Left-hander Dalton Sawyer finished off a stellar career at the University of Minnesota in style by posting a 3.33 ERA in a career-high 94.2 innings for the Gophers as a senior. He struck-out 112 and allowed just 79 hits en route to being one of the Big Ten's top lefties in 2016.
The Oakland A's selected Sawyer with their ninth-round pick in this year's draft. He was among the first members of the A's draft class to join the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters' roster. Sawyer has been an important part of the Lake Monsters' bullpen ever since. The A's have been careful with Sawyer's innings given the number of inning he already threw in college, but he has still made regular appearances for Vermont. In 14.2 innings spread over 11 appearances, Sawyer has a 2.45 ERA and he has struck-out 18 while holding opposing batters to a .196 average.
Donald Moore spoke with Sawyer during a recent Vermont roadtrip to upstate New York.
Donald Moore: Hi Dalton, how is everything going for you so far this year?
Dalton Sawyer: Doing well, how are you?
DM: What are your goals for this year?
DS: Learn, get better and have some fun, make some friends.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a pitcher?
DS: I would say just my competitiveness on the mound, just trying to attack the hitter and to anything I can to get them out.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
DS: I would like to improve on overall command of the strike zone .
DM: How are you acclimating to professional baseball?
DS: Good so far.
DM: What is the best thing about being a professional athlete?
DS: I get income now, which is pretty great I gotta to say. I'm not blowing money anymore. I don't have to pay this stuff off, so it's pretty cool.
DM: What do you feel is the hardest thing about being a professional athlete?
DS: Adjusting to the name "Tom". I would say that has been somewhat challenging.
DM: Any pre-game routines?
DS: No. Not really, no.
DM: Any hobbies?
DS: I like to hunt and fish, be outdoors, play pick up sports, watch movies.
DM: Favorite team growing up?
DS: The Minnesota Twins.
DM: Where are you originally from?
DS: I'm from Waconia, Minnesota .
DM: If there is one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
DS: I think it probably would have been my father. He taught me lessons in life that translate to the games. That is I probably who I learned from the most.
DM: Craziest thing you have ever seen on a baseball diamond?
DS: The Zooperstars are pretty crazy.
DM: Any off-season plans?
DS: Just workout and get better.
DM: Thank you for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
DS: Thank you, I really appreciate it.