Laureano was born in the Dominican Republic. But he moved to the United States to attend Upper Room Christian High School in Dix, New York -- nearly a 4-hour flight from Santo Domingo.
"My whole family said, 'I don't know, I don't think it's a good idea.' My parents and friends hated that idea," Ramon recalled. "But my did let me be me. It was not fun being away from everyone at such a young age, but it paid off in the end. (At first) I wasn't sure I made the right decision. I had to leave my whole life in the Dominican and start a new life. It made me stronger mentally. I was just thinking about my dream -- to get through this challenge to get stronger. That's how I see every adversity that I get in life."
He hit .544 as a sophomore and .462 as a junior for Upper Room, and the team went 24-1 his senior year. No college offers at all, so, with the help of his summer coach, Laureano started reaching out to schools.
Any college showed interest, were only interested in Ramon as a pitcher. And he hated pitching.
Nobody offered Ramon a scholarship -- except for Northeast Oklahoma A&M College -- but that was as a pitcher!
Laureano dominated the junior college level his sophomore season hitting .429 with 13 HR, 69 RBI and more walks than strikeouts. This production was enough for the Astros to take Laureano in the 16th round of the draft.
Ramon has a really good work ethic. And he has a sharp baseball intellect and a desire to learn and improve.
“His makeup and focus are off the charts,” farm director Keith Lieppman said. “He’s tremendously involved in the day-to-day of his game. He’s intense in the game and proactive prior to the game.”
- Laureano's confidence may be a product of being an only child. It's easier to be independent when there's no one else to lean on or defer to.
He grew up just 10 minutes away from a local baseball stadium. That's where his love of the game bloomed. When his godfather took him to his first Winter League game, he was hooked. He started paying soon after, pretending to be Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. He had a true passion for the game, and still does.
In 2017, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Laureano as the 13th-best prospect in the Astros' organization. But in 2018, he fell to #29.
Ramon sort of bristles at the "Lazer Ramon" nickname that adorns merchandise at the Colesium, starting in 2019 -- not because he doesn't like it, but he just doesn't think he deserves it yet.
- June 2014: The Astros chose Ramon in the 16th round, out of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College. He signed with the Astros via scout Jim Stevenson.
- Nov. 20, 2017: The Astros traded OF Ramon Laureano to Oakland in return for RHP Brandon Bailey.
|Birth City:||Santo Domingo, D. R.|
|Draft:||Astros #16 - 2014 - Out of Northeastern Okla. A&M JC|
Laureano has a shot at becoming a five-tool player.
Ramon plays like a veteran in his prime, displaying impressive power and productivity at the plate. (Spring, 2020)
He has a mature, all-fields approach at the plate. He lacks even fringe-average home run power, but his willingness to go the other way, along with pulling the ball and his speed, mean he hits lots of doubles. And 50 grade power is on the way to go with a 60 hit tool. (Spring, 2017)
Making contact can be problematic for Ramon. Given his well-below-average power, his strikeout rate of 21% is too high. (Spring 2018)
Ramon is very quick to the ball, with excellent bat speed and a compact righthanded stroke. He improved his pitch selection in 2016.
Laureano has a quiet setup at bat and a simple righthanded line-drive swing.
In 2018, Laureano was named MLB Pipeline Hitting Prospect of the Year for the A's.
June 4, 2019: Pitchers were getting Laureano to bite on sliders early on in the season, which frustrated him because it was a problem he actually recognized in Spring Training. He began to make some adjustments to minimize his body movement at the plate in spring, and after sticking to the process, those have been paying off for him.
“I think everything was going the wrong way,” Laureano said. “My mechanics were going the wrong way. But I made changes and I’ve been myself. I’m laying off those sliders early and late in the count.”
“It’s all about just trusting my instincts,” Laureano said of his recent success. “See and hit the ball, instead of just guessing what pitch is coming. That’s it.”
- July 23, 2019: A's manager Bob Melvin, sensing Ramón Laureano may not take enough time, if any, to enjoy his American League Player of the Week Award, implored his outfielder to spend at least one minute soaking in the honor. So that's what Laureano did. One minute. No more, no less.
"I enjoyed it for one minute because Bob told me to," Laureano said, with a small grin. "But we keep moving on. This is a new series, very important, and we have to get that ‘W’ at the end."
But that doesn't mean there wasn't time to acknowledge a fantastic week-long performance by a key A's player, whose bat is partly responsible for the nice run Oakland has been on of late.
Laureano hit .542 (13-for-24) with 10 runs, six doubles, two homers and two RBIs over six games during the award-winning week. He had a .577 on-base percentage and a 1.042 slugging mark, reaching base in all six games and collecting multiple hits in five of them.
- As of the start of the 2020 season, Ramon's career Major League stats were: .288 batting average, 29 home runs with 86 RBI in 590 at-bats.
Ramon can play all three outfield positions. He is above-average defensively. And he has a strong 70 grade arm from right field. Ramon possesses a plus arm and racked up 16 assists in right field in 2017. But Laureano profiles best in center.
Laureano is a scrappy player who gets involved in everything in the field. He specializes in highlight video catches. Ramon plays all outfield positions and earns plus grades for his defense, speed and arm. He has shown great accuracy with his throws and excellent instincts. He also showed leadership during his time in the minors.
In 2018, Laureano batted a nifty .288/.358/.474 for the A's, but it was his defense that raised eyebrows the most. In only 48 games, he was worth plus-4 Defensive Runs Saved and, according to Statcast, plus-3 Outs Above Average. A couple of plays in particular stood out.
On September 11 at Baltimore, Laureano preserved a one-run lead in the eighth inning by using a sensational jump to cover 62 feet in only 3.5 seconds for a diving, five-star grab. And on Aug. 11 in Anaheim, he made one of the most memorable plays of the season by racing almost 80 feet into the gap to pick off a deep fly ball, then turning and firing a 321-foot, 92 mph strike back to first base for a double play. It was the longest tracked throw of 2018 that resulted in an out. (Andrew Simon- MLB.com- Dec. 27, 2018)
April 1, 2019: Laureano showed off his magnificent arm again in the A’s 7-0 win over the Red Sox in Oakland. With the game still scoreless in the top of the second inning, Mitch Moreland stroked a one-out single to center with Xander Bogaerts on second base. Bogaerts is pretty fast, and all but the slowest runners in the league would expect to score from second on a single to the outfield.
Alas! It’s Ramon Laureano!
Statcast measured Laureano’s throw at 96 mph. It traveled 270 feet in the air, directly into catcher Nick Hundley’s glove, just in time for Hundley to put a sweep tag on the sliding Bogaerts. (Ted Berg)
When it comes to the strongest arm on the A’s, look to Ramón . A quick YouTube search of Laureano’s name will instantly pull up dozens of incredible throws the center fielder has made over the past two seasons.
He already owns one of the greatest throws you’ll see this century, which took place on Aug. 11, 2018, in Angel Stadium, when he raced back 76 feet in 4.4 seconds on a deep fly by Justin Upton to make a catch on the run before quickly planting his feet and firing a perfect 321-foot throw -- clocked at 91.2 mph -- to first baseman Mark Canha for an unreal double play.
With so many opponents who have tested Laureano’s arm meeting the same fate, the opportunities for him to nab baserunners are slowly dwindling. But since his big league debut eight days before his epic throw in Anaheim, Laureano’s 19 outfield assists lead the Majors. -- (Gallegos - mlb.com - 5/29/2020)
Ramon has 60 speed. He is an aggressive runner, too. So he hinders the opposition when he beats out an infield hit and then steals second base.
Ramon's speed and advanced instincts helped him steal 67 bases in 88 attempts in the combined 2016 and 2017 High-A and Double-A seasons. (Spring 2018)
- May 15, 2020: Who is the fastest on the A's? Ramón Laureano:
If Jorge Mateo had a more secure roster spot with the A’s, he easily would be the selection here. Oakland’s No. 7 prospect is considered to be one of the fastest players in baseball with 80-grade speed, but we’ll stay away from Mateo here, given his uncertain status on the roster bubble and go with Ramón Laureano.
The A’s offensive philosophy has strayed away from stealing bases in recent years, but Laureano made the most of his opportunities on the basepaths last season with a team-leading 13 swiped bags while getting caught only twice. The A's believe Laureano can be a five-tool player and, having stolen 43 bases in the Astros' Minor League system in 2016, that ability is clearly there. He also utilizes that speed to track down fly balls in the outfield, with a majority of his several highlight-reel plays over the past two seasons made possible because of it. This tool is especially useful playing most of his games in the spacious Oakland Coliseum. -- Martin Gallegos
July 25-September 23, 2014: Laureano was on the DL. with a finger injury.
March-May 21, 2018: Ramon was on the Nashville Sounds DL with a broken finger.
July 31-Sept 6, 2019: Ramón Laureano was held out of the A’s lineup as he underwent an MRI to check out the soreness in his right shin, and the results came back showing a stress reaction that will land him on the 10-day injured list. The A’s have not made the move to the IL official, but A’s manager Bob Melvin indicated that Laureano will require longer than the 10 days to recover from the injury.
“We’re going to have to shut him down for a period of time,” Melvin said. “There’s no timeline, but he’s not going to be back in 10 days.”
The soreness is something Melvin said Laureano has been dealing with periodically for a while now.
July 28, 2019: Ramon was on the IL with Right lower leg stress reaction.Aug 27, 2019: A's outfielder Ramón Laureano appears to be in the final stages of his recovery from a stress reaction in his right shin. After taking multiple days off in between running sessions in order to reduce the impact on his shin, Laureano has now upped his running progression to an every-other-day basis.
“He’s feeling good,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s all about when the doctors clear him to get here. We’re not quite there yet and trying to stay pretty strict with the timetable they talked about, but we’re starting to ramp it up.”