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Q&A with Nick Petree, the "guy who can really pitch"

Though Petree has had great success so far, he is still less than 100 innings into his minor league career. Thus, what are some realistic expectations for the 23-year-old right-hander?

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

With the ninth round pick of the 2013 MLB Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Nick Petree out of Missouri State University. With just under 95 innings in his minor league career, Petree has a 1.43 ERA and a solid 23.2 K%. When hitters do make contact, his 16.0 LD% indicates that it is not often solid contact. He may not possess overpowering stuff (topping out at ~90 MPH on his fastball), but his ability to precisely locate all four of his pitches gives him quite the advantage over hitters. Nearing the one year mark since being drafted, Petree already finds himself pitching for the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals, and I wouldn't be all that surprised to see him promoted to Double-A Springfield at some point this season. Given that's where he played in his college days, this will be quite the "homecoming" for Petree.

Player Profile:

Minor League Statistics:













State College






















Palm Beach











Viva El Birdos: Being from the state of Missouri and pitching at Missouri State, what is it like pitching in the Cardinals organization? What do you think it will be like pitching at Busch one day in the future?

Nick Petree: It’s a blessing. I’m very lucky they gave me the chance to extend my baseball career and extremely happy they’re the organization that drafted me. As for pitching at Busch, I can’t even imagine how amazing that would be.

VEB: What is the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during your schooling years?

NP: When I was a freshman, one of the seniors decided to de-pants me during a game, and he happened to not only get the pants, he ended up getting everything.

VEB: Which Cardinal minor leaguer would be best suited for American Idol? How about Dancing with the Stars?

NP: For Dancing with the Stars I’m going to have to say D-Wash (David Washington). I’m not really sure about American Idol.

VEB: Take us through your typical routine on a day you are scheduled to start.

NP: I get up and eat some lunch. Then I watch a couple episodes of a show that I’m watching at the time. Right now I had been watching Sons of Anarchy, but I’ve almost finished it, so if anybody has any suggestions feel free to let me know. Before that, I watched all of Dexter. Then I head to the field, listen to some music, and stretch. After that, I head out to the field and get ready for the game.

VEB: What was the most challenging part of making the transition from shortstop to pitcher?

NP: Not getting to play every day. Having to wait every 4-5 days to play again.

VEB: What was the biggest challenge in recovering from Tommy John surgery?

NP: Watching my team play every day knowing I couldn’t help them win.

VEB: Of your four pitch repertoire, which one is your favorite to throw? Which one do you feel needs the most work going forward?

NP: My favorite pitch is my changeup, and I'd say the pitch that needs the most work is my curveball.

VEB: John Sickels of Minor League Ball wrote, "Watch out for Nick Petree. That guy can really pitch." What are your thoughts on his analysis?

NP: It’s a very good feeling when somebody like that says something good about you. I really appreciate the compliment.

VEB: What adjustments do you see yourself making going forward with your development?

NP: Developing a more consistent game and fine-tuning everything I have.

VEB: Having had Tommy John surgery yourself, what are your thoughts on the large number of pitchers having it these days?

NP: I think more pitchers are getting it partly because at a young age kids are now playing baseball almost year round so that adds more stress on the arm.

VEB: You started off 2014 with 17 straight scoreless innings for Peoria. In your mind, what is working so well for you this season?

NP: My fastball location has helped me the most in my opinion so far.

VEB: Who is the best/most difficult hitter you have faced so far?

NP: That’s tough. I’d say probably Austin Meadows. He had very good success off of me.

VEB: Which Cardinal minor leaguer should fans be most looking out for? Other than yourself of course.

NP: We have a lot of talented players in the system. There are just too many to point one out.

VEB: Finally, what was it like playing with Tate Matheny while at Missouri State?

NP: Awesome. He is a good player and a good kid as well.

I thank Nick for taking the time to answer these questions for us, and I wish him continued success in his professional career. You can follow him on Twitter: @NPetree10