, it will likely be just for pitching.
Either way, the Milwaukee Brewers have two players resembling two-way players. They will not create the hype that Shohei Ohtani does, but they could potentially do both for the Crew in the coming seasons.