After focusing on the infield through the early rounds of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, the Astros decided to look for an outfielder who could potentially navigate Tal's Hill in Minute Maid Park.
The Astros selected South Florida junior outfielder James Ramsay with the first pick of the seventh round. Ramsay was a 38th-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2010, but he decided to test the collegiate waters.
The move paid off. Ramsay improved almost every aspect of his game in three years as a Bull, becoming a consistent threat at the plate and in the field.
In 2013, he hit .337 while starting 57 of his team's 58 games and making the All-Big East First Team. While he hit only three home runs, his 43 RBIs display his run-producing potential and gap-to-gap ability.
"Ramsay has more of a slash approach," said Astros director of amateur scouting Mike Elias. "He's one of the feistiest at-bats in the country and gives pitchers fits."
Ramsay's left-handed bat also makes him a dangerous bunter due to his speed, which helped him steal 31 bases during his college career. Defensively, he made four career errors in 163 appearances and routinely tracks down balls in the gap.
"He's a 'need' player who's a plus in almost every category," Elias said. "He turned into one of the most captivating leadoff guys in college baseball and was arguably the best center fielder in the country."
Chris Abshire is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.