Interview: Cards Rule 5 Pick Barret Browning

Dustin Mattison catches up with one of the newest members of the St. Louis Cardinals organization, left-handed pitcher Barret Browning.

One of the major deficiencies in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system in recent years has been left-handed pitching. Though the Cardinals have developed one of the best young left-handers in the game, Jaime Garcia, the depth is thin, especially at the upper minors. The organization took a step in helping alleviate that during the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday.

On the same day that Albert Pujols left the team for the Los Angeles Angels, the Cardinals plucked a player out of the Angels' organization. Lefty Barret Browning was originally selected in the 28th round in the 2006 draft out of Florida State University.

In six seasons, the 26-year-old has a record of 27-24 with a 4.22 ERA. In 426.1 career innings, he has racked up 392 strikeouts while walking 193 and logging 16 saves.

Browning is currently in the Dominican Republic where he has made four starts for Las Aguilas Cibaenas. In 18.2 innings, the southpaw is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA with 14 strikeouts and seven walks.

While in the Dominican, Browning was kind enough to share his feelings on being selected by the Cardinals.

Dustin Mattison: What were you doing when you found out the Cardinals had selected you in the Rule 5 draft?

Barret Browning: I was actually asleep in the Dominican Republic when my wife called to tell me the news. My agent texted her and told her, then she informed me. I made her promise to me that she wasn't playing a joke on me.

DM: Has anyone from the Cardinals made contact with you?

BB: I haven't heard from anyone yet, but I am sure they will be in touch with me or my agent soon. Being that I am in winterball it is tough even for my family to reach me sometimes.

DM: Did you have any forewarning that you might be selected?

BB: I had no forewarning about being selected, and it was a very welcomed surprise.

DM: Give me a scouting report on yourself.

BB: I'd say I am in one word a competitor. I throw a sinker, 4-seamer, slider and changeup. My velocity is normally from 88-91 and i will top out at 94 on rare occasion. I have been a starter in college and here in winterball, but have been a reliever most of my career in professional baseball other than a few spot-starts. I fight for every out and am a firm believer in giving everything you have everyday with the understanding that not everything will go my way.

DM: You share a hometown with Adam Wainwright. Do you know him and have you ever spent time/worked out with him?

BB: I was actually born in Brunswick, which is where Adam is from, but I live in Jesup, GA. Jesup is about 30-45 minutes west of Brunswick. I met him once, and played against him in high school. We beat him that game, and it is something that people in our town still talk about at times. He was a great pitcher then, and I think we all know he is one of the best in the game now.

DM: On the same day Albert Pujols signs with the Angels, you go from the Angels to the Cardinals as if you were traded for the three-time MVP. Any thoughts about that?

BB: I think the timing of his signing with the Angels and my being selected by the Cardinals was very funny. Obviously the two moves were in now way related, but it is kinda cool. I would have loved to meet and/or play with him, but I am very, very happy with the way things have changed for me.

DM: What do you know about the Cardinals organization?

BB: As for the organization, I know that they have a long tradition of winning. Also, I know that they have arguably one of the strongest, proudest, and most loyal fan bases in the game. I have always said that I thought that they had the best uniforms in the game, and it is a great joy to know that I have the opportunity to wear one, one day.

DM: How do you spend your time when you are not playing baseball?

BB: When I am not playing baseball, I am usually working and spending time with my wife Meah. I love to spend time with family and friends especially because I am gone so much of the year. As for hobbies I hunt, fish, and play golf as much as possible.

DM: Tell me something about yourself that Cardinal fans should know.

BB: I am very thankful to serve a faithful God. He has carried me to this point and has a purpose for me. I will give the Cardinals and the fans everything I have.

I appreciate Barret taking time out his busy schedule to talk with me and I wish him the best of luck in his future with the Cardinals.

Dustin can be contacted at Follow Dustin on Twitter.

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