In the 2012 MLB draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected James Ramsey, a left-handed hitting outfielder from Florida State University, with the 23rd pick in the first round. He is a 23 year old graduate from the school and looks to further develop his skills to one day suit up for the Cardinals in the outfield of Busch Stadium.
Ramsey is the type of player that is hard not to like. He was named the team captain of the FSU baseball team for the first time program history. He went on a week-long mission trip to the Domincan Republic in December 2012 and described it as an “unbelievable experience” that opened not only his eyes but his heart as well. You can check out his experience in his personal blog here.
In his senior season at FSU, he was awarded the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The award is given to a college senior based on four characteristics: community, classroom, character, and competition. Thus, it is a prestigious award that helps describe who Ramsey is as a player, a teammate, and a person.
College/Minor League Statistics
2012 for Florida State: .385 batting average, 72 runs, 13 home runs, 55 runs batted in. He won the ACC Player of the Year for this performance.
2013 for Palm Beach (A+): .361 batting average, .481 on-base percentage, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 1/1 on stolen bases in 18 games
2013 for Springfield (AA): .240 batting average, .359 on-base percentage, 3 home runs, 7 RBI, 5/6 on stolen bases in 34 games
1. Leadership: As shown by being named FSU team captain and being awarded the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. This is something that cannot be taught to a player, so when someone has it like Ramsey does, it cannot be undervalued. This had to be one of the selling points for the Cardinals organization on draft day.
2. Getting On Base: In the wise words of Billy Beane, he “just gets on base.” Despite having a .240 batting average so far in AA, he has been able to maintain a solid .359 on-base percentage. This is a testament to his eye for the strike zone–he has been walked 23 times in just 34 games.
3. Hitting: Although his hitting is not where he would like right now in AA, he has shown flashes of regaining the consistency that he has had throughout his baseball career. According to a scout, he “has a direct, line drive bat path with some strength and bat speed, but most importantly he has an innate ability to square up pitches.”
4. Foot Speed: He has good running speed which he makes the most of by utilizing his unbelievable mental awareness. In my opinion, he will be able to average 15-20 stolen bases per season at the big league level while being able to patrol either corner outfield position with ease. He could manage at center field as well, but that spot is most likely reserved for Oscar Taveras for the long haul.
Big League Comparison
Ramsey’s build is almost an exact replica of Nick Swisher, but that’s not the comparison I am going to go with here. He is more like Matt Carpenter or Skip Schumaker in my eyes. He, like those two, is a gritty, hard-nosed player who makes solid contact and just has a knack for getting on base.
When Skip was here, he was a fan favorite, and now, Carpenter is quickly becoming a fan favorite himself. I believe that when Ramsey reaches the big league level, fans will fall in love with his style of play, and he will soon be a fan favorite as well. Like I said, Ramsey is the type of player that is hard not to like.
And FINALLY, the part you have all been waiting for…
In His Own Words
I was fortunate enough to ask him a few questions last night for the end of this post. The conversation was brief and took place on Twitter so some abbreviations were used to fit the 140 character limit. Take that into account when reading his responses. Thanks!
Me: When you found out the Cards drafted you in 1st rd, what was your first thoughts?
Ramsey: Glad I was entering an organization with such a rich tradition, & an org. that takes pride in developing players that know how to win.
Me: I know you are a man of faith, so how do you balance it with the busy schedule and being on the road a lot?
Ramsey: It’s all about relationships. I stay close with my pastor from college, friends, former teammates that are believers. Stay in the word & read some books by different pastors.
Me: Back to baseball, what has been the hardest part about acclimating to the professional game?
Ramsey: It’s all about forming a process that works. A North Star that you can fall back on when things aren’t going as well. I’m learning a lot and feel like being in AA in my first full year is exactly where I need to be. I’m holding my own & am excited about each day going forward.
Me: What is your biggest strong point and area for improvement?
Ramsey: My biggest strong point is the ability to be at my best when my team needs me–offensively, defensively, and on the bases. My area of improvement is to continue to hit for both power & average, reaching my potential while competing every day in AA.
Me: Final question, what is your favorite food of all time?
Ramsey: Ahi Tuna steak, sweet potato fries, fried okra. Chocolate chip cookies with milk for dessert.
If you aren’t already following him on Twitter, I hope this post has convinced you to now. Check him out at @JamesRamsey23
Until next time…