Mason Katz, a 2013 fourth-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, recently joined Redbird Rants for an interview.
Daniel Solzman: Mason, thank you for joining Redbird Rants today and congrats on being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. How are things treating you this offseason? Did you get to do anything exciting?
Mason Katz: The offseason is going great. I have enjoyed it very much. I was able to go on a little cruise with my girlfriend to the Bahamas which was very fun and relaxing; however, I am ready for baseball season to be back.
Daniel Solzman: Your first professional season was spent playing for the State College Spikes? How did you adjust from the college level to low-A ball?
Mason Katz: The adjustment wasn’t too tough. The major difference was having a game every day and learning the different routines.
Daniel Solzman: How did LSU coach Paul Mainieri prepare you for the next level?
Mason Katz: Coach Mainieri is a great coach to play for. Playing for him taught me so much about the game. He helped me prepare for professional baseball because the way our game day routine is run is very professional like. Also, he helped me grow so much more as a player and without him and the other coaches on the staff, I know that I would not be where I am today.
Daniel Solzman: How honored were you to have been named as an All-American after the 2013 season?
Mason Katz: Being honored as an All-American was an incredible feeling. Having the work you put in recognized is truly a humbling feeling. I give all of the credit to my coaches and teammates because I could not have had any of the success I achieved without those people surrounding me.
Daniel Solzman: What was the College World Series experience like?
Mason Katz: The College World Series was an unbelievable experience. Unfortunately we did not play how we expected and it ended so quickly but it was an experience I will never forget.
Daniel Solzman: When did you know that the Cardinals were interested in drafting you?
Mason Katz: I had a few meetings with my area scout, Nick Brannon, but on draft day I got a call from him a few picks before they picked me.
Daniel Solzman: Did you do anything in the days prior to try and take your mind off the draft or were you focused in on the postseason at the time?
Mason Katz: I didn’t do anything different to take my mind off of the draft. Being a senior on our LSU team, my only thoughts were on making the World Series and leading our team. That was the reason I chose LSU and nothing would take my mind away from that.
Daniel Solzman: You got to play with Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman, who was drafted as the 4th overall pick of the 2012 draft. Are you surprised at all by what he’s been able to accomplish so far?
Mason Katz: I am not surprised at all with what Kevin has accomplished already. I had the pleasure of watching Kevin grow from a gifted high school talent into a one of a kind, hard working professional. He deserves all of the success and praise that goes his way.
Daniel Solzman: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Daniel Solzman: As a second baseman, is there anyone in particular that you model your game after?
Mason Katz: As a second baseman, I try to model my game after Ian Kinsler. I love how he plays the game hard every day and he goes about things the right way.
Daniel Solzman: During the season, what is the typical day in the life like?
Mason Katz: A typical day would be to get some sort of workout in in the morning. Get some lunch and then return to the field to start preparing for batting practice. After batting practice we typically played cards to relax before game time.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again for joining Redbird Rants and we can’t wait to see you playing at Busch Stadium. Any final words for the best fans in baseball?
Mason Katz: Thank you for taking your time to interview me and I can’t wait for the 2014 season and my future with the St. Louis Cardinals!