TCN 2013 Cardinals Prospect #13: James Ramsey

Drafted 23rd overall, the ex-Florida State outfielder was challenged at Palm Beach. Today's report is FREE!

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2012 and career stats)

School: Florida State University

2012 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
NA OF 12/19/1989 6-0 180 L R 2012 1st

Selected 2012 stats

PB 0.229 0.309 210 36 48 9 1 14 33 59 10 0.309 0.333 0.314 0.648

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

CariocaCardinal (10): There is only one number you need to understand from Ramsey's 2012 pro season: two. That is the number of position players from the 2012 draft that played more than 15 games at A+ or higher level.

Sure, Ramsey struggled, but given his much faster than normal advancement, is that not to be expected? As another point of reference, both Zack Cox and Brett Wallace were considered the most advanced college bats in their draft classes, yet neither one of them saw A+ level ball in their draft year. In fact, I can't remember the last Cardinals hitting prospect that started at such a high level (J.D. Drew, perhaps?).

The question that must be asked is why did the Cardinals start Ramsey at such a high level? I think they most possibly thought he was ready for such as an advanced level - and possibly he was. He had a respectable .731 OPS in his first month before having a severe drop off. I usually don't buy into "burn out" theories, but in this case it is a logical and plausible explanation.

Regardless, 2013 is a new season and Ramsey will have a chance to show whether he was worthy of a first-round draft pick or not. I expect him to start back at Palm Beach and then receive a quick promotion to Double-A Springfield.

Message board community (23): Ramsey was the Cards' second first-round pick this year, taken 23rd overall. The community was not as high on him as were Carioca and Brian.

Ramsey debuted in the Florida State League, which is a very aggressive placement for a newly-drafted player. He struggled hitting there, with an OPS of .648, and his OPS fell from .731 in July to .543 in August, perhaps a sign of fatigue, or perhaps a sign that pitchers were figuring him out. Interestingly, he hit lefties (OPS of .860) better than righties (.528) despite being a lefty hitter. Ramsey displayed good speed, stealing 10 bases in 12 attempts. (He was 9-for-9 in July but only 1-of-3 in August, which might also suggest he was starting to wear down a bit.)

Ramsey is one of three young potential future Cards centerfielders to watch, with Charlie Tilson and C.J. McElroy lurking in leagues below him. It will be interesting to see what he can do once he has a spring training under his belt. - Gagliano

Brian Walton (13): I believe there are those among the prospect watchers in the Cardinals fan base who hold Ramsey responsible for something that was not his doing. Whether or not he was an overdraft may have been relevant on draft day and in the context of affordability of the entire Cardinals' draft class, but it isn't any more.

Ramsey should be judged based on his abilities and future as a ballplayer. Though he did not hit well at Palm Beach, the Cardinals may have contributed. Ramsey may have been better off to start in the Midwest League, a lower level of play away from his Florida home. Previously, he logged consistent results in the Cape Cod League and at Florida State. His defense is as solid as advertised – both his reads and his arm.

Had Ramsey been drafted a bit later, signed for a bit less money and not placed so aggressively, I doubt there would be as much of a backlash against him nor would expectations be misaligned. I saw Ramsey play in the fall instructional league and I believe he is a very good ballplayer with the potential of a major league career ahead.

I am not a big supporter of comps and rarely use them myself. However, in a way it seems fitting that another player who took a lot of heat over the years was cited as being similar to Ramsey. Before assuming a Skip Schumaker comparison is a negative, consider this. If the Cardinals could be assured of 2,700 major league plate appearances and a .722 career OPS from Ramsey like they got from Skip, I imagine they would be delighted.

Our 2013 top 40 countdown continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

Premium Article The Cardinal Nation subscribers: Check out Brian Walton's exclusive interview with Ramsey from the fall instructional league.

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