Florida State outfielder James Ramsey was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 23rd-overall pick in the first round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.
"The main reason I came to Florida State was to become a big leaguer," said Ramsey "You're talking about the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. It's a team with so much rich tradition, especially at winning, and I appreciate what they said on the telecast about me being a winner. That is the one word I use to describe myself to any scout. I am not going to be the sexiest prospect that comes along. I am not going to be the 6-5, 220-pound guy, but I am a winner and that's the kind of guy I hope they want in their organization."
"The man got what he deserved, and that's what excites me to no end," said coach Mike Martin. "He has meant so much to this program, from passing up the draft last year and coming back, to be the first person to ever wear a ‘C' on his jersey, to leaving a legacy with our baseball program will always be remembered."
Ramsey becomes the 19th Seminole to be drafted in the first round and the third Florida State player taken in the first round since 2008. The senior captain joins Sean Gilmartin, who was selected with the 28th-overall pick by the Atlanta Braves in 2011, and Buster Posey, who was drafted fifth overall by the San Francisco Giants in 2008.
"The first thing I said to Ramsey when I talked to him tonight was, 'Slide the pictures down. We got a new one to put up,' added Martin in referring to the first round picks pictured in the hallway outside the clubhouse on Mike Martin Field inside Dick Howser Stadium. "For me, I will get to walk by that for a few more years and remember what James Ramsey brought to our program. I am literally elated. This is just a culmination of an unbelievable year for the baseball program, when a guy comes back and does what he has done both in the classroom and on the field and then is rewarded by getting what he deserves. The man deserves this, and I am very proud of him."
"It's unbelievable," said Ramsey on the future possibility of sharing the field with former Seminoles like Shane Robinson, John Gast (Triple-A Memphis) and Barret Browning (Triple-A Memphis), who are currently playing in the Cardinals organization. "Just to be able to chase your dream but having those guys along the way that have gone through the farm system that will be able to offer priceless advice about how to continue to grind to achieve your goal of being a big leaguer is very exciting."
After being selected in the 22nd round by the Minnesota Twins in the 2011 MLB Draft, the decision to return to Tallahassee for his senior season was not an easy one for Ramsey.
But the Alpharetta, Georgia, native came back to Florida State, earned his degree in finance in April and now has the Seminoles just two wins away from a trip to the College World Series for the third time in the last five years.
"What a difference a year makes," said Ramsey. "This whole year has been about Proverbs 19:21 -- 'A man can plan his course, but the Lord determines his steps.' I have really tried to trust upon that. For me, it wasn't necessarily result-oriented. It wasn't about becoming a first rounder. It was to do the most with the platform that I have. The hard work I've put in, all the faith that I have kept in myself, the faith my teammates have kept in me, I wouldn't be in this position without God. I wouldn't be in this position without my teammates, my coaches and my family. I did exactly what I came back to do, but there is one more thing that is on my list. And if anyone thinks that this is icing on the cake, I am not finished yet at Florida State."
No one can question the incredible season that Ramsey has put together as he enters this weekend's Super Regionals against Stanford, ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in 10 offensive categories while leading in runs scored (72), total bases (142), on-base percentage (.520) and slugging percentage (.683).
He is the only player in the country to rank in the top 10 in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs per game, runs, walks per game and walks. A semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award and a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, Ramsey is currently hitting .385 with 11 doubles, six triples and a team-leading 13 home runs. He has started all 61 games in center field for the Seminoles in 2012 and has posted a perfect fielding percentage in 143 chances.
Ramsey, who was named an All-ACC first-team honoree for the second year in a row, became the fifth Seminole in school history to garner ACC Player of the Year accolades in 2012. He is the first Seminole to win the award since Posey took home the individual honor in 2008. He becomes just the third Seminole outfielder to win the award, joining J.D. Drew (1997) and John Ford-Griffin (2001).
He did not disappoint in the Tallahassee Regional, as he led all Seminoles with a .444 batting average en route to being named Most Outstanding Player for the second year in a row. Ramsey finished the tournament with four hits, including a monster grand slam -- the first of his career -- in the winner's-bracket game against Samford. He added a double, three runs scored and a team-high six RBI to go along with four walks and zero strikeouts.
Ramsey was recently honored as a first-team Louisville Slugger All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. He became the seventh Seminole to earn first-team All-America honors since 2007.
He was also honored for his performance in the classroom, as he was named the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America of the Year as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). A repeat selection as a first-team member of the Capital One Academic All-America Division I baseball team, Ramsey was also named as the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He joins Greg Gromek (1970 and 1971) as the only Seminoles to be named a two-time first-team Academic All-America in program history.
Over his four-year career, Ramsey has hit .340 (257 for 756) in 239 games. He has tallied 34 home runs, 46 doubles, 15 triples and 199 RBI with 151 walks, 31 hit-by-pitches and 32 stolen bases. He has posted a career .976 fielding percentage with 11 assists and just 10 errors in 415 total chances. Ramsey has committed just one error over the last two years.
Ramsey has started 194 consecutive games dating back to the start of his sophomore season in 2010 and ranks among the career leaders at Florida State in triples (second) and hit-by-pitches (tied for seventh).
"He is going to be able to do so much," said Martin on what Ramsey brings to the Cardinals. "James can do so many different things to beat you, whether it's making a great play defensively, stealing a base or hitting the ball out of the ballpark. He plays the game one way, and that's wide open. He is a consummate baseball player. So how can he beat you? In so many different ways you can't imagine. Ramsey is just a winner. That's all there is to it. He is going to win for you."
The 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft continues Tuesday at 12 noon with rounds 2-15 and concludes Wednesday with rounds 16-40.
Ramsey drafted in Round 1 by Cards
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