Cardinals AFL Interview Series: David Kopp

St. Louis Cardinals relief prospect David Kopp speaks from the Arizona Fall League in this exclusive interview.

David Kopp is older and perhaps wiser than many of his teammates. Having been taken in the second round of the 2007 draft, the right-hander has moved from top prospect to perennial injury concern to his current quest of fighting his way back onto the St. Louis Cardinals' 40-man roster.

Kopp
After suffering a 2011 spring training injury, Kopp did not return to Double-A Springfield until mid-season. He could not find his groove and was asked to become a reliever. From his college days at Clemson, it was a role with which he was familiar.

After brief success, the 26-year old returned to Triple-A Memphis, where he previously had a five-start introduction in 2010.

To continue his transition and accrue more mound innings, Kopp was sent to the Arizona Fall League's Peoria Javelinas by the Cardinals. Kopp is aware that in recent years, Mike Parisi and Brian Broderick became Rule 5 pickups by other organizations after pitching in the AFL.

Because he has to find mound innings for 20 relievers, Javelinas pitching coach Ace Adams has been unable to pitch Kopp on consecutive days. The veteran instructor has enough confidence in him to consistently deploy him late in games and seems most impressed.

"I just called up our pitching coordinator Dyar Miller the other day," Adams said. "This kid Kopp has really tuned it up. I am really impressed with him. He looks like a set up man or a closer in the big leagues. He's got up to 96 (MPH) with a late cutter. I really like the way he is throwing the ball and he is healthy. I am really impressed with him."

In this exclusive audio interview, Kopp talks about his mound approach in moving to relief, his most recent injury recovery process, his newly-learned cutter and his hopes of returning to the 40-man roster.

(7:19)

For daily stats on Kopp and all the Cardinals participating in the Arizona Fall League as well as players competing all over the world, be sure to check out our Cardinals Winter League Notebooks, exclusively here at The Cardinal Nation.

Other interviews in this series:
Tyler Lyons
Matt Adams
Ryan Jackson
Justin Wright
Keith Butler
Coming: Oscar Taveras and pitching coach Ace Adams.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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