Batting title last fall, release this spring

Winning the 2013 New York-Penn League batting title did not give outfielder Steven Ramos 2014 job security.

Steven Ramos' interesting four-plus season tenure as an outfielder in the St. Louis Cardinals system has reached its end. The 23-year-old has confirmed his release by the organization off the roster of the Class A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals. His spot was taken by infielder Matt Williams, down from Double-A Springfield.

In 18 plate appearances over five games this season, the right-handed hitter had just two singles and a walk for a line of .118/.211/.118/.328. It is quite a contrast to Ramos' 2013, when he finished as the New York-Penn League's batting champion at .341 and stole 22 bases in 26 attempts. Earlier, he had been named to the league's All-Star Team.

However, 2013 was his fourth year in the system, so the California native was old for the short-season NYPL and further, was repeating it. Ramos had begun last season at Class-A Peoria, but a rough start in the Midwest League led to Ramos being returned to extended spring training around this time last year.

Of average height, but very slender, quick but not with blinding speed, Ramos did not seem a prototypical center fielder and seemed to lack the potential to add the power needed to be a standout at the corners.

Ramos initially became a Cardinal after being selected in the 22nd round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft from Ohlone (CA) Community College.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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