The question being asked by MLB.com’s Bernie Pleskoff is whether or not St. Louis Cardinals outfield prospect James Ramsey would benefit by learning second base. He scouted Ramsey in the Arizona Fall League this past fall.
Nov 2, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals outfielder James Ramsey against the West during the Fall Stars Game at Surprise Stadium. Image Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The way I see it is that Ramsey would benefit in the same way that Skip Schumaker and Matt Carpenter did but there’s a problem. Just as the Cardinals are stocked with outfielders, Kolten Wong is likely the Cardinals second baseman for years to come. I expect Wong will be at the position for at least the next decade, if not longer. I don’t think he’ll put up the numbers that he did at the major league level after his call-up but numbers similar to what he did in the minor leagues.
Pleskoff writes that the Cardinals player evaluation and player development programs are the “model for overall skill assessment and consistent, cohesive instruction.”
On Ramsey, Pleskoff writes:
"Speed and quickness dictate that Ramsey profiles best as a top-of-the-order table setter. He has the ability to use the entire field with a type of very controlled running-start-type swing that gets his bat and feet moving quickly. He is a line-drive hitter that takes the pitch where it is thrown."
He doesn’t think Ramsey’s focal point will be as a power hitter but sees a guy that can “base, steal, and score runs.”
Pleskoff explains why Ramsey is suited to, at the very least, learn the base:
"He has enough arm strength, speed and quickness to play second base. His feet are quick enough to provide the range and coordination needed to turn the double play. He has good baseball instincts and appropriate size for an infield role."
The other reason is that Ramsey’s main outfield position would be at center field but when it comes to the outfield in general, there’s competition with Peter Bourjos, Randal Grichuk, Oscar Taveras, Stephen Piscotty, Charlie Tilson and Thomas Pham. It’s not just a logjam with Cardinals pitching but also the outfield.