Senior, Florida State
Jeff’s Snap Take: With the brand new rules in place with the Major League Baseball’s new Collective Barganing Agreement, each team is held to a certain amount of money for their 1st through 10th round selections. These rules do very little to help the teams at the top get the best players, but if they do anything, they elevate the level of the college seniors who have little leverage and are forced to sign at what the team selecting them offers. And since teams are on a specifically tight budget, these players help balance the budget to allow the team to pick more expensive players with their other picks. If it makes zero sense to you, you are not the only one. With that introduction, I give you the Cardinals 2nd first round pick at number 23 overall, James Ramsey, senior Outfielder, Florida State. More of me and the scouting reports are after the jump.
On the broadcast, MLB Network compared Ramsey to: Skip Schumaker. (Comps are dumb and rarely close, but that one hurts.) And I say this trying to be well though out and not over-reacting to this pick: Ramsey is taken at 23 only because he’s an easy sign as a college senior, he was not the best talent available. He put up good numbers in the Cape Cod League (Cape Cod Alert!) and hits for average in college. He doesn’t project as a CF, but instead a RF without much power (or a 2nd baseman, not sure where anyone is getting that from). Oh well, enough of my rant. Along to the scouting reports.
MLB.com’s Scouting Report:
With the new Draft rules in place this year, many feel college seniors will get drafted early as teams find ways to be economically responsible. Ramsey could be the first such senior to test that theory. While power isn’t a part of the outfielder’s game, Ramsey does make consistent contact, spraying the ball all over the field. The left-handed hitter uses his plus speed well, on the move as he swings a la Ichiro, and not afraid to steal a base. His speed plays well in the outfield, as does his solid arm and outstanding instincts. What his ultimate role is at the big league level remains to be seen, but as a college hitter who’s performed well, Ramsey is one college senior who should come off the board pretty quickly.
Florida State center fielder James Ramsey was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 22nd round last year and turned down a mid-six-figure bonus to return to Tallahassee for his senior year. He hasn’t stop hitting since and might be in position now to go as high as the sandwich round for a team looking for an under-slot, polished college performer.
Ramsey’s carrying tool is his bat and he has a long history of hitting. In 239 plate appearances this spring he’s hitting .380/.520/.674 and last summer in the wood bat Cape Cod League, he hit .313/.448/.571 in 140 plate appearances. There are some tools to back up that performance as Ramsey 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.
Ramsey’s body is maxed out and he has no better than average raw power, so the question is if he can stick in center field. He doesn’t look like he’ll be able to run with a body similar to a young Nick Swisher, but he’s a 55 runner that gets out of the box quick and will put up 60 run times to first. Ramsey is a grinder that maximizes his tools, so his range is solid but he lacks a second gear that I think will eventually make him an above-average right fielder, where his solid-average arm would play.
Ramsey’s stellar run continued in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2011. He slugged six homers in regular season play and added another three in the playoffs. He also hit .314 against some of the top competition in the college ranks
Thanks to his incredible torrid start, there’s no way Ramsey will slide past where he was drafted last year(editor note: the 22nd round), and although his ceiling is capped due to limited defensive skills, he’d still be an excellent addition, and one day down the road, maybe a solid fourth outfielder.
And here is a heart-warming video of him and his family: