John Rooney Believes Paul DeJong has a Specific Talent Similar to Yadi, Jeter, Pujols

The Cardinals broadcaster previewed the Cardinals 2019 season during our Countdown to Opening Day show, last night.

January 10, 2019 - 9:24 am

Watch the show, before the show as John Rooney joined our Chris Hrabe and Mike Claiborne on Facebook Live before his appearance on the Cardinals Countdown to Opening Day show: 

Their conversations continued about all things St. Louis Cardinals baseball and the upcoming 61st Annual St. Louis Baseball Writers' Dinner on the KMOX airwaves. You can listen to that full conversation, here: 

Here are some of the main takeaways of their on-air conversation:

Yadier Molina is a maestro, DeJong is getting there 

"As I watch sports, I take a look at teams and players, and think how many guys know not only what they should be doing, but what somebody else should be doing and where they're going to be, whether it's football or basketball? And in baseball, Yadi, you may as well put him in the tie and tails out there because he's motioning everything, O.K. here, then here and this is what we need to do. Especially in the World Baseball Classic when he was handling everything with that Puerto Rican team.

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"That was so much fun to watch and how Yadi knows the game inside and out, Derek Jeter was certainly that way, Albert Pujols that way, I think Paul DeJong is going to be that type of player and you have those guys that just know, O.K. you should do that, and you should do that. But Yadier Molina is the best at not only handling the pitching, but just knowing where somebody else should be. 

"He's going to make a pretty good manager I think when it's all said and done. That's a few years away."

Major League affects of Minor League coaching - 

"The job that the managers and coaches do at the minor league level, they are so positive, so well versed at what they are teaching down there and getting the points across, whether it's hitting or pitching, or fielding, or baserunning. When these young players come to the big-league level, they expect to contribute now and they are quite positive and they've made an impact on this Cardinal club and I think that all starts at the minor league level with what they're doing." 

A former Cardinal who Paul Goldschmidt is very similar to

"I think the world of Matt Holiday and I see that type of personality in Paul Goldschmidt. A little more vocal than Matt, but the message is still there – play the game, play it hard and be very visable in the community. I know that's very important to both.

"Paul Goldschmidt is a solid citizen. He's one of my favorite baseball players since he came along and I'm glad he's going to be wearing the Birds on the Bat and standing over there at first base. Because he's going to make that infield a lot stronger and those other infielders a lot more confident." 

Less strikeouts

"It's fun to talk about your launch angle and exit velocity and all that, but we played three games in Pittsburgh when the Pirates swept the series and launch angle and exit velocity had nothing to do with it. They nickled and dimed the Cardinals pitching staff simply by putting the ball in play. Little flares to right and left field, moving runners, getting into position to where they could make that last at bat count for the Pirates and I'd like to see the strikeouts cut down throughout Major League Basebal and see the ball in play a little more often and I certainly think there is an emphasis on that with the Cardinals."