Q&A With Rays 26th Round Pick Jason Wilson

With the 812th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, the Rays selected Western Oregon University right-hander Jason Wilson in the 26th round. Wilson, who just began pitching in junior college, was 5-2 with a 4.65 ERA for the Wolves this season. Inside, he discusses his thoughts on being drafted and the Rays organization, his approach to attacking hitters, if he is going to sign and much more.

School: Western Oregon University
Born: 8/6/1990
B/T: R/R
HT/WT: 6-1/195

• Earned Great Northwest Athletic Conference First Team honors after going 5-2 with a 4.65 ERA (62-IP, 32-ER).

• Went 3-0 with a 3.62 ERA (27.1-IP, 11-ER) in 4 apps, all starts, for the Wolves in 2011.

• Played two seasons at Chemeketa Community College (2009-10) and was named Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Southern Region All-Star in 2010.

• Is second Western Oregon player to be drafted in 2012 draft, following fellow right-handed pitcher Grady Wood who was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 10th round.

• Is a criminal justice major and psychology minor.

• Nicknamed "Willy"

• Favorite athlete is Ray Allen _________________________________________________________________

Rays Digest: What was the situation like when you found out the Rays had drafted you?

Jason Wilson: It's a dream come true. To get the chance to play baseball at this level is an honor and when I found out I would be getting the chance, it was hard to believe. I was down in my living room listening to the draft and heard my named called. After that I don't remember anything, I was so excited!

Rays Digest: Had you been in contact with the Rays organization previously? Were you surprised you were picked by them?

Jason Wilson: I had been contacted throughout the season by the Rays and was told I had a chance to play for them before the draft. So it wasn't a huge surprise when I got picked, but still a very exciting experience.

Rays Digest: What are your initial thoughts on being picked by an organization that is known for being very good at developing pitchers?

Jason Wilson: I was very excited to hear about going to this organization. I actually just started pitching in junior college, so I still have a lot to learn about the game. I love knowing I am going to have an opportunity to become a better pitcher with this organization.

Rays Digest: What do you bring to the table as a player? Could you provide a brief scouting report on yourself?

Jason Wilson: What I bring to the table is a pitcher who is going to compete every time I toe the rubber. I like to go after people with my fastball and cutter, then mix speeds later in counts. I like to work at a fast pace because I feel a defense is better behind you when they aren't waiting around and defense is a pitcher's best friend. I usually sit in the low 90's with my fastball but I like to focus on hitting spots more than how hard I throw.

Rays Digest: In which areas are you looking to improve the most?

Jason Wilson: I feel like I can always look for ways to improve as a pitcher. I want to learn how to live low in the zone at all times and to be more consistent with my breaking ball. Being able to throw strikes with three different pitches makes pitching a lot easier.

Rays Digest: How are negotiations going? Do you expect to sign soon?

Jason Wilson: We are planning to meet and sign my contract this Tuesday which is very exciting!

Rays Digest: You are primarily a starter, but also have relief experience. Are you just as comfortable out of the pen? Does your mentality or approach change depending on what role you're in?

Jason Wilson: I think for a pitcher to be successful he needs to have the same mentality no matter what role they are in or what kind of situation they are pitching in. This is something I take pride in. I like to treat every situation as a close game situation and to be a bulldog on the mound for my team.

Rays Digest: Are there any players, past or present, that you have tried to model your game after?

Jason Wilson: I really like the way Jered Weaver pitches and his mentality on the mound. He goes out and gives everything he has pitch by pitch. He does whatever it takes to win and doesn't care about anything else. He fills up the zone and isn't trying to over-power every hitter. I really try to take in a lot by watching not only Jered Weaver but many other Major League pitchers.

Rays Digest: Who has helped you get to this point and become the player you are today?

Jason Wilson: All of my coaches through the years have been a huge part to my success. My family, friends, coaches are all people who have helped in any way to help me reach my goals in life and it has finally paid off.

Rays Digest: Lastly, what can you take away from your time at WOU as you move on to the next chapter of your career?

Jason Wilson: My two years at WOU were a huge learning experience for me. I went through some tough times not being able to play my first year and learning how to bounce back from failure. I learned a lot going through the Western Oregon baseball program because of the good coaching and them working with me through adversity, otherwise I would not have this opportunity.



Brad Lymburner is a staff writer for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @_BradL.

______________________________________________________________

Subscribe to RaysDigest.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on RaysDigest.com, the Scout Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites and Player Pages which detail the progress and careers of players from high school, college, the minors, and the pro ranks.

Sample the RaysDigest.com Total Access Pass at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off of the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual RaysDigest.com Total Access Pass at $79.95.


Rays Digest Top Stories