St. Louis Cardinals: An interview with first-rounder Rob Kaminsky

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John Nagel

Owner/Editor of CardinalsFarm.com. Grew up in St. Charles but currently lives in Atlanta, GA with wife and two young childen
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June 6th, 2013, four days after the St. Joseph Regional High School graduation, was a pretty typical day for many of the graduating seniors. Fresh out of high school, many preparing for the next step, college.

Rob Kaminsky was preparing for the next step, but it was most likely not college

Kaminsky is a little different from his fellow graduating Green Knights. Kamnisky, a top prospect for the Major League Baseball draft, was preparing to hear his name called by commissioner Bud Selig.

” With the 28th pick, the St. Louis Cardinals select…. Rob Kaminsky, left-handed pitcher, St. Joseph Regional High School”

From that moment, Rob Kaminsky’s life had changed. He was told he would probably go in the late first round to either the Cardinals or his hometown New York Yankees. Cards fans should be glad it wasn’t the Evil Empire.

Since joining the Cardinals in mid June, Kaminsky has been assigned to the Cardinals Gulf Coast League affiliate and he has thrived. In 5 appearances, Kaminsky has tossed 11 innings and has yet to allow and earned run and has struck out 15 batters to just three walks.

The future is bright for Rob Kaminsky. He will most likely be a top 20 prospect for the Cardinals next year and should advance through the system at a nice pace. Kaminsky is ready for something more this year, beyond the GCL, but the Cardinals like to take it slow with recently drafted pitchers. Before we know it, he will be pitching in St. Louis.

Rob Kaminsky sat down with CardinalsFarm to answer a few questions.

Cardinals Farm: How hard was it to turn down the University of North Carolina?
Rob Kaminsky: UNC is a very special place and I really wanted to attend there. Growing up my parents always stressed how important a college education was, but when the draft came around I couldn’t pass up the opportunity, especially with such an unbelievable organization.
CF: Do you think being from the Northeast hurt your draft stock? Some believed so, due to stigma with HS baseball in the Northeast
RK: I personally think the Northeast has some of the best talent in the country. Do I think it hurt my draft stock? No. Being from the Northeast doesn’t mean you can’t go down south and compete, there are many tournaments and summer events that enable you to get your name out there
CF: Two strikes and you need a strikeout, what is your go to pitch?
RK: Tough, it all depends on the hitter but I like my curveball or fastball up and in.
CF: Is there a pitcher you feel like you model yourself after? If so, why?
RK: I am a big fan of Gio Gonzalez. Him and I have very similar builds and similar breaking balls, so I’ve always looked up to him and watch tape on him.
CF:  Was it hard giving up the bat to be a full-time pitcher?
RK: I’ve always loved playing centerfield and being able to hit, but that time has come to an end. It was weird at first but you get adjusted and it becomes normal being a pitcher only.
CF: You are the first 1st round pick out of high school from New Jersey since Mike Trout. How big is he in NJ?
RK: Mike Trout has opened many doors for many future Northeast kids and myself, and I can’t thank him enough. It just shows you do not have to play year round or have warm weather year round to be one of the best in the game.
CF: How has your experience in Florida been so far?
RK: Florida was an adjustment at first but now I am used to it and enjoying it. Baseball wise it’s awesome, learning everyday from many different people. It is great to be a part of this organization.
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