Interview: Cardinals Rule 5 Pick Erik Komatsu

Dustin Mattison catches up with one of the newest members of the St. Louis Cardinals organization, outfielder Erik Komatsu.

The St. Louis Cardinals were active during last week's Rule 5 Draft, selecting Washington Nationals outfielder Erik Komatsu. The 24-year-old is coming off a season in which he posted a line of .277/.367/.382. During the summer, the former eighth round pick of Milwaukee was traded to Washington for Jerry Hairston, Jr. Komatsu was having a fantastic season at Huntsville but really struggled after the trade to the Nationals' organization.

From scouting reports, Komatsu sounds a lot like current Cardinals centerfielder Jon Jay. With an emphasis on collecting more athletic players as witnessed by last year's amateur draft, the Cardinals bringing a player like Komatsu into the fold should not be much of a surprise.

In 2010, the Cal State Fullerton product was named Brewers Minor League Player of the Year after hitting .323/.413/.442 with five home runs and 28 stolen bases. In high school, he was a teammate of current Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young.

Komatsu recently took time out of his offseason schedule to answer a few questions.

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

Erik Komatsu: I was sleeping and woke up to my phone buzzing on the table next to my bed at about 715 am.

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

EK: I got a call from the front office that day and was welcomed to the organization.

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

EK: I had no clue I was going to be picked since there is so much talent out there and limited picks but thankful I was picked.

DM: Give me a scouting report on yourself.

EK: My game basically is being hardnosed and setting the table for the big guys to drive me in. I play all three outfield spots although I feel best in centerfield. I get on base, run, go first-to-third and I have the ability to poke one out of the yard every once in awhile.

DM: How exciting is it that you will be working with Mark McGwire and hitters such as Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman?

EK: I'm excited to have the chance of working with a legend and such great veteran hitters so I can learn as much as I can from them.

DM: What do you know about the Cardinals organization?

EK: I know the Cardinals are a great organization and I actually played for the Cardinals scout team in high school and it is cool to be part of a team with so much history.

DM: During 2011, you were traded during the season. How difficult was it to change organizations during the season?

EK: Getting traded was a shock. One day you're with the guys you've played with for years then you go to a team where you don't know anyone so there's an adjustment period.

DM: How are you spending your offseason?

EK: I was battling through an injury that I had been dealing with all year that was diagnosed in spring training (stress fracture in the ball of my foot). It was tough but I got through it. Now, I'm healthy and currently training. Right now, I am getting my body into shape for the upcoming season and honing my skills to get better each day.

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

EK: I love music and making music (hip hop mainly). I've recently picked up making instrumentals and its pretty complex but fun.

Earlier interview: Cardinals Rule 5 Pick Barret Browning.



Dustin can be contacted at dustin@whiteyball.com. Follow Dustin on Twitter.

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