WMBD/WYZZ-TV - PEORIA, Ill. - When he was assigned to the Peoria Chiefs, New Jersey native Rob Kaminsky didn't know what to expect.
"Coming here, I thought it was going to be a bunch of farms," said Kaminsky. "I'd never been to the Midwest before. The city, the fans, the coaches are awesome and my teammates are fun."
Now that he's here, the Cardinals 2013 top pick is feeling right at home. He was the organization's minor league pitcher of the month after 4-0 June with a 089 earned run average.
The 19-year-old lefty is proving big things can come in small packages.
"Being from the Northeast, I've heard a lot of criticism. And being 5-11," said Kaminsky. "But it's in one ear and out the other. Play with a chip on your shoulder and do it for the right reasons.
Kaminsky did something for the right reasons last year in high school. He got pledges for every one of his strikeouts, hoping to raise money for the children's cancer center at Englewood Hospital in New Jersey.
He raised 30 thousand dollars.
"Got a pledge per strikeout or a flat donation. My family and Twitter, everyone helped out," said Kaminsky. "It was crazy when the final tally was $30,000 in one season. I'm looking forward to doing more stuff like that in the future."
Now Kaminsky's strikeouts are helping him move closer to his life long dream of making it to the big leagues.
"There's a lot of work to be done. I just come with the same mindset everyday,"' said Kaminsky. "Keep trying to prove people wrong, listen to everyone who is trying to help me out."