Anthony Ferrara: Playing for Favorite Team

As the recent Gulf Coast League schedule ended, Dustin Mattison caught up with St. Louis Cardinals left-handed pitching prospect Anthony Ferrara in this exclusive interview.

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Anthony Ferrara in the seventh round of 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft.  Regarded as one of the top left-handed prep pitchers available, Ferrara fell to the seventh round due to concerns over a bicep injury that plagued his summer the year before the draft. 

 

Ferrara felt a twinge in his left shoulder that was at first incorrectly diagnosed as tendonitis.  The famed Dr. James Andrews would later correctly identify it as a muscle imbalance.  Surgery would not be necessary and Ferrara used a strength and conditioning program for his rehab.  During this whole time, he never lost any of his velocity. 

 

Selected to participate in the 2007 AFLAC All-American Game, the southpaw did not participate in the contest but did take part in the home run derby. 

 

His senior season in high school in Riverview, Florida brought mixed results.   Ferrara posted an ERA of 2.74 with 81 strikeouts in 46 innings but had only a record of 4-4 to show for it. 

 

On draft day, Ferrara began getting calls as early as the second round but found he was still undrafted when day one was complete.  He did not have much time to worry about his status on day two when the Cardinals made him the 13th pick of the day. 

 

The Cardinals bought out his commitment to the University of South Florida for $150,000.  Assigned to the Gulf Coast League, Ferrara posted an ERA of 4.50 with 36 strikeouts in 30 innings.

 

I recently caught up with Anthony and he was gracious enough to agree to answer some questions for me. 

 

 

Dustin Mattison: How is the arm and more specifically, the bicep?

 

Anthony Ferrara: The arm is great, perfect. 

DM: Tell me about Anthony Ferrara, the pitcher. What pitches do you throw?

 

AF: I throw a two-seam and a four-seam fastball.  To go along with a change up, I throw a curve and a slider. 

DM: How trying was draft day?

 

AF: Draft day was really tough because of the doctor's misdiagnosis. But now that it's over and the Cardinals selected me, I couldn't be happier.  It is a great organization.

DM:  What has been the most exciting highlight of your short pro career?

 

AF: The highlight definitely had to be the 12-inning win against the Mets. It was easily one of the best games I have ever seen.  (Writer's note:  The game was played on August 10 with the Cardinals winning, 6-5, in 12 innings.)

DM: What has been the toughest part of baseball as a professional? Has anything caught you off guard?

 

AF: I love it so far.  The first day I reported I was real nervous because everyone was running around and you have to take care of yourself.  No one babies you and tells you where you need to be; you have to know that before practice starts.  

DM: Have the Cardinals given you any indication if they feel your future is as a starter or a reliever?

 

AF: I don't have any clue about the starter or reliever situation.  We had a piggy back rotation this year so I would start one game and then relieve the next. 

DM: When you are not playing baseball, what do you like to do?

 

AF: When I am not playing, I love watching racing.  I have real close friends and family that race at a local dirt track.  

DM: What team did you root for growing up? What did you know of the Cardinals before they drafted you?

 

AF: Actually, it is funny because I have always grown up a Cardinal fan.  When I was growing up, one of my best friends' (and catcher) Dad played for the Cardinals and he played with the scout that drafted me.  When I got into high school, my coach went to college in St. Louis and is a diehard Cards fan.  

DM: What are your off-season plans?

 

AF:  This off-season I plan to work with The Baseball Factory, which is a scouting program for amateur players.  I am going to help them run camps and I plan on working out with my high school coach. 

DM: What should Cardinal fans know about you that they may not already know?

 

AF: I am going to do my best and hopefully I can to bring their team to the top. 

 

 

I thank Anthony for his time and wish him the best of luck in his career with the Cardinals. I believe he will quickly establish himself as one of the best pitching prospects in the system.   

 

 

Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at dustin@whiteyball.com.

 

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