Right-hander Matt Cain, who was drafted 25th overall out of high school in 2002, has risen quickly to the top of the Giants rotation. The Alabama-raised 22-year-old led the team with 13 wins and finished just one strikeout shy of the club lead, with 179, as a rookie in 2006. Cain recently answered some questions for MLBPLAYERS.com.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you ever think you would get to this level so early in your career?
Cain: Probably not at this age. It was something that I always wanted to do. Now that I've gotten here, it's something that I'm just trying to keep going. I want to try to establish myself, grow as a pitcher and excel.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What do you remember most about the day you were drafted?
Cain: I remember how surprised I was. I hadn't really heard much from the Giants. I had talked to a couple of other teams much more. I was really surprised.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Did you think you would progress this quickly?
Cain: No, not exactly. I hoped I would, but then again, you never know sometimes. You set goals and you try to achieve them. You never know if you will. You just keep trying.
MLBPLAYERS.com: What do you think when you hear the term "future ace" associated with yourself?
Cain: It's awesome. It would be awfully nice to be thought of like that in the future.
MLBPLAYERS.com: You're 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. Are you still growing?
MLBPLAYERS.com: You were offered a scholarship from Memphis. Was that tough to walk away from?
Cain: No, not in the situation that I was in. I was going to play pro ball, no matter what.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Growing up, did you think you would play college ball?
Cain: Not exactly. I didn't start thinking about playing college ball until I got to high school.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Was the 2005 Futures Game in Houston a good experience for you?
Cain: It was a great experience. I didn't throw very well, but it was a great time. It was awesome to be around some of the guys who are in the big leagues now, like David Wright and Dallas McPherson. It's nice to have been with them then and to see their faces now.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Have you been able to learn by watching Jason Schmidt, another power right-hander?
Cain: He is a guy you can learn something new from every time he steps out on the mound. He's always doing something you can pick up on.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Is the same true for another solid veteran in teammate Matt Morris?
Cain: He's awesome too. Morris sinks the ball, throws a lot of curveballs and uses off-speed pitches sometimes, too. You can see the way he tries to work hitters to get them off balance and do what he wants.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Is there a particular player -- past or present -- after whom you pattern yourself?
Cain: No, there really isn't anyone. The guy who I would most like to be similar to is Roger Clemens. I really admire the way he goes about his business off the field and how he treats his job on the field. He's a true competitor.
MLBPLAYERS.com: Is your hometown of Germantown, Tenn., famous for anything?
Cain: Germantown isn't, but Memphis, which is very close, is. Memphis is famous for Beale Street and Elvis. There's nothing much in Germantown.
Jeff Moeller is a freelancer based in Los Angeles.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.