In this past June's MLB First Year Player Draft, the team the 22-year-old grew up rooting for as a child gave him the opportunity to move closer to realizing that dream. During the 35th round, the Cardinals selected the right-handed pitcher out of Lincoln University.
With the opportunity given to him, Moss has definitely made the most of it. In 26 innings of Appalachian League play, he has posted an ERA of 1.73 with 25 strikeouts and only eight walks.
Recently, Moss was kind of enough to take some time out of his schedule to talk about the thrill of being selected by the Cardinals and how Eastern Tennessee compares to Piedmont.
Dustin Mattison: What has been your impression of professional baseball?
Andy Moss: I have been very impressed with how hard everyone works. Everyone is on the same page, they all want to get to the same place.
DM: What has surprised you the most?
AM: The number of Latin players in professional baseball.
DM: Have you learned to speak Spanish?
AM: (Laughing) A little bit.
DM: Take me through your draft day?
AM: I was nervous because I did not get picked up until the third day. After the second day, the scout that had watched me play called me and told me they had planned on picking me the next day. That relieved a lot of stress for me.
DM: That was the Cardinals scout? Were there other teams in the mix?
AM: Yes. The Royals showed interest.
DM: Like you, I grew up in Southeast Missouri. It must have been a dream come true to be picked by the Cardinals.
AM: I couldn't imagine being picked by another team. The Cardinals were always the team I wanted to pick me. They have always been my favorite team.
DM: What has been your family, friends' reaction during this time? They have to be enjoying this as much as you.
AM: They are excited for me and proud of me.
DM: Give me a scouting report on Andy Moss.
AM: I like to change eye levels and change speeds. I also like to mix up my pitches and try to keep guys off balance.
DM: What pitches are in your repertoire?
AM: I throw and two-seamer, a four-seamer, a slider, curveball, and a change up.
DM: Tell me about your professional debut. What was it like warming up in the bullpen knowing you were about to fulfill part of your dream?
AM: It was basically like any other game I have warmed up for.
DM: You mean to tell me there weren't some extra butterflies?
AM: Yeah, there were. I tried to act like there weren't but they were there.
DM: How are you enjoying Eastern Tennessee? It has to remind you some of your hometown of Piedmont.
AM: It reminds me a lot of Piedmont. There isn't a lot to do but I am here for one reason.
DM: Have any of your friends or family made the trip out to see you?
AM: Not yet but my mom is planning on coming out.
DM: When you are not playing baseball, how do you like to spend your time?
AM: I like to hang out with my friends. I really enjoy to fish but I haven't had the chance since I have been out here. I like golfing but I haven't had any time to do that either.
DM: The way you have been pitching, you might not stay in Johnson City very long. Is that exciting for a player to know that the Cardinal organization is so aggressive in their promotions?
AM: I would love to get moved up but it is up to the team to decide if I am ready or not. One of the best things about the Cardinals organization is that they give everyone the same opportunity; if you produce, you will get moved up.
DM: What should Cardinal fans know about you that they probably should?
AM: I love the game and will give it everything I have to make it as far as I can.
I thank Andy for his time and wish him the best of luck in his professional career with the Cardinals.
Previous interviews in our Cardinals 2009 Draft Interview Series:
Tyler Lavigne (50th Round)
Justin Edwards (41st Round)
Matt Adams (23rd Round)
Christian Beatty (26th Round)
Matt Carpenter (13th Round)
Scott Bittle (4th Round)
Scott Schneider (20th Round)
Alan Ahmady (11th Round)
Ross Smith (14th Round)
Nick McCully (7th Round)
Robert Stock (2nd Round)
Joe Kelly (3rd Round)
Dustin can be contacted at email@example.com.
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