Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Drew Storen: He May Be Numb, But His Career is On Fire

Monday night: It's the 7th inning, 1 out, and the Cardinals are leading the Nationals 4-2 at Busch Stadium. 22 year old Drew Storen sat in the Nat's bullpen and got the call. Warm-up.
This is the 2nd call Storen's gotton in the last three days. The last one came this past weekend after his game in AAA Syracuse, when he was pulled off to the side and told "congratulations, you're getting called up."

"Who did you tell first?" I asked Drew today. There was a pause, and then I could visibly hear the pride in his voice. "My dad," he responded "he was so excited. He's on cloud 9.... he's been on cloud 9!" His father, who Drew talks about with reverie every time he's brought up, used to come home and play catch with him in his suit after work with him when he was a little boy. It's no surprise that that's the first person he would call and tell when he finally got the news that his dream had come true: he was going to play in The Show.

When asked how he felt Drew responded with a laugh "I've been numb. I've been numb since it happened. I was numb when I found out, and excited, it was a flood of emotions." When asked about his most famous match-up in his very young major league career, Storen explained to me that he wasn't really nervous facing Matt Holliday.

"I was trying to challenge him, get him to put the ball in play. I threw him a slider and then he swung through it."

"God forbid you walk him" I joked back with him about his most dreaded stat: the walk.

Despite what Nat's broadcasters kept saying, Drew says his heart was not racing and he was not freaking out or scared during his outing on Monday night. He, in fact was as he described earlier "numb."

Storen's final stat line looked like this: .2IP 0H 0R 0ER 0BB 1SO 0.00 ERA. In the words of Hawk Harrelson, that's a lot of goose eggs on the board.

Drew dominated the minors at the beginning of the season, climbing the ladder steadily from AA Harrisburg to AAA Syracuse and leaving his minor league stats behind with a 1.08 ERA.

"He was just ready, there was nothing more that he could have done in the minors that he couldn't do for us in the majors" says Nat's GM Mike Rizzo.

Drew, who was in high spirits when I talked to him this afternoon, was packing up his gear and heading off to the field at around 1pm. He was as sweet as always on the phone, and I can't wait to go see him play the Brewers in July with some friends. If there is any guy in the minors who is deserving of a major league career, it's Drew.

I look forward to watching his career skyrocket, because if you ask me, baseball success really does come in the form of Karma. If there's one person who deserves all the success in the world, it's Drew Storen.

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