Q&A: Memphis Redbirds' Pete Kozma talks about jump from high school to pro baseball, time in major leagues
Redbirds' starting second baseman Pete Kozma is an Owasso native who's in his fourth year in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Pete Kozma from Owasso is in his fourth year in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Kozma, who turns 24 on Wednesday, was the 18th overall pick of the Cardinals in 2007, receiving a $1.4 million signing bonus.
He made his major league debut with the Cardinals last year and is on their 40-man roster, starting the season for their Triple-A affiliate Memphis.
Kozma is the starting second baseman for the Redbirds and homered in his first at-bat of the season Thursday night against the RedHawks.
What was the biggest adjustment for you jumping from high school to professional baseball?
Just seeing the pitching every day. In high school, you didn't see guys throwing 90 (mph) every day. That was a big adjustment.
Weren't you struggling defensively early in your career, committing a lot of errors?
I did a little bit, but that next full year I got better.
What did you learn from those struggles?
That it's a marathon, not a sprint. You just got to take it day to day.
You got to play in 16 games for the Cardinals with 17 at-bats last season. Can you learn anything in that short of a time in the major leagues?
Oh, yeah. You can definitely learn a lot by watching those guys up there and just talking to them. Those guys know what they are doing and have been around the league for who knows how many years.
What is your fondest memory of your time in majors last season?
First at-bat. It was against the Astros' Bud Norris. It was a 2-2 count and I hit a slider down the line for a double.
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