Danny Diekroeger, a tenth round selection by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Stanford University during the 2014 MLB Draft, spoke to Redbirds on Tuesday.
Daniel Solzman: Danny, thanks for joining Redbird Rants today. How are things treating you?
Danny Diekroeger: Things are great. It was a little hectic because the draft was during our super regional series, but now everything is settled and I’m excited to get started.
Daniel Solzman: Can you describe what it felt like when you found out you were drafted by the Cardinals in the 10th round?
Danny Diekroeger: I was pumped. I knew it was the last pick of the day so I was just hoping it would be me and all of a sudden I saw my name appear and I was just like “lets goooo!!!!” It was cool. Unfortunately I had to go take a Math final exam though, so I didn’t have much time to celebrate.
Daniel Solzman: When did you first learn that the Cardinals were interested in selecting you??
Danny Diekroeger: I had talked to the area scout last year after my junior season at Stanford and knew they were interested. They had a new area scout this year, and he was also interested, so I knew there was a chance they would pick me. The Cardinals are definitely one of the teams I was hoping to get picked by.
Daniel Solzman: What’s the reaction been like on Twitter and social media since the draft?
Danny Diekroeger: It’s been pretty cool. Right after I got picked my phone absolutely blew up and it took me like an hour to respond to everybody. I got some new followers on Twitter too, which was cool because I barely have any.
Daniel Solzman: Stanford was playing Vandy in the Super Regionals during the draft weekend. I know you would have preferred to be playing in the College World Series but are you ready to get a start on your professional career?
Danny Diekroeger: I am proud of what our team was able to accomplish. Obviously I would have loved to go to Omaha, but now that our season is over I’m really excited to head out to State College and start playing.
Daniel Solzman: How has Stanford coach Mark Marquess helped in preparing you in getting ready for the next level?
Danny Diekroeger: I can’t thank Coach Marquess and the entire staff at Stanford enough. I have come a very long way in my four years at Stanford thanks to their energy and work ethic. I can’t tell you how many times we took ground balls and batting practice, and those guys were always looking to help us improve. It was an incredible experience.
Daniel Solzman: Have you reached out to former teammate Stephen Piscotty at all since the draft??
Danny Diekroeger: Stephen actually was one of the first people to text me after I got drafted. He was really happy for me and said that I’m going to love being a Cardinal. He’s had great things to say about the organization. He’s obviously developed quite well in the system so I hope to follow in his footsteps. Justin Ringo is also a former teammate who is playing in Peoria right now. Both Justin and Stephen are two close friends of mine, so I hope I get the chance to be teammates with them again.
Daniel Solzman: You were a two-sport star in high school. Did you consider being a two-sport start in college or decided to focus in on only one sport?
Danny Diekroeger: I felt like I needed to focus on one of the two if I wanted to develop as a player, so that’s why I ultimately went with baseball. I had some interest to play football, but a little more for baseball. Also the recruiting process for baseball started a little earlier, and when Stanford gave me an offer, I couldn’t refuse. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if I had chosen football, but I love baseball and I’m happy with my decision.
Daniel Solzman: Seeing as how the Cardinals have been developing their prospects of late, are you looking forward to working with the coaches and veterans during Spring Training next year?
Danny Diekroeger: The Cardinals have the best development system so I feel extremely lucky and blessed to be given this opportunity. I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be as a player, so I can’t wait to get help from the best in the business.
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?
Danny Diekroeger: All of them. Meeting them will be pretty surreal.
Daniel Solzman: What is something that you like to do for fun when you are not playing baseball?
Danny Diekroeger: I like to play hacky sack. And eat. And sleep.
Daniel Solzman: Who was your favorite player growing up?
Danny Diekroeger: Derek Jeter.
Daniel Solzman: What is something that Cardinals fans should know about you?
Danny Diekroeger: I’m going to do my best to improve as a player so hopefully one day I can help us win a World Series.
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?
Danny Diekroeger: Thanks for your support!