A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with St. Louis Cardinals prospect Nick Plummer. Plummer currently plays for Class A Peoria as one of the Cardinals top outfield prospects in the minor leagues. Plummer was the Cardinals First Round Draft Pick in 2015. Plummer turns 21 this year on the trading deadline (July 31), so is he still very young and not that far removed from playing high school baseball. Nick opened up to me about himself, and where he’s at currently in his trek to the majors. NOTE – (A.C. can stand for Arch City or for me, Andy Cockerill – your choice.)
A.C. – First of all – how’s the oblique doing.
Nick Plummer – I’ve been swinging for the past few days and it feels good – just trying to make sure I’m good to go. (After last playing April 13 he has played in 5 games since May 8th going 3 for 15 with a home run and a pair of walks)
A.C. – You’re viewed as a guy that can hit for average and power – what would you say your best strength is as a hitter?
Nick Plummer – I’d say my best strength is my plate control. Being able to control the zone and attacking balls in the strike zone. I try to make consistent hard contact, get deep into counts, and make the pitcher work by making him make pitches.
A.C. – What would you say a good comparison for all the people that haven’t seen you play?
Nick Plummer – I’ve heard the Jon Jay comparison. But offensively I try to get deep into counts and just take good at bats. I have sneaky speed, I’m always looking to get an extra bag or two. Defensively I’d say I’ve gotten a lot better. With being out most of last year I worked on my defense a lot this year.
A.C. – Growing up in Michigan was there anyone you looked up towards on the Tigers – or any guys that caught your eye?
Nick Plummer – (Curtis) Granderson was always my favorite outfielder on the Tigers. I’d have to say my favorite all time though in baseball is (Ken) Griffey Jr. Growing up though I did love watching Granderson play.
A.C. – Since you missed some time with injuries – what others things have you learned not being able to play?
Nick Plummer – Stepping back from the game, how you handle successes and failures, I’ve reevaluated how I went about my work day to day. Not undervaluing the game – days where you get to take BP (batting practice) are good days. Not being able to swing for a year, I definitely worked on defense a lot more than I probably ever worked on.
A.C. – Being just 20 – what was your biggest transition from high school to the pros?
Nick Plummer – The biggest transition was probably the travel. (Lots of bus rides in Low A ball) As far as playing goes, the game gets a lot faster. Everyone here is good. Travel and adjusting to the speed of the game have probably been my biggest transitions.
A.C. – What do you most enjoy about the game?
Nick Plummer – Just playing. I love the little nuances of the game. I love all the little games within the big picture. For example, getting a bag on a curve ball in the dirt, hitting your cuts, backing up throws. That’s the stuff I really enjoy. Whenever guys do something well on the field I like to point that out and let them realize that I see what they’re doing. All the little things add up.
A.C. – Final question – You got into a few spring training games a year ago – what was that like?
Nick Plummer – The first game I got into was against the Nationals at home. I started in R.F. and batted 8th. It was pretty cool just being in the same lineup as all the big league guys. I got an RBI on a grounder to first. I got to hang out with Carpenter and Holliday. They reached out to me. Getting able to meet those guys, get to talk to them – what a great group of guys we have up there. It really says a lot about our organization and who we take in.
Nick was an incredibly polite young man, and really seems to be a guy who just loves the game of baseball. I think once he moves the organizational ladder and more people see him, they’ll be quite excited to see what he can bring to the Cardinals. He simply needs to stay healthy and get at bats. I think everything else will take care of itself as he has all the tools.
You can follow Nick on Twitter @nplum11