Down on the Farm: Tyler Opts to Retire, Ramos Embarks on New Challenge in Korea
By Jack Etkin
Reliever Robert Tyler, once a hard-throwing Rockies prospect, decided to retire. The Rockies drafted Tyler, 24, 38th overall in Competitive Balance Round A in 2016 out of Georgia and signed him for $1.7 million. But Tyler dealt with injuries his entire career. He had forearm and shoulder issues dating back to college and missed the entire 2017 season due to shoulder fatigue.
Tyler was rated the No. 21 in the ranking of Rockies minor-league players by InsideTheSeams.com.
Last season at Lancaster, an oblique strain prevented Tyler from making his debut until June 7, and he went 1-0, 8.16 in 28 games, allowing 36 hits and 20 walks in 28 2/3 innings with 36 strikeouts. His velocity was 91-94 mph, well down from 96-98 mph when he was at his best and had a plus changeup.
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“The injuries have hit him in just about every part of his body,” player development director Zach Wilson said. “I think for him physically it wasn’t going well to the point where he wanted to continue. Completely his decision, obviously. (We) would’ve loved to have him keep going and pressing forward, but it didn’t sound like it was part of what he wanted to do anymore. And sometimes that happens.”
After pitching just seven innings in five games at Short-season Class A Boise after being drafted in 2016 and missing all of 2017, Tyler began his first full pro season in 2018 at Low Class A Asheville. In 34 games there, he went 4-2, 3.99 with 52 strikeouts and just seven walks in 38 1/3 innings. But that sort of command was short-lived. He moved up to Lancaster in late July in that 2018 season and went 0-1, 9.64 in 12 games with five walks and five strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings.
Those four solid months at Asheville two years ago, Wilson said, gave the Rockies a snapshot of success and the hope he would pitch this year. "That was a glimpse," Wilson said. "And I think he got tired of seeing glimpses. He was looking for more, and it just wasn’t coming physically.”
The Rockies sold first baseman Roberto Ramos to the LG Twins of the Korea Baseball Organization. He hit .309/.400/.580 last year at Triple-A Albuquerque with 30 home runs and 105 RBI, albeit in the Pacific Coast League where offense typically reigns and where the major league baseball was used last season. But he struck out once every 3.57 plate appearances.
The Rockies drafted Ramos, 25, in the 16th round in 2014 out of the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif. In his six seasons in the Rockies’ organization, Ramos hit .292/.370./527 with 98 home runs and 349 RBI and struck out once every 3.80 plate appearances. Ramos showed plus power, but the holes in swing led to high strikeout totals, leading some evaluators to think he profiled as a 4A player. Ramos was interested in playing for the Korean team. The Rockies make a little bit on the sale, and Ramos has a chance to earn more money than in the minor leagues here.