Prairie Ridge grad Nick Martini, 25, was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB Draft. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound right fielder has ascended through the ranks of the minor leagues, and on July 4 made his debut for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. He went two for five with a double and two RBIs in the Redbirds’ 15-1 win at Colorado. Through five games, he is hitting .353 with seven RBIs in 17 at-bats.
After a game in Springfield, I wasn’t playing. I got to pinch hit and struck out, so I was kind of upset. Then after the game, I got called in and they told me I was going up. It was pretty exciting. I just said, where am I going and when do I need to be there? I was just ready to go.
Anytime you go somewhere new, you want to try to make a good impression and get that first hit to get those nerves out of the way.
You start a season with a bunch of guys that you’re familiar with and then you go up to a new team mid-season. You want to make a good impression, but you want to try to fit in and go with the flow they have going, too.
I think the biggest difference is there’s a lot more guys who have been to the highest level. They know what they want to do. There’s a lot more guys with their own specific stuff that they have to get done. There’s just a lot more going on, really.
Our Double-A park was really nice. I think our Triple-A park is one of the nicest, too. Our lights are so good at night that it seems like it’s day time. That’s a good thing.
You get to fly, now. It’s better than the long bus rides. You get to go to Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, a bunch of different places.
When you grow up a die-hard Cubs fan, you don’t like the Cardinals at all. They’re always winning. It’s good to be a part of that and see that tradition and be part of it. I’ll still follow the Cubs, because it’s the hometown team. But now that I’m with the Cardinals, I’m all in for the Cardinals.
I’m just trying to be consistent every single day. I’m trying to make consistent contact every single day. I think if I play my game, I don’t see any reason why I can’t be there.
You just see how difficult it is at times. At some point, you’re always going to go through a struggle. You don’t really know if it’s going to happen for you or when it’s going to happen for you. I’m just going to keep going until someone tells me “No.”