Last March, I caught up with Rosenthal on the back fields of the Roger Dean Stadium complex as he was completing drills with the other attendees. At that time, I wondered if I had been the then-20-year-old's first media interview.
This spring, despite a total of zero innings pitched above Class A, Rosenthal was the last minor league starting pitcher remaining in the Cardinals major league camp. He impressed everyone who saw him with his upper 90's heat, good secondary pitches and a maturity beyond his years.
In major league games, Rosenthal allowed just one earned run in seven innings. He fanned five, walked two while holding opposing hitters to a collective .200 batting average.
In recognition of this, Rosenthal has become my first 2012 subject in this series.
I caught up with the Lee's Summit, Mo. native the morning before he pitched in his final major league game of the spring, a shutout inning against the Houston Astros at their home park that included strikeouts of Jack Cust and Jason Ruggiano. Since, Rosenthal threw a perfect three innings, fanning six, in his first minor league outing.
At this point, the only question that seems to remain is whether the top pitcher of the 2011 Midwest League playoffs will make the unusual move of skipping Palm Beach completely and joining Springfield to start the season.
Listen in to my discussion with Rosenthal:
What's coming? Other exclusive interviews ahead in this series include Matt Adams, Erik Komatsu, Tommy Pham, Moises Rodriguez, John Vuch, Derrick May and Chris Maloney.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his minor league features during the season at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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