With only a couple of days to go before the Major League Baseball draft, Lansing Lugnuts pitcher Zach Dials looks upon his draft experience as a positive one.
"I know that I was pretty excited to get to the day to see if I would be picked up by somebody," stated Dials. "It was really great getting the phone call and having them say that they wanted me to play professional baseball. It's something that I have been looking forward to since I was eight years old".
Drafted in the 28th round, Dials had to wait until the second day for that fateful call from the Blue Jays, but it came as no surprise to him that he was drafted in that slot or that the Blue Jays would be the team that would finally select the right hander.
"I heard from a few different teams that they may take me in the later rounds on the first day or in the early rounds on the second day," Dials recalls. "That's kind of the way it worked out with the Blue Jays. They called me a few times early on the second day and even late the first day".
"I'm happy that it was the Blue Jays that drafted me because everyone in the organization gives you time. They don't give all the attention to the higher draft picks or the big guys. They really use their minor league system and I don't think that I could be in any better of a situation".
Since being selected to be a Blue Jay, Dials, who was originally drafted as a reliever, has been making the conversion to a starting pitcher. It was a conversion to help Dials get some innings and work on his repertoire.
"I was a reliever when I was drafted, but they moved me to the starting rotation last year because they wanted me to throw my off speed stuff more," explains Dials. "I don't know if they look for me to be a starter down the road, but right now I know they want me to get a feel for all of my pitches and that is what I am trying to do."
Dials repertoire may at some point project better as a reliever as he features a fastball with good sink, a slider and a change up. With his sinking fastball, he's able to induce ground balls which could be key in late innings at the Major League level. Earlier in the year, he stated that he was looking to add a two seam cut fastball as well, but still it is his slider that he works on the most.
Dials is currently on the disabled list with tendonitis in his shoulder, but could be back in the starting rotation as early as this weekend when Lansing returns to Oldsmobile Park to square off against South Bend.
"It's a little bit of tendonitis, nothing major.", Dials said. "I threw a twenty pitch side (on Friday) and I'm going to throw another one on Monday. I imagine that I will be back in the rotation by next week".
Dials a Force with Powerful Repertoire
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