Getting to know Cardinals' prospect Mike Antico

I was able to catch up with the speedy outfielder for the Springfield Cardinals and talk to him about his baseball career.
Springfield Cardinals v Amarillo Sod Poodles
Springfield Cardinals v Amarillo Sod Poodles / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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At what point did you know you wanted to be a professional baseball player?

Since I started playing as young as I can remember. It was always the goal, and it was my main focus. I still can think back on my tee ball times, and I remember many moments playing baseball as a kid.

Tell me a little bit about your college journey. You were highly ranked coming out of high school, and you saw plenty of success at both St. John’s and Texas. What was it like playing with notoriety?

I committed to St. John's pretty early. I think coming into St. John's I was just trying to get better, and I didn't think about who I was very often. In my mind, I wasn't a very highly-ranked guy. My goal was to get better each year. St. John's was a huge part of my journey. I had good intentions my senior year; I was going to finish my degree and get drafted, but obviously COVID put those plans back a little.

Did you choose to play one more year post-grad due to the shortened 2020 season?

I never really thought about transferring, but the opportunity came due to an extra year of eligibility from the COVID season. It was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. Most of my draft recognition came from playing at Texas. COVID threw a wrench into my plans my senior year, and my time at Texas was a gift for my professional career.

What was your draft experience like?

It had been my third time through the draft process, fourth if you count high school. I tried right out of high school, after my junior and senior years, and then after my year at Texas. I wasn't thinking about it much. I was headed to Omaha for the College World Series. My friend and I were not interested in watching. We just took a ride and didn't listen to the draft. We found out via phone call. I really didn't think the Cardinals were on my radar, but I'm happy to be in the organization. It's a historic organization.

You hold the record for the most stolen bases in a single season in Springfield’s franchise history. How proud of that are you?

I want major league stolen bases. I look at a variety of things to get some tells when stealing bases. I pay attention to the pitcher and catcher, see what they're trying to do with the hitter. Last season was definitely fun. I didn't really know until I got close. I figured I would be able to hit the mark, and it's great to have that single-season record to my name.

Who are some of your favorite players you’ve played with in the minors?

Definitely Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn. All three of us played here together in 2022. That was a great team; we had a lot of fun. Playing with Pedro Pages was great. We were grinding it out. Playing behind Tink Hence is unbelievable. He's a competitor, and I'm really tight with him. All 5 of us are still really good friends.

We have a really tight group of guys throughout the minors. It's a solid group of guys with some superstars. It's exciting, and the future is definitely bright for the organization.

What are some of your goals for this season? The near future?

Consistency. I want every part of my game to be consistent: defense, baserunning, at the plate. It's the goal for every player, but it's not an easy part of the game. I want to be as skilled as I can at each area of my game. I'm working on everything. Whenever my call-up to the majors happens, I'll be ready. I've been going through this for a few years now, and I'll be well-prepared when it does happen.