Catcher Nick Derba was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the
30th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of
After his junior season, the backstop helped lead
A chemistry/biology double major who possibly has medical school in
his future, Derba was a member of the Pen & Sword Society as well as
While playing three summers in the prestigious Cape Cod League,
Derba served as a counselor at the
more for his glove work than his bat, on draft day 2007, Derba was coming off a
college season in which he hit .281/.440/.563 with 11 home runs. The Cardinals assigned the
games for the Swing, he hit .268/.391/.372 in 49 games for a team that made the
playoffs. According to Baseball
season has to be classified as a disappointment for Derba. Playing for
I was able to catch up with Derba before he heads to
Dustin Mattison: I understand that you will be playing winter ball in
Derba: I was informed by our catching rover, Dann Bilardello, that he was
coaching a team in
DM: Tell me about your first big league spring training.
Big league spring training was great. I had and have the opportunity to work
with some of the best defensive catchers. You can't really go wrong with
learning from Yadier Molina, Mike Matheny, Jason LaRue and Mark Johnson.
DM: Was it comforting to know that a former Jasper, Mike Parisi, was there with you?
was definitely more comfortable with Mike around. He's a very good friend of
mine but after the first few days I saw him mainly during bullpens and
DM: Tell me about draft day 2007. Were there other teams in contact with you besides the Cardinals? What did you know about the Cardinal organization before they drafted you?
ND: Draft day was pretty exciting. Even though I spoke to other teams, I wasn't expecting to get drafted. I left the computer on all day and three picks before I was called, my computer shut off. When I got the phone call I nearly hit the roof. Any baseball fan knows that Cardinals organization is always at the top and has been throughout the history of baseball. At the time I didn't care who drafted me but now I definitely appreciate whom I belong to.
DM: You played three summers on the
The three summers in the
DM: How helpful was it that you were already familiar with hitting with wood?
Frankly, I really wasn't able to handle the wood in College until my senior year
but that time really showed me some things about hitting.
DM: You were named to the Academic All-MAAC team while majoring in biology so it is obvious that academics are quite important to you. What would you being doing with your education if you were not playing baseball?
Originally after I graduated, I planned on furthering my education to
DM: Your father, Victor, is a retired teacher who has his own fan club page on Facebook. What are your feelings on this and more importantly, how does he feel about this?
father is retired from the Public School System but still teaches at
DM: What do you like to do when you are not playing baseball?
Besides playing ball, I like to fish no matter the season. Golf is great in the
off-season, Guitar Hero and Mario Kart DS are always great time-fillers. I read
with the morning cup of beans.
I appreciate Nick taking the time to do this piece. I wish him the best of luck in his future with the Cardinals. Remember, keep up on Nick and all the Cardinals farmhands playing winter ball here at The Birdhouse.
Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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