Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.
Level: Triple-A Age: 24.7 Top-15: 7th Top-100: N/A
Line: (Double-A, Cardinals) 11.0% BB%, 23.5% SO%, ..300/.389/.527 (161 wRC+)
Speculation led most observers to believe the Cardinals were among the front runners to acquire Jon Lester or David Price. Then, without warning, the red birds and and Cleveland announced they had swapped Justin Masterson for former first round selection James Ramsey.
In 2012, Ramsey was in the first draft under the current collective bargaining agreement. As a college senior with few options as lucrative as professional baseball, one would have thought Ramsey was the prototypical below-slot selection. Yet, Ramsey did well for himself, signing for $1.6M dollars — just $175K below slot. The Florida State outfielder was immediately shipped to the Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) where he struggled. Last year, the Cardinals began his first full season on a more traditional path. He began in Rookie Ball, returned to Palm Beach and was promoted to Double-A Springfield before playing a final game with Triple-A Memphis. Four levels!
Ramsey profiles as a table settler who Cleveland may utliaze as a right fielder due to his strong arm. He could also play center which would shift Michael Brantley back to left field, where he has played predominately since last season. The most intriguing part of Ramsey’s game is his power surge. Hardly a slugger, Ramsey has hit 31 home runs during the past two seasons. Should that power continue Ramsey will shed any notion that he is a fourth outfielder, but it’s likely his power will return to being a tick below average as a big leaguer.
Level: Triple-A Age: 22.3 Top-15: 2nd Top-100: N/A
Line: (Triple-A, Giants) 111.0 IP, 7.78 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, 1.30 HR/9, 5.11 ERA, 4.98 FIP
Level: MLB Age: 30.5 Top-15: N/A Top-100: N/A
Line: (Triple-A) 61.0 IP, 9.00 K/9, 2.36 BB/9, 1.03 HR/9, 3.70 FIP
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