Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Today, I had the opportunity to interview Cardinals prospect Nick Derba, who was drafted this year in the 30th round of the MLB Draft. He is already off to a fast start as catcher for the Low-A Swing of the Quad Cities batting .317 with 2 HR and 13 RBI. I want to thank Ben Chiswick, the Director of Media Relations for Swing of the Quad Cities for setting this interview up for me, I really appreciate it.
ELI: To be honest, I haven’t heard much of anything about Manhattan College Baseball, what was it like? What skills do you think were improved the most?
ELI: Were you in contact with any major league club leading into the draft?
NICK: Yeah a couple, but the Cardinals were definitely the most interested. I went to a tryout for the Cardinals and Phillies, took some questionnaires for the Astros and other teams, but the Cardinals kept in touch the most.
ELI: What was it like when you got the call?
NICK: Oh, it was great, overwhelmed by the situation. I was at my girlfriend’s house when it happened. And I got a call from a scout with the Cardinals tell me I got drafted, and man was I excited.
ELI: When you were drafted, did you even consider not playing baseball?
NICK: No, not at all. It is a dream of any kid to play professional ball so when the opportunity presented it self, I was happy and ready to go. It was a no doubter.
ELI: You signed right after the draft, what was it like making the switch from the metal bat to the wooden bat?
NICK: Well, I played up in the
ELI: When do you usually go over signs with a relief pitcher? After warm up pitches when he comes into the game?
NICK: You know we usually are on the same page I just go out there to reiterate the situation, signs, batter and things like that. The pitchers are usually pretty ready so all I have to do is reiterate what the situation is and stuff like that.
ELI: Your power numbers shot up from junior to senior year, did you notice doing anything different in the off-season to prepare for senior year?
NICK: Yeah, I lifted a lot more and put a lot more work into hitting than any other year. I made sure that I got as much hitting as possible.
ELI: You are represented by Sterling Sports Management, how’d you come into contact with them?
NICK: They actually contacted me and called me. And we talked for awhile and I liked what he was telling me and now they are my acting representation.
ELI: If you could catch for one pitcher in the past or present, who would it be?
NICK: Whitey Ford.
ELI: Did you have a favorite player growing up?
NICK: Craig Biggio. He is such a good player and plays the game with such class from start to finish.
ELI: What would you rather do: Catch a perfect game to win the World Series, or hit a walk off homerun to win the World Series?
NICK: Definitely be a walk-off homerun.