The St. Louis Cardinals started the 2008 season with three Major League rookies on the roster. Brian Barton is among that trio of newcomers to "the Show." The 25-year-old outfielder, who came to the Cardinals in the Rule V Draft from the Cleveland Indians, joins infielder Rico Washington and pitcher Kyle McClellan. Barton made his first Big League start Friday night against the Washington Nationals – going 2-for-4.
Barton, who has spent a number of seasons in the Minor Leagues, earned a spot in the Opening Day Redbirds’ roster with a sensational spring in which he batted .351 with 3 triples. He’s glad to be earning his pay as a Big Leaguer and wants to stay in St. Louis. And he’s off to a good start. Following the weekend series with the Nats Barton has played in 5 games and is hitting .455 in 11 at bats with a triple and a double to his credit.
As is the case with most ballplayers who earn a ticket to the Majors, Barton sees a stark contrast between his current assignment and his time in the Minor Leagues.
"It’s a big, big difference," says Barton, who really doesn’t consider himself a rookie. "From the pay all the way down … from the charter flights. But, at the same time, it’s a big difference just knowing that you can finally be able to call yourself a Major Leaguer when people ask you what you do for a living."
Barton played college baseball in Florida with the University of Miami. Barton was a star for the Hurricanes on the diamond, but it is his classroom activities that have started a lot of tongues wagging.
"I was an aerospace engineer major," declares Barton, who really didn’t think that part of his background would get a lot of attention.
"It was kind of one of those things," he adds, "Where I like to challenge myself and, you know, just go out there and try to make myself work."
The work is paying off and Barton is, as his aerospace engineering background might suggest, taking off in a big way for the Cardinals.