As of right now, the St. Louis Cardinals‘ outfield looks set for 2014. Luckily for them, they also have a fresh crop of youngsters ready to jump in when they’re needed. Included in that group is 2012 first-round pick James Ramsey.
Initially, Ramsey was taken in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft by the Minnesota Twins, but he decided to stay at Florida State University for another season before going back into the draft. The move paid off as he became a first-round pick, and so far in his short time in the minor leagues, Ramsey has shown mixed results.
He did play one game in Triple-A last season, but for practical purposes, he played last season combined between High-A and Double-A. To start the season, he dominated pitching in High-A and was promoted to Double-A after just 18 games.
Once he arrived in Double-A, he started to struggle a little bit. Generally, Double-A is thought of as the level of the minor leagues with the best pitching. In 93 games in Double-A, Ramsey batted just .251 but did show off some power by hitting 15 long balls and driving in 44 runs.
Clearly, Ramsey isn’t going to put the bat on the ball at a high rate, but when he does connect, the ball is usually going to go a long way. That means he’s going to drive in lots of runs in addition to hitting the long ball. Last season in Double-A, he hit 11 doubles to go along with his 15 home runs which bodes well going forward.
This spring, if Ramsey can show the Cardinals that he has an improved approach and can drive in runs while putting the bat on the ball consistently there’s a great chance he will be in Triple-A to start the season. When he gets the call-up to St. Louis remains to be seen because of how much outfield depth already exists on the major league roster.
Since there is so much outfield talent already on the roster, Ramsey will be pushed even further to succeed. A positive of that is that he won’t be rushed up too soon. He will be developed at a pace that suits him, and when he’s ready, both he and the Cardinals will know it.