Exclusive Interview: Cards #1 Pick Pete Kozma

The St. Louis Cardinals' first round pick in the 2007 draft, a shortstop from Owasso, Oklahoma, spoke with Brian Walton on a number of topics. Pete Kozma discusses how and when he became a shortstop, who he models himself after, what parts of his play he wants to improve upon as well as addresses the criticism raised by ESPN and others about his game and much more in this exclusive interview.

Shortstop Pete Kozma was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with their first pick, 18th overall, in last Thursday's 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Kozma, 19, is an All-American from Owasso High School in Owasso, Oklahoma.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Kozma finished his senior season with team-bests in batting average (.522), runs (56), RBI (55) and home runs (11). He struck out just five times in 113 at-bats and had 23 walks. Kozma had a three-home run game in the Oklahoma state 6-A playoffs and helped lead the school to a state title as his solo shot was the only run in Owasso's 1-0 championship win.

Kozma posted a .491 career batting average at Owasso (171-for-348) and scored 154 runs with 140 RBI and 30 home runs. His .553 batting average as a junior was a school record. Though Kozma made a commitment to attend Wichita State University, he seems ready to begin his professional career once his contract negotiations with the Cardinals are complete.

In this exclusive interview, Kozma discusses how and when he became a shortstop, who he models himself after (not Nomar Garciaparra, Mark Loretta or Jack Wilson), what parts of his play he wants to improve upon as well as addresses the criticism raised by ESPN and others about his game and much more!

The audio follows.

(8:16)



In case you missed them, here are our other exclusive interviews of Cardinals 2007 draftees posted since draft day with more on the way:

Supplemental first-rounder Clayton Mortensen

Third-round pick Daniel Descalso

Sixth-round pick Oliver Marmol

We remain proud to give you, our subscribers, depth and breadth of Cardinals system coverage you can't get anywhere else.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


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