Not unlike their approach in recent drafts, the St. Louis Cardinals put aside extra money from the first 10 rounds of the First-Year Player Draft in 2014 for a special purpose. The cash was used to convince a top high school player drafted later who was already committed to college to change his mind and become a professional baseball player instead.
That money, a reported $700,000, comparable to what a third-rounder would receive, was offered to and accepted by a two-way New Jersey prep star, Bryan Dobzanski. The Louisville commit was unique in that he had also excelled in wrestling as a prep athlete.
Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 220 pounds, Dobzanski was the last major pick by the Cards to sign this summer, heading to the Gulf Coast League at the end of June. He made his professional debut in relief on July 11 and made three more appearances out of the bullpen before finishing his campaign with four consecutive starts.
It was a successful summer for Dobzanski, as the 19-year-old allowed eight earned runs in 27 innings for a 2.67 ERA. The right-hander fanned 17 and walked seven while holding GCL hitters to a collective .187 batting average.
In the most recent Cardinals system prospect rankings from The Cardinal Nation, Dobzanski is the organization’s 25th ranked player, up from 36th in July. Among pitchers, he is 12th.
I caught up with Dobzanski in Jupiter, Florida as he is concluding his first season as a pro in the Cardinals instructional league camp. In the following audio interview, Dobzanski discusses his background, his decision to turn professional, his mound offerings and more.
The Cardinal Nation’s extensive series of player and coach interviews from Cardinals instructional league camp in Jupiter will continue in the upcoming days. They will include Mike Shildt, Derrick May, Tim Leveque, Oscar Mercado, Malik Collymore, Carson Kelly, Mason Katz, Rowan Wick, Chris Rivera and Jery Then.
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