MONTVALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A local baseball player is hoping to play in the big leagues.
Saint Joseph High School pitcher Rob Kaminsky of Englewood Cliffs was taken in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft on Thursday night.
Kaminsky was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 28th pick, making him the first high school baseball player from Bergen County to get chosen in the first round since the draft began in 1966, The Record reported.
The 6-foot-tall Kaminsky, who can throw 95 mph, has been a hot topic in scouting publications and websites.
The Jewish left-hander has also been compared to Brooklyn-born Sandy Koufax.
“I’ve heard every Koufax story, from my uncle to my dad and my grandpa, he loved Sandy Koufax,” Kaminsky told 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “I’ve always been looking up to him.”
One of the stories Kaminsky heard many times was about Koufax choosing to not start Game 1 of the 1965 World Series so he could attend Yom Kippur services.
“Regardless of what religion, if you take off a World Series game or anything like that it’s pretty inspiring,” Kaminsky said.
As he studied tape of his idol, Kaminsky said he realized that just like Koufax he loves to pitch inside.
“It scares people and it just breaks bats and it’s just fun,” Kaminsky said.
Kaminsky can opt to sign with St. Louis or he can attend the University of North Carolina, which has already offered him a scholarship.
“I’m pretty blessed. I’m in a win-win and, to be honest, I’m not very nervous at all,” Kaminsky told WCBS 880′s Levon Putney before Thursday night’s draft.
His father, Alan, on the other hand, was stressed as the pre-draft hours ticked away.
“Well, let’s put it this way: luckily, Robert’s the one that pitches and not me because I’m an absolute wreck, but Robert is calm as could be,” Alan Kaminsky told Putney.
Kaminsky declined an invitation to attend the draft in Secaucus, and instead watched the first round at a local restaurant with family, friends, coaches and teammates, The Record reported.
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