(BaseballStL) -- Ushered straight to Busch Stadium after passing his physical, the Cardinals’ second first-round pick Rob Kaminsky got his first taste of baseball in St. Louis.
“It’s been very hectic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Seeing all the red out there is unbelievable, unreal,” Kaminsky said. “It’s unlike any other stadium I’ve seen.”
Kaminsky was one of two left-handed pitchers taken in the first round of this year’s draft by St. Louis. Marco Gonzales was taken No. 19 overall, nine picks ahead of Kaminsky, who was selected with a compensation pick for the departure of Kyle Lohse in free agency.
“Marco is unbelievable,” he said. “He’s fun to watch. I’ve watched him and studied him, and we’re similar. I think the Cardinals made two great picks and hopefully everything pans out.”
The 6-foot, 188-pound lefty was dominant for St. Joseph’s Regional High School in Montvale, New Jersey this season. He posted a perfect 9-0 record to go along with 118 strikeouts to only five walks in 58 innings pitched in his senior season.
Dan Kantrovitz, the team’s Director of Scouting, called Kaminsky’s curveball ‘the best breaking ball of any high school pitcher in the draft.’ It’s a pitch he was first taught around the age of 14 by his hitting coach during the middle of a doubleheader.
The official signing of Kaminsky marked the second time in as many days the Cardinals signed a highly-touted high school player away from playing college baseball. On Monday, the team signed Oscar Mercado, a defensive shortstop drafted in the second round.
“It was tough,” Kaminsky said. “I like North Carolina, but my parents always said that one thing supersedes college education and it’s playing professional baseball. I kind of knew for a long time I wanted to play and when the dream became reality I couldn’t pass it up.”
Kaminsky, who grew up a New York Yankees fan, said his family has already converted to the Cardinals and has already admired the work of a current Cardinals player for awhile.
“Believe it or not I love Yadier Molina, how he catches a game because the catcher has so much impact on a pitcher and his confidence and all that,” Kaminsky said. “I’ve always appreciated the Cardinals. I don’t think you’re a baseball fan if you don’t appreciate them to be honest.”
Kaminsky will report to the Gulf Coast League for his first assignment.