GRB is very excited to bring you a new interview with 2007 Cards first round draft pick Pete Kozma!
Pete Kozma's BA scouting report
39. Pete Kozma, ss
School: Owasso (Okla.) HS. Class: Sr.
B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 180. Birthdate: 4/11/88.
Scouting Report: There may not be a true middle infielder drafted in the first round this year, but Kozma is as good a candidate as any. He impressed scouting directors when his team made a swing through Florida in late March, and he had a three-homer game in an Oklahoma 6-A playoff contest. Kozma has no true standout tool, but he also has no glaring weakness. He grades out as average to slightly above-average in every tool except power, and he does have pop. His instincts help him play above his physical ability at bat, on the bases and in the field. He has good plate coverage and uses the entire field, projecting as a future No. 2 hitter in a big league lineup. Coming into the spring, some scouts questioned whether he'd be a long-term shortstop, but he has no doubters now. A Wichita State recruit, Kozma draws raves for his consistency and energy as well.
GRB: Being from Owasso, did you grow up a Cardinals fan? Rangers fan?
What was your favorite team growing up?
Kozma: My favorite growing up was the Detroit tigers because my dad is from Detroit.
GRB: Who was your favorite player growing up and why?
Kozma: My favorite player growing up was Omar Vizquel and he still is because he is the smoothest most fundamental shortstop in the game right now and maybe of all-time.
GRB: What was your most memorable moment during your HS baseball career?
Kozma: My most memorable HS moment was hitting the homerun in the state finals to win the game.
GRB: How surprised were you to be taken with the 18th pick?
Kozma: I was as surprised as a person could be. I couldn’t believe it.
GRB: Seeing that you are possibly a regional fan, did that affect your reaction to being drafted by the Cards?
Kozma: It really didn’t affect my reaction too much because I was just so excited as a whole.
GRB: Since you've been drafted, have you had the chance to meet anyone from the Cards organization? Visit the clubhouse? Chat with David Eckstein or Albert Pujols? If so, what was that experience like?
Kozma: I haven’t got to do anything exciting like that yet but I hope to see it pretty soon.
GRB: Which current player on the MLB Cardinals do you most look forward to hopefully play with someday, and why?
Kozma: I would have to say Albert Pujols because he is arguably the best player in the league.
GRB: Is there any big league player that you try to model your game after? What player in the big leagues most resembles the type of player that you think you can become?
Kozma: There really isn’t a player I try to model myself after I just go out and play hard.
GRB: What part of your game do you feel is your strongest suit? Also, is there any particular skill set that you work on more than others?
Kozma: I feel the strongest part of my game is my defense right now but I intend on working on my hitting as much as possible.
GRB: In addition to being a first round draft pick, Jeff Luhnow has compared you to guys like Nomar Garciaparra and Michael Young. Do you feel any extra pressure from such comparisons?
Kozma: I would say I feel a little extra pressure because those are 2 really big names in the game right now.
GRB: What is the toughest aspect to playing shortstop?
Kozma: I don’t think there is one particular aspect that is hard about playing SS. I think that every aspect to playing SS is hard.
GRB: Though it certainly seems like you've got the skills to stay at shortstop, would you ever consider or be open to the idea of moving to second base?
Kozma: Moving to 2nd wouldn’t bother me at all.
GRB: As a Creighton fan, I'm glad to see you're going to my other favourite team and not the Shox. Have you had the chance to watch any of your other fellow Cardinal draftees during the College World Series? What did you think?
Kozma: No I didn’t have much time to watch the college world series at all but I wish I could have.
GRB: Pete, can you tell us about your relationship with Steve Gossett? In what ways did he help you?
Kozma: My relationship with Steve Gossett is a lot better than most scouts mostly because he coached me in the Area Code games in Long Beach last summer. This is where we really got to know each other.
GRB: Can you pitch?
Kozma: I wish I could pitch.
GRB: What number do you wear?
Kozma: I wear #13
GRB:My son wants to be a pro ball player. What's the best advice you could give him? (He’s 16)
Kozma: Practice a lot and work very hard.
GRB: Can you outline your amateur playing days? When did you know that you had the talent to become a MLB player?
Kozma: It is kind of hard to outline my career because it went by so fast. I think it happened when I went to the Area Code games last summer.
GRB: Which Jessica? Alba, Simpson, or Biel?
Kozma: I’m going to say Jessica Alba.
GRB: What are some of your favorite movies?
Kozma: Some of my favorite movies are Swingers, The Sandlot, Talladega Nights, Anchorman, and Tommy Boy.
GRB: What is your favourite musical group/artist?
Kozma: I really like Led Zeppelin.