Steven Ramos is a 21-year-old centerfielder from Tracy, California, who was selected by the Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2010 draft. He played 40 games with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in 2010 before being promoted to the Cardinals rookie league affiliate in Johnson City. He spent all of 2011 with Johnson City and is returning this season. Entering the 2011 season, he was pegged as “one of the top young speedsters in the system” by Baseball America. He recently took some time to answer a few questions for our readers.
Justin: Steven, what originally led you to playing baseball?
Steven: When I was four years old my parents put me in tee ball and ever since then I have been in love with this game.
Justin: Is there a former or current player that you looked up to?
Steven: Roberto Clemente is my idol. The things he did on and off the field inspired me to try and be just like him. Be a great hitter and help others in need.
Justin: Are there any players or managers in the Cardinals organization that you view as a mentor?
Steven: Coach Mike Schildt. He is a great person and great coach.
Justin: How did you feel when you found out you were drafted by the St Louis Cardinals?
Steven: It was the happiest day of my life. Knowing that my dream of playing professionally is coming true was amazing.
Justin: Growing up in California, which team did you support? Was it hard making the switch from the warm weather of California to playing in Tennessee?
Steven: I grew up in a San Francisco Giants house hold. The only difference between California and Tennessee was the humidity in Tennessee. I didn’t experience any cold weather.
Justin: What is the clubhouse atmosphere like at Johnson City? Are any players particularly serious or comedic?
Steven: It was always upbeat and ready to play. Serious at game time, fun before and after games. One person who kept the mood light and fun was Coach Ortiz.
Justin: Your speed on the basepaths has been a strength for you so far. Do you do any research on the pitchers and catchers you face in the Appalachian league?
Steven: Just by playing games you learn each pitcher catcher. You learn to pick up tendencies.
Justin: How does the level of competition in the Appalachian league compare with the Gulf Coast League?
Steven: They are close to the same. I think the biggest thing was pitchers had a little more control and there wasn’t as many errors.
Justin: What part of your game do you feel needs the most improvement. What steps do you plan to take this season to improve in that area?
Steven: My vision at the plate and discipline is my weak spot. I plan on trying to be more patient and getting more walks to be that ideal lead off hitter.
Justin: What would you be doing if you weren’t playing baseball?
Steven: I would be in school for sport medicine or sports marketing.
Justin: Steven, thank you again for your time and good luck this season. We hope to see you patrolling center field in Busch Stadium one day! Is there anything else you want our fans to know headed into the season?
Steven: I am glad to be a Cardinal and can’t wait to be in Busch Stadium one day.