‘Family first’ Ramos blasts 22 hits, drives in 19 runs for Doosan

Doosan Bears foreign-born hitter Henry Ramos made his first-team debut in front of his family.

Ramos started in the sixth spot in the batting order against the Kiwoom Heroes of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday, going 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored in a 19-8 comeback victory. Doosan bounced back from a three-game losing streak by pounding out 22 hits in the first and second innings.

His early season performance didn’t live up to expectations. Ramos was sent down to the second team after opening the season batting just .178 (8-for-45) with eight RBIs and a .502 OPS in 11 games. In addition to his poor results at the plate, he also showed a lack of confidence at the plate, which led the coaching staff, including Lee, to believe he needed time to regroup. Ramos hadn’t played in a Futures League game, but he was eager to get back into the swing of things by playing in practice, and Doosan gave him two weeks, from May 5 to 18, to do so.

Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop said before the game, “I think the result (of Ramos’ practice game) was so-so, but now he’s enrolled in the first team to change the atmosphere. I also asked Ramos for his opinion through an interpreter. It’s only been two weeks, and I thought it was the right time, and he was okay with it, so I put him up. I thought it was a good time because we have one foreigner in the lineup and we don’t want to take too much time off, so I switched him with Daehan (Kim). Dae-yi lost a little bit of confidence, and he was playing a lot of games and not getting results, so I thought he needed a change. He needed to go to the second team and have some time to get established, so it was a natural switch.”

On Ramos’ transition to the second team, Lee said, “He went to the second team and played a lot of games. When he was playing with his college team, he was in the lineup 10 times a game. He was coming up to bat every inning, and I think he was a little bit confused, so he cut back on the games and practiced a little bit, and then at the end, he came up to bat a lot against Softbank.”

What Ramos is looking for is a confident swing for a foreign hitter. “I want to see what he did last year in Triple-A (U.S. Minor League Baseball),” Lee said, “where he swings with confidence, regardless of what he can and can’t hit. The results are the second issue. In my last game before I got sent down to the second level, I actually took a very unconfident swing. I just have to swing a little bit more confidently and wait for the results. I think it’s time to start getting results, and I’m looking forward to seeing that.” Ramos hit well for the Cincinnati Reds’ Triple-A affiliate last year, batting .318 (89-for-280) with 13 home runs, 55 RBIs and a .954 OPS in 76 games.

Down 1-4 in the bottom of the second inning, Ramos got off to a good start, producing a hit in his first at-bat. One out later, after Kang Seung-ho hit a solo shot to left, Ramos followed with a single to right field. Ramos then scored when Kim Ki-yeon grounded out to shortstop to put runners on second and third, cutting the deficit to 2-4. In his second at-bat of the inning with the bases loaded, Ramos hit a two-run double to right field to make it 4-5.

Doosan scored nine runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, setting a new franchise record for runs scored by all starters in a single inning. It was the 17th time in KBO history and the fourth time in franchise history. Ramos ignited the offense with a two-run double to right-center field in his third at-bat with runners on second and third, turning a 4-6 game into an 8-6 game. Ramos completed his four-hit game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning when Doosan added another five-run inning.

“I came to the team to do my job, to help the team win, and I’m very happy that we were able to win a game like today (19th) and that the result was good,” said Ramos, who was honored in the comeback game.

“In a way, as a baseball player, I’m no different from any other worker. I went down to the second team with the mindset that I’m not doing well in the first team at work, and I need to analyze what mistakes I made and fix them. In the second team, coach Cho In-sung took me under his wing and analyzed my video and gave me a lot of training 먹튀검증 methods, so I worked hard. I focused on improving my batting form, which is not perfect yet, but I will continue to work hard to show the best results I can,” he said encouragingly.

Ramos’ return to the first team was preceded by his family. Ramos’ mother, wife, and three children arrived in South Korea on April 14. They were there to give him strength as he faces a difficult time away from home. Ramos’ youngest daughter, who had been waiting for him since he delayed his arrival in Sydney, Australia, for spring training in February, traveled all the way from the U.S. The entire Ramos family watched the game from the stands.

“In a way, it was hard because I miss my family so much,” Ramos said. In Korea, I’m supposed to be playing baseball, but I’m also thinking about my family in the U.S., so it’s been a little hard to be honest. Now that they’re here, I’m able to focus 100% on the game, and I can only think about the game. I’m very emotionally stable right now and my only goal right now is to win as many games as I can and have a good season,” he said encouragingly.

While it’s still too early to say he’s fully recovered, Ramos sees hope: “In a way, more important than the quality of my batting today is that the team won the game. I think it gave me a chance to regain a little more confidence at the plate and be more aggressive. I’m still missing some balls that I shouldn’t be missing, so I’m not satisfied to be honest,” he said, vowing to become a more complete hitter.

Lee was pleased with Ramos’ performance. “The batting lineup was able to make a big inning in the fourth inning, which helped us win the game early, especially Seung-ho Kang, who has been hitting hot from the opening game until now. I also want to praise Jeon Min-jae, who has been playing well in the field lately, and Ramos, who had a good game in his return to the first team, and I hope he can continue this trend.”

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