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.