Interview – State College's Mark Hamilton

Tulane's former first baseman and the St. Louis Cardinals' final second-round pick in the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft has acclimated well to the professional game. Mark Hamilton speaks of his progress since joining the State College Spikes of the short-season New York-Penn League.

One short month ago, I first spoke with former Tulane Green Wave first baseman Mark Hamilton just a few hours after he had been selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the final selection of the second round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Since then, the highly-decorated college player signed his first professional contract, flew to Florida for Extended Spring Training, and then joined his new teammates for the inaugural version of the State College Spikes of the short-season New York-Penn League.

Over his just-concluded college career, Hamilton hit .305 with 34 home runs and 143 RBI in 511 at-bats. Willing and able to take a walk when needed, he posted a .433 on-base percentage. Coupling that with his slugging percentage of .585, Hamilton's career OPS at Tulane was a stellar 1.018.

The whirlwind-like transition didn't seem to slow down Hamilton one bit.

In his first 21 professional games, he has continued his standout play. Hamilton leads the Spikes in numerous offensive categories, including a familiar OPS mark (1.018), home runs (seven – over double the next closest player and #1 in the league), RBI (19 – almost double and #2 in the circuit), slugging (.632), runs (16), hits (24) and total bases (48).

He is second on his team in walks (8), third in average (.316) and on-base percentage (.378) and has even added a triple and a stolen base. I have confirmed he neither passes out towels in the clubhouse nor drives the team bus, however.

Hamilton demonstrates his stance

In this exclusive audio interview, Hamilton discusses his transition over the last month on and off the field, his game, what he wants to do to continue to improve.


Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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