The St. Louis Cardinals have had a number of rookies make implausible debuts over the years. There was that time Rick Ankiel, a teenaged pitcher, turned heads with a mid-nineties fastball and an optical illusion of a curveball; the time Bud Smith threw a no-hitter at 21 with a mediocre fastball and some startlingly Glavine-y command; the time Bo Hart hit well enough for two weeks to print some sherseys, or the time Rick Ankiel hit a home run in his first game an an outfielder. Compared to those guys, Pete Kozma makes perfect sense.â†µ
A 23-year-old infielder who was the Cardinals' first pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, Kozma doubled and walked after coming in midway through the team's win against the Houston Astros. That's totally normal—lots of 2007 draft picks have moved on to perfectly reasonable careers, including 2007 Cardinals pick Daniel Descalso.
But Pete Kozma's career has been—less than sterling. Kozma was called up to AA way too early after some middling work in the low minors, and had a disastrous 2009. In 2010 he was left in AA all year and moved up from disastrous to bad, which was reason enough for the Cardinals to promote him to Memphis in 2011. Before his call-up he was hitting .220/.284/.284.â†µ