St. Louis Cardinals first round draft pick Luke Weaver, a junior pitcher out of Florida State, spoke to Redbird Rants on Friday afternoon following the 2014 MLB Draft. Weaver was the 27th overall pick on Thursday night.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks for joining Redbird Rants today. How are things treating you down in Florida?
Luke Weaver: They’re doing well. We’ve got some nice weather and just soaking up the summer so far.
Daniel Solzman: Can you describe what it felt like when you heard your name called on Thursday night during the first round of the draft?
Luke Weaver: It’s an indescribable feeling that you hear time and time again. It’s just a special moment for me and my family and everybody that was there to support me. It’s something that I’ll always remember and it’s just a blessing.
Daniel Solzman: When did you find out that the Cardinals were interested in selecting you in the first round?
Luke Weaver: Well, me and my advisor talked a little bit. He talked to guys higher up and the GM and such. He told me that they were really interested and that there might be something there. We were shooting for the Cardinals. They were my number one choice if I could pick any team. It just happened to work out and I’m just so honored to be in the Card Nation.
Daniel Solzman: What’s the reaction been like on Twitter since the Cardinals drafted you?
Luke Weaver: It’s been pretty crazy. I think I doubled my count of followers. Just a lot of people that have been with me along the ride have been saying nice things. Just a lot of people from St. Louis welcoming me to the St. Louis Cardinals and it’s just been a cool experience so far.
Daniel Solzman: What did you do during the last week to take your mind off the draft? I know it must have been hard not to be playing in the Super Regionals this weekend.
Luke Weaver: Yeah, it was definitely tough. We were expecting to go farther with our expectations. The new plan, I guess, so to say I just had some fun. I’m up here in Tallahassee hanging out with my girlfriend and a couple teammates. We’re just kicking back and having a little fun. Watching TV and playing golf and doing all the above. It’s been a stress-less week and just having fun enjoying no baseball.
Daniel Solzman: How has Florida State coach Mike Martin helped get you ready for the next level?
Luke Weaver: There’s a lot of things. He’s such a legend in college baseball. When you come to Florida State, you know the tradition and what he’s brought to the table. It’s exciting to come play for him. He just does a good job of maturing you as an individual and getting you into to our system which is similar to the next level, so to say. It’s a great coaching staff and you learn a lot.
Luke Weaver: James actually shot me a text and something on Twitter. I played with him for a year. The other guys, I’ve never met or talked to. We’re one big family and I’m sure I’ll get to talk to them soon enough. Ramsey is telling me that he is going to help me out along the way. If I need anything, just to let him know. It’s nice to have a guy that…
Daniel Solzman: One of the things the Cardinals are known lately is developing pitchers over the last few seasons, are you looking forward to working with the coaches and veterans during Spring Training next year?
Luke Weaver: Oh, absolutely. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the pitching and the farm system—they have such a lead on—to the bullpen, the starters, the young guys, the order guys. Wainwright and Wacha. It’s just an exciting team to watch on TV. Being able to be a part of it is just an awesome experience and I’m just super excited.
Daniel Solzman: The Hall of Famers always make a visit in Jupiter during Spring Training. Is there anyone in particular that you are really looking forward to meeting?
Luke Weaver: No. There all famous for a reason and it would all be awesome experience meeting any of them. One guy that has been pretty fun is Ozzie Smith with the way he goes about his stuff. Anyone of them would be awesome.
Daniel Solzman: You got to represent the country while playing for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team in the summer of 2013 with nine other first round draft picks. A few others, including Austin Cousino, got drafted (on Friday). In fact, you are the third consecutive first round pick by the Cardinals to play for the Collegiate National Team. What was that experience like with being able to represent your country?
Luke Weaver: Oh, man. It’s an indescribable feeling as well. Being able to be invited and getting able to play a whole summer there, it’s close to getting to the big leagues, I’d say. It’s just an awesome feeling and knowing that you’re a participant and representing the country and the colors. It’s an absolute honor. Playing with that type of talent and learning from them, it’s just an awesome feeling
Daniel Solzman: What is something that Cardinals fans should know about you?
Luke Weaver: Well, I’m a goofy outgoing individual, who is loose and likes to have a good time, joke around and such. When it comes game time, it’s a bulldog mentality and there are no jokes coming out of my mouth.
Daniel Solzman: Thanks again for joining us and best of luck as your make your way up through the organization. Any words for the best fans in baseball?
Luke Weaver: Thank you for accepting me and I hope there’s more to come.