In the AFL, Eric Filia is hitting a smooth .519-.548-.778 in 30 PA's. 3 K's/3BB's. 3 doubles, 2 triples. Kyle Lewis doubled today, in his first AB of the Fall.
What Erasmo Ramirez used to be, was a mediocre-average starting pitcher, 95ish ERA+. He walked only 2+ batters while fanning 7+, but yakked up 83 homers in fewer than 600 big league innings. That's 'cause Erasmo is vertically challenged, he throws a little sidearmish into the bargain, and his natural pitch shape puts the ball right onto the hitter's launch angle. So when he misses (missed) center-cut, well, you got the 1.3, 1.4 homer rate.
What Erasmo Ramirez is now, is anybody's guess. He came up with the big gloveside cut fastball. You know what they say about Samuel Colt making all men equal ... both the player quotes, and the stats, speak the the fact that Ramirez could "keep them honest" with his new gloveside swerveball.
If you were a RH batter, short little Erasmo would let go of his one hard pitch, about 91-92 nice hitting speed, and if it was outside on the black -- well, an 8-9 inch armside break is directly onto the point of home plate.
If you were a LH batter, a "jam" pitch would very often "leak" back over the plate and especially if the pitch was low, that put it into an ideal loop zone. -OR- if Erasmo tried to paint the outside on the LH, well... if it starts on the edge, it breaks way off the plate for an easy take, huh.
None of which is to say that Erasmo Ramirez was a lost blinkin' cause. He was a fairly decent pitcher "working around" his low release point.
Now, though, you add a 90-92 pitch that breaks armside, and you can see how much everything above changes. Take all the same assumptions but POOOOOF the ball fails to run where it always used to; it actually does JAM a lefty, or does paint on the righty. (It may be stretching the point to say that Erasmo's neophyte "cut fastball" actually swerves; more when we saw it, it rose, but the point is that it didn't telegraph its "here I come, Mr. Barrel" from the 40-foot mark.)
Well, you can't "see" it here; you can "see" it in the tentative, stabby, poke-y little swings in this .gif, which shows Ramirez taking down the Mighty Indians on Sept. 22. They had won 27 of 28 games coming into this one, so again, get a' load of those willow-switch swings. Erasmo's line score in this game was 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K.
We're not running the usual pre-2017 BaseballHQ, etc., prospectuses (prospecti? prospectes?) on Ramirez since he stands a very real chance of having made a plateau leap. In 9 starts he ran a 3.35 ERA after the cut fastball, but the real point for Dipoto would be that Ramirez could also function as an ideal "bridge" starter in his 18-batter plan.
After you get past Greg Maddux, there aren't scads of sub-6', sub-90 MPH* right hand pitchers to fill this template. But Ramirez can really hit a catcher's mitt, does have convincing offspeed game, and a plateau leap up from 95 ERA+ leaves your value in excess of 0.0. Well, it was in excess of 0.0 before; it was equal to 1.1. But y'know.