Thursday's was indeed Wilson Ramos, a 22-year-old catcher generally regarded as the Twins No. 2 prospect. (No. 1 is Aaron Hicks, an outfielder who spent last season in low A ball and is not in major league camp.)
Ramos does pretty much everything well except run, draw walks and stay in the lineup. He had two injuries last season — a broken finger and a hamstring — and had just a bit more than 200 at-bats.
In winter ball (in his native Venezuela) Ramos hit .332/.397/.582 and led the league in RBIs and total bases, was second in slugging percentage and third in home runs. Baseball America named him Winter Player of the Year. Hard to argue with it.
All roads these days lead back to Joe Mauer and Joe Nathan. Should Mauer and the Twins part company, Ramos figures to be the Twins next catcher. If Mauer stays, Ramos figures to be more valuable as a trading chip than as a backup.
The notion of dealing Mauer for a closer is preposterous. The notion of dealing Ramos for a young gun — for example, Daniel Bard of the Red Sox — to take Nathan's place is not.
But first they have to cement Mauer into place.