Team USA Interviews: Coach Rick Eckstein

Memphis hitting coach Rick Eckstein discusses his three Cardinals charges on Team USA and his career.

Rick Eckstein just completed his first season with the St. Louis Cardinals, though he is no stranger to the organization. His brother, David, was the Cardinals shortstop for the last three seasons and Rick had been invited to the 2005 All-Star Game to assist Manager Tony La Russa and his staff.

Prior to 2007, Eckstein spent the three previous seasons in the Washington Nationals organization, most recently in 2006 as hitting coach for the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs. Rick was a coach with short-season Single-A Vermont in 2005 and coached the final month of the 2004 season with Harrisburg.

Eckstein had coaching stints in the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Devil Rays organizations and also coached at the collegiate level at the University of Georgia and University of Florida.

During his coaching career, Eckstein has served in a variety of roles, including hitting coach as well as strength and conditioning coach. He played college ball at the University of Florida, where he graduated in 1997 with a BA in Exercise Sport Science.

Eckstein began his Team USA career as bullpen coach during the inaugural World Baseball Classic prior to the 2006 season. He is now manager Davey Johnson's third base coach this year and was just named to the USA staff for the 2008 Olympics.

In this exclusive interview, granted the day before his team left for the IBAF Tournament in Taiwan, Eckstein discusses the three Cardinals prospects on Team USA - Colby Rasmus, Chris Perez and Bryan Anderson - his brother's contract situation as well as his own career.


Come back here to for 11 more exclusive Cardinals interviews straight from Team USA and the Arizona Fall League, including Perez, Rasmus, Anderson, Mark Riggins, Jarrett Hoffpauir, Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte, Mark Hamilton, Luke Gregerson, Stuart Pomeranz, and Amaury Marti.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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