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The St. Louis Cardinals confused many with their selection of--and lenient bonus negotiations against--College World Series star James Ramsey in the 2012 MLB Draft, but their aggressive placement of the 22-year-old in age-appropriate high-A Palm Beach shows they're confident in his ability to produce, and his first game there showed, at least, what he could be capable of. He went 3-5 with an infield single and a double while starting in center field, showing off the high-level contact skills that dominate his value.
Ramsey, even more than Kolten Wong last year, needs a big short-season debut to justify himself in the eyes of Cardinals fans perpetually desperate for upside He'll be 23 next year, and just young enough to play through a AA stint; if he's not ready he's going to look much more like Nick Stavinoha than he is Jon Jay. On the other hand, if he dominates Palm Beach in a half-season of professional ball, his age will matter much less than it does now.
From the first inning of Sunday's Championship Finals opener the South Carolina Gamecocks never had a chance—the Arizona Wildcats got out to a 5-1 lead in Game 1 and, Monday, pulled ahead with a three-run ninth inning to take Game 2 and the 2012 College World Series by a final score of 4-1. St. Louis Cardinals draft pick Alex Mejia picked up two hits and an RBI in the victories, and now that the college season is over he'll get his heretofore-delayed chance to begin professional ball. (He and Wildcats starter Kurt Heyer were among the last of the Cardinals' unsigned draft picks.)
Outstanding pitching continued to carry the day for the Wildcats, who'd gotten big performances from Heyer earlier in the tournament. In Game 1 starter Konner Wade, a former high school draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks who will be eligible for the draft again next year, threw a complete game while allowing six hits and walking only one batter; in Game 2 they got 7.2 one-run innings out of James Farris.
And now, after two years dominated by South Carolina, the Arizona Wildcats have their first College World Series championship in more than 25 seasons.
The St. Louis Cardinals' 2012 MLB Draft will edge closer to completion this week, according to a report from Derrick Goold Monday—he suggests the Cardinals and Florida State Seminoles star James Ramsey, their second pick and the No. 23 overall selection, could come to an official agreement as soon as Friday, whereupon Ramsey will likely report to a surprisingly advanced minor league affiliate. The news comes just days after Ramsey and the Seminoles were eliminated from the 2012 College World Series.
Ramsey was a surprise pick as a first-rounder—until it became clear that, as a college senior without a lot of signing bonus leverage, he was part of the Cardinals' plan to subvert the new slotting system and sign more expensive high schoolers like Carson Kelly. Kelly cost a million over slot; the discount the Cardinals get on Ramsey could decide whether they're able to sign other high-upside picks, like Trey Williams and Max Foody.
As for his own value, Ramsey is a contact guy with great clubhouse credentials who might have been the best hitter in college in 2012. His selection could characterize how this draft is perceived in five years, for good or ill.
The St. Louis Cardinals still have two 2012 MLB Draft picks in the 2012 College World Series bracket--middle-round picks shortstop Alex Mejia and pitcher Kurt Heyer of the Arizona Wildcats--but after those selfsame Wildcats eliminated Florida State St. Louis found its last first-round pick finally free to negotiate his professional contract. That's No. 23 overall pick James Ramsey, a Seminoles senior and perhaps the best college hitter in the country.
It'll be important to get Ramsey playing, just because at 22 he's already going to be old for whatever low-minors league he's assigned to. But that's not the only reason--with highly touted second-rounder Carson Kelly signing for more than a million dollars over his recommended bonus, the Cardinals need Ramsey to sign cheaply to make their ambitious draft strategy work, and allow them to sign similarly touted youngsters like Trey Williams and Max Foody.
The Wildcats will take on South Carolina Sunday at 7 PM CDT in the first of the best of three College World Series championship finals. But for the Cardinals, the end of the CWS began the moment Ramsey was eliminated.
The 2012 College World Series's elimination tripleheader--borne of the Kent State vs. South Carolina rainout--took two scalps in three games Thursday night, with Kent State and favorite Florida State falling decisively and Arizona punching its ticket to the Championship Finals. South Carolina and Arkansas will tangle in the last of the bracket matchups Friday night at 8 PM CDT. The good news for St. Louis Cardinals fans--No. 23 overall pick James Ramsey will now be free to sign, after going 0-5 in the Seminoles' rematch against the Wildcats.
Arizona needed extra innings to dispatch Florida State in their first College World Series game, but a six-run first inning got them more than halfway to a 10-3 victory. As for South Carolina, they held Kent State to two hits and scored four runs of their own to put themselves just one game away from facing Arizona in the championship finals.
For more on the 2012 College World Series, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For an updated bracket, I continue to recommend the NCAA's own homegrown model.
Wednesday's storms in Omaha kept the 2012 College World Series bracket from eliminating another contender, but it also created the promise of a truly wild Thursday at TD Ameritrade Park. Thursday's action now begins at 11 AM CDT, when South Carolina vs. Kent State will be made up, before moving on to a 4 PM CDT rematch of Arizona vs. Florida State (in which all the St. Louis Cardinals' outstanding draft picks will be playing) and ending with an 8 PM CDT matchup between 2-0 Arkansas and the winner of the morning contest. It's going to be a wild day, and the results of a day in which three teams could be eliminated (Arizona and Arkansas are both undefeated) could shape the entire remainder of the College World Series.
Florida State and South Carolina, both among the tournaments' favorites going in, each lost tough games to put themselves into single-elimination position; FSU fell to Arizona in extra innings in their opening game of the tournament, while South Carolina fell to Arkansas by a final score of 2-1, ending a 22-game postseason winning streak.
It'll be a big day of games, and for central-timers it all starts before noon. Good luck fitting it all in; here's an updated bracket for more information.
The Florida State Seminoles will be looking to avoid elimination from the 2012 College World Series for the third straight game when they face the Arizona Wildcats on Thursday. The Seminoles will need to win consecutive games against the Wildcats in order to reach the championship finals.
After losing 4-3 in 12 innings to Arizona back on June 15, it seemed like Florida State was nearing the end of its season. But with St. Louis Cardinals draft pick James Ramsey flashing a hot bat, the Seminoles have rolled in consecutive elimination games, bringing them into the re-match with the Wildcats on Thursday.
Beyond Ramsey, Cardinals fans can see another one of the team's 2012 draft picks in Arizona shortstop Alex Mejia, who was selected by St. Louis in the fourth round with the No. 150 overall pick. For a look at the complete bracket, check it out here.
The Florida State Seminoles lost their first game in the 2012 College World Series bracket to the Arizona Wildcats, now 2-0, but after a decisive win over Stony Brook FSU has put itself firmly back into title contention, defeating the UCLA Bruins 4-1 and looking as strong as advertised in their second consecutive elimination game. St. Louis Cardinals draft pick James Ramsey continued his hot hitting, going 2-3 with a walk and a run scored, but the game belonged to Steve Sitz, FSU's starter, who allowed one run on five hits and a walk in six-plus innings, racking up eight strikeouts in the meantime.
The Seminoles, who've outscored their two competitors 16-3 since losing 4-3 to the Wildcats in extra innings, will now face Arizona on Thursday afternoon. (The 4 PM CDT start will be aired on ESPN 2.) Their backs are still against the wall, but they'll have to beat Arizona twice in a row to advance to the championship finals themselves.
For more on the 2012 CWS, and more unnerving fixation on St. Louis Cardinals draft picks, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. Related: The Cardinals love James Ramsey's Cape Cod League numbers, but are they too enamored of what goes on in that wood-bat league?
The 2012 College World Series bracket can be a little confusing to college baseball newcomers, but we've finally reached the elimination portion of the bracket—the Florida State Seminoles and the UCLA Bruins each have one loss, so whoever falls in Tuesday night's ESPN televised game—scheduled for 7 PM CDT—is out of the CWS for good. James Ramsey, the St. Louis Cardinals' No. 23 pick, anchors the Seminoles' lineup, so Cardinals fans can either root for him to lose (and sign more quickly) or root for him to win, as a courtesy to a future Cardinals prospect.
Zack Weiss, a 3-2 sophomore with a 4.04 ERA, gets the difficult assignment of stopping Ramsey and company, while junior Scott Sitz, who has 12 starts and a 3.99 ERA, is the Seminoles' pick for the elimination assignment. If you're watching Ramsey, take special note of his defense—scouts are divided on whether he'll stick at center in the major leagues.
For more College World Series updates—and more odd questions about James Ramsey and the propriety of rooting against a future Cardinal—stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis, where we ask the hard questions, so long as they're also very selfish and solipsistic.
Thus far the 2012 College World Series has not been kind to the two Florida squads who sat atop their brackets last week. The Florida State Seminoles lost its opening matchup with Arizona—now 2-0, and in the driver's seat—in extra innings before eliminating an overmatched Stony Brook squad in their first elimination game. Then, Monday, Kent State held on to a 5-4 win that sent he Florida Gators packing at 0-2. Tuesday night at 7 PM CDT, James Ramsey and FSU will look to avoid the same fate when they take on the UCLA Bruins in their second elimination bout.
The Kent State vs. Florida game was maybe not the kind of baseball you hope for in a College World Series game. Kent State picked up 12 hits, including two doubles and a triple, but thanks to some crucial errors only one of their five runs was earned. After they got their lead they nearly lost it when the bullpen came around. But every run is equally sweet when it comes in an elimination game, and I doubt the Golden Flashes much minded.
For an automatically updated look at the 2012 CWS bracket, click here. Meanwhile, here's more College World Series coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:
The 2012 College World Series bracket's major underdog, Stony Brook, couldn't avoid being the first team eliminated at the CWS Sunday, falling 12-2 to the Florida State Seminoles after a six-run third inning proved the knockout blow. James Ramsey, the St. Louis Cardinals' No. 23 overall pick and the Seminoles' top hitter, was 2-5 with an RBI in the win, which built on a throwing error in that third inning that led to five unearned runs. Mike Compton, 12-2 on the season, got the win.
Florida State, with one loss that it suffered Friday against the Arizona Wildcats, will move on to face UCLA on Tuesday, in another elimination matchup. (This one will be aired on ESPN at 7 PM.) UCLA fell into the loser's bracket after being shutout by Arizona in their own second game.
For more updates on the 2012 College World Series (and the St. Louis Cardinals' tangential involvement therein) stay tuned to our 2012 CWS storystream.
The 2012 College World Series marches on, and Florida State, led by St. Louis Cardinals draft pick James Ramsey, has reached the single-elimination portion of the bracket—after a loss to Arizona in extra-innings the Seminoles will have to beat Stony Brook, the CWS's cinderella-squad-in-residence, or leave Omaha. Stony Brook, who lost 9-1 to UCLA in their side of Bracket 1, will have to work through their jitters against a top-seeded Seminoles squad that has considerably more tournament experience.
The action starts at 4 PM CDT on ESPN 2. CWS play continues afterward with Arizona taking on UCLA on the winners' side of the ledger. (Arizona starting shortstop Alex Mejia is another Cardinals draft pick, selected in the fourth round; their ace, Kurt Heyer, stymied the Seminoles in the Wildcats' victory in the first game.) For updates on the College World Series and the Cardinals' involvement therein, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis.
More College World Series coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:
The double-elimination format of the 2012 College World Series means the first day of play inside its labyrinthine bracket isn't quite so dramatic as it is in other college sports. But with Friday's games in the books and Saturday's on the way, the updated bracket begins to look a little more dangerous for teams like Florida State, who lost to Arizona in extra innings. Stony Brook, the surprise story of the tournament, joins James Ramsey and company in an elimination matchup Sunday at 4 PM CDT. The winners of those Bracket 1 matches, UCLA and Arizona, play Sunday at eight, with one win separating that game's winner from the Championship Finals.
Saturday night play begins in Bracket 2, with Kent State and Arkansas playing at 4 PM CDT and South Carolina and Florida going at 8 PM. Both games will be on ESPN.
If you're looking for Cardinals prospects, they'll have 2012 MLB Draft picks playing in both of Sunday's games. James Ramsey, the No. 23 overall pick in the draft, is at the center of Florida State's batting order, while Alex Mejia starts at shortstop for Arizona and was chosen in the fourth round. (Kurt Heyer, Arizona's ace, is also a Cardinals draft pick; he went nearly eight innings in their win Friday.)
More 2012 CWS coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:
Florida State's opening match in the 2012 College World Series didn't quite go their way Friday—the Seminoles lost 4-3 vs. Arizona in a game that went 12 innings before Johnny Field doubled in Joey Rickard (a Tampa Bay Rays ninth-rounder) to put the Wildcats up for good. James Ramsey, who went No. 23 to the St. Louis Cardinals, put together his usual impeccable performance for FSU, going 1-3 with two walks, but it wasn't enough.
The loss puts Ramsey and the Seminoles within one game of elimination—they'll have to beat Stony Brook, who lost 9-1 to UCLA in the earlier game, to get back on track in their attempt to get out of Bracket 1 and into the best-of-three Championship Finals. For Ramsey, a loss would be pretty hard to take but probably not crippling—the moment they lose, after all, he'll be signing with the Cardinals and probably preparing to join a full-season minor league team.
Meanwhile, Alex Mejia, the Cardinals' fourth-round pick, went 2-5 with a walk for Arizona, while Kurt Heyer, Arizona's starting pitcher, went 7 2/3 with eight strikeouts; he'll be joining the Cardinals after being made the Cardinals' sixth-round selection. Whoever falls out of this bracket, somebody's going to be making a call to John Mozeliak shortly afterward.
For more updates on the 2012 CWS, stay tuned to our College World Series storystream right here.
You may not normally be very aware of the 2012 College World Series bracket, but if you're a St. Louis Cardinals fan here's reason to watch Friday night's game between Arizona and Florida State, scheduled for an 8 PM start on ESPN 2: James Ramsey, their second first-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, will be anchoring the Seminoles' offense. Ramsey's a particularly odd and controversial pick, a college senior with outstanding numbers and little in the way of the tools prospect hounds love, so there's every reason to watch and see just what the Cardinals saw in him, besides affordability.
Of course, I guess you could just also watch because you like college baseball. Florida State will be taking on either Stony Brook, the surprise of the tournament, or UCLA in their game on Sunday; the tournament starts off in double-elimination mode.
We'll be covering the Cardinals' draft pick all weekend; for more information and updates, follow along here at SB Nation St. Louis. More stories hand-picked from our recent archive:
If you're looking for reasons to have a rooting interest in the 2012 College World Series bracket and you're a St. Louis Cardinals fan, this article from the Orlando Sentinel about James Ramsey being a big Jim Edmonds fan at 12 years old should be just enough to push you over the line into rooting for his Florida State Seminoles starting Friday. Ramsey, the Cardinals' No. 23 pick, will likely be the Quad Cities River Bandits' right fielder in a few weeks; for now, he's perhaps the best hitter in college baseball, and a dangerous bat as the Seminoles take on Arizona in the CWS.
It might be a little troublesome to root for a guy when the better he does, the longer it takes to see him in a Cardinals uniform, but hey—he's already done his part. By topping Stephen Piscotty—another polished contact hitter—and Stanford earlier this month, Ramsey helped deliver the Cardinals their No. 36 pick.
For a complete look at the CWS bracket, click through to our 2012 College World Series bracket overview. Whatever your rooting interest in James Ramsey and Florida State, it should be able to answer your questions.
The 2012 College World Series bracket is out, and St. Louis Cardinals fans hoping for No. 23 pick James Ramsey to sign quickly will have to watch his Florida State Seminoles take on Arizona Friday at 8 PM CDT on ESPN 2. If they win then they'll have to take on the winner of UCLA vs. Stony Brook in Friday's day game. If the 48-13 Seminoles really flop, the Cardinals could sign Ramsey as early as June 18. If he drives them to the championship game, and it goes three games, he'd be out of the College World Series on June 27, after a night game on ESPN.
It's weird to look at the College World Series with these eyes, but those are James Ramsey's exit strategies—and since he's a college senior, he won't have much leverage. 22 years old already, he could start as high as high-A Palm Beach this year—and he'll need to, if he wants to impress Cardinals fans bothered by the affordability of their draft.
The Florida State Seminoles go into the 2012 College World Series with, pound for pound, the best hitter in college baseball on their team. James Ramsey, when adjusted for the Seminoles' ballpark and tough schedule, hit .378/.520/.668 on the season, with 64 walks against just 37 strikeouts. He's well-rounded like few other prospects in Division I—he's not known for his power, but those 13 home runs and six triples did plenty to boost his isolated power, and that adjusted .378 average was far from empty. All that's why the St. Louis Cardinals surprised baseball by drafting him with the No. 23 pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. And now—well, now they have to wait for Florida State to be eliminated from the College World Series, so they can sign him.
He's one of a number of players in the CWS who find themselves in that predicament—their future employers stand ready to pay them hundreds of thousands of dollars as a signing bonus, if only they just lose already. James Ramsey, in particular, will probably sign the instant the Seminoles are out; as a senior he has almost no leverage to negotiate, and the Cardinals signed him in part because he's likely to sign for less than the recommended bonus, leaving them room to negotiate with high school standout Carson Kelly, selected later.
So no pressure, James—just keep winning, or else start losing and order your new Cadillac. For a 2012 College World Series bracket, click right over there.
The Midwest may be home to the 2012 College World Series, but the 2012 CWS bracket isn't home to many teams from the Midwest.
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