Left-handed pitcher, Tim Cooney, appreciates the significance of his transition from college baseball to professional baseball. A life-long baseball fan from just outside of Philadelphia, PA., Cooney is doing what he loves and won't settle for anything less than a destiny in the Major Leagues.
The 21-year-old out of Wake Forest was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round of the 2012 amateur draft. He admits he was both surprised and happy to be taken by the Cardinals, citing the quality of their organization as a whole.
"I was really pretty shocked," Cooney admitted. "[The Cardinals and I] hadn't talked in over a month. It was awesome because they are such a good organization. I already knew a lot about the team."
Recognizing their recent championship and ability to draft quality players helped Cooney understand the significance of the Cardinals' selection. His overall fandom has helped mold him into the person and player that he is today.
A life-long Phillies fan, Cooney has been greatly influenced by fellow left-handed-pitcher, and Phillies star, Cole Hamels.
"Cole Hamels has been one of the best pitchers for four or five years," Cooney pointed out. "I can watch and try to learn from him."
Cooney pointed out that Hamels has similar qualities to himself. Both are left-handed, throw in the low-90's and possess off-speed pitches to fool hitters. He recognizes what sets Hamels apart from other pitchers in the league and wishes to duplicate what has made Hamels successful.
When asked what scouts saw in him, Cooney said that "scouts try not to show their hand." He said that the only thing they told him was that he threw decently hard and had good command, but nothing more. With that said, Cooney has learned quickly what he needs to improve on in order to take the next step in his journey.
"I'm working on a few things," said Cooney. "I've worked on my fastball velocity, throwing off-speed pitches for strikes. I've also worked on commanding my changeup."
"I'm here to improve. It's as much about winning as it is about improving as players," Cooney said.
Although, it's a main goal to improve at this level, there is also a change in the overall skill level that Cooney has to adapt to from college to pro baseball.
"I think this is a little step up," Cooney claimed. "More guys throw pretty hard and hitters have a bit more power, but it is kind of offset with the wooden bats."
Cooney will use the remaining month-and-a-half of the season to continue to improve and learn as much as he can, and hopefully he will progress through the Cardinals' minor league system and give Cole Hamels some new competition in the Majors.
Other facts about Tim:
Favorite non-baseball sports team:
-The Philadelphia Eagles (family had season tickets growing up).
-Pretty much anything. Recently started listening to classic rock (specifically, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Creedence Clearwater Revival).
On -field game he would most be interested in playing before innings:
Favorite non-baseball sport to play:
-Golf. Likes to play with friends and family. Even played before this interview.
-Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.