Lone Star Dugout Q&A: John Gast

The Rangers selected Florida native John Gast with their fifth round pick in last week's MLB draft. Gast, who is currently sidelined after undergoing Tommy John surgery in early May, will attend Florida State University if he does not sign with the Rangers. Lone Star Dugout has an exclusive interview with the left-handed pitcher.

The Texas Rangers selected left-handed pitcher John Gast in the fifth round of last week's MLB draft.

A product of Lake Brantley High School in Florida, Gast is currently sidelined after undergoing Tommy John surgery in early May. The southpaw was projected to be picked in the first couple of rounds before his injury.

Lone Star Dugout has an exclusive interview with the Florida State signee.

Jason Cole: First off, congratulations on being drafted. Can you tell me what it means to you to be drafted by the Rangers?

John Gast: It means that they obviously saw talent in me. Enough to where they took a risk on my elbow. I recently had Tommy John surgery. Hopefully they'll let me be a part of the organization for the future.

Cole: How much did you know about the Rangers organization before they drafted you on Thursday?

Gast: Not too much. The area scout came in and talked to me. He called right before they drafted me to get an update. We kept in contact throughout the season and he talked to my mom and I.

Cole: How much have you talked to the Rangers since they drafted you?

Gast: They called me right after my pick. The area scout said that he would come down sometime next week. He said he would have some information for me.

Cole: What major league team have you followed while growing up?

Gast: I grew up across the street from Jason Varitek, so I've always followed the Red Sox.

Cole: Can you tell me what your best moment in your baseball career has been?

Gast: That would have to be when I was selected for the 16-and-under USA baseball team. I got to go to Mexico with them. That was definitely my best moment.

Cole: Can you talk about what that experience was like?

Gast: It was just great to be a part of that and to be a part of all the talent that was there. Being selected meant that I was one of the top players in the country.

Cole: You mentioned your recent Tommy John surgery. How is your rehab coming along?

Gast: It's coming along very well. I'm going three days per week and it seems to be progressing smoothly.

Cole: When do you expect to be able to throw a baseball again?

Gast: I think the protocol said around 20 weeks. My surgery was May 1st, so it should be around 20 weeks after that.

Cole: How long until you expect to be fully recovered?

Gast: It usually takes between 10 to 12 months for full recovery. I'm hoping that I can be ready for extended spring training next season.

Cole: You signed with Florida State University. What led you to sign with them?

Gast: FSU was the school I always liked growing up. I just felt comfortable there and I liked their coaching staff. My sister actually went to school there, so I was already familiar with the campus.

Cole: Can you talk about the chances of you signing with the Rangers versus going to school?

Gast: I don't know about the chances right now. I would like to sign with the Rangers, but if the circumstances aren't right, I have no hesitation in going to Florida State.

Cole: Let's talk about you as a pitcher. Can you talk about what pitches you throw and the speeds you generally work at?

Gast: I throw a fastball, a slider, a knuckle-curve, and a changeup. My fastball is usually around 91-92 MPH.

Cole: What would you consider to be your strikeout pitch?

Gast: I usually finish guys with my slider. It seems to get high school hitters out.

Cole: What pitch would you say needs the most work right now?

Gast: Before my surgery I was really working on my changeup. When I get back healthy, that's probably what I'll be focusing on.

Cole: How much of your high school season were you able to play before you had surgery this year?

Gast: I played up until a couple games before district. I had my surgery right after district, so I pitched most of the season. I would say about 80% of it.

Cole: Is there a big league pitcher that you would compare yourself to or that you model your game after?

Gast: I don't know. I have role models that I look up to, but I don't know if I'd compare myself to them. I really like Johan Santana and Roger Clemens, but I wouldn't really compare myself to them.

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