SPRINGFIELD, Mo–Sports on location at Hammons Field for the season opener for the Springfield Cardinals.

This is the 18th season opener for the St. Louis Double AA affliate and the Cards welcome Wichita for a short three game series at Hammons Field.

Joining me is Chris Pinson, and Chris you caught up with Thursday’s starting pitcher Michael McGreevy.

McGreevy is a young, talented hurler who’s trying to use last year’s success as a springboard for a breakout season.

Coming of age doesn’t happen for every hopeful pro prospect.

After all, there’s countless number one picks who never pan out.

But for Michael McGreevy, year two with the Springfield Cardinals could be his coming out party.

“Two years in a row now starting on opening day. Last year for Peoria, this year for Springfield’s definitely special. Try to set the tone for the season and get off to a good start for the team,” said McGreevy.

Last May, the 22-year old right hander got called up and quickly realized why so many players struggle with the learning curve.

“During the game it was like crap that ball was hit a long, long way. Welcome to Double AA. Definitely kinda got the crap kicked out of ya,” said McGreevy.

“This is a tough league to pitch in. The ball flies here. You gotta kinda look at the numbers with a little bit of a pinch of salt,” said Springfield manager Jose Leger.

“Just being able to learn from that and know there are higher level hitters up here definitely helped the rest of the way,” said McGreevy.

That experience helped him go 6-4 in his next 19 starts, averaging nearly seven strikeouts per game.

The positive results fueled his passion to improve this winter.

McGreevy: “I think everything just got better, which I mean, I’m very happy with this offseason. How it went, the pitch design part of things. Definitely looking forward to having it play this season.”

At spring training in Jupiter, McGreevy found Adam Wainwright and the soaked in more wisdom.

“I was asking him about two strike pitches, like what’s the mentality and he said it’s just another pitch. You have to execute a pitch and don’t make it too big. That’s where guys get in trouble. It’s on you at all times,” said McGreevy.

Being able to throw against All-Star sluggers Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt was also eye opening for the first round draft pick.

“Facing those guys just built the pitch library in my mind. It gets me good experience against high level bats. You wanna show like how much you’ve progressed in the offseason,” said McGreevy.

If McGreevy uses his experience to take the next step, there’s no doubting his future place in the game.

“He knows how to pitch. Throws strikes. So I see an official big leaguer in the making,” said Leger.

McGreevy added a fourth pitch to his arsenal this winter, the change-up.

To go along with his fastball slider, and sinker.

He’ll put it all on display here in just a few minutes.