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MLB Draft 2012: College World Series Star James Ramsey Excels In Cardinals Debut

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.