Q&A With Rays 28th Round Pick Dayne Quist

In the 28th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, the Rays selected senior UC-Davis left-handed pitcher Dayne Quist. Quist, who's sports hero is Satchel Paige, went 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA this season for the Aggies. Inside, he discusses his thoughts on being drafted by the Rays, what a scouting report on him might look like, who his favorite big league lefties are and much more.

School: University of California-Davis
Born: 2/25/1990
B/T: L/L
/WT: 5-9/180

• Went 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA (85.2-IP, 30-ER) in 13 apps (12 starts) as a senior at UC-Davis.

• In his previous three seasons at UC-Davis, was 11-17 with a 4.51 ERA (238-IP, 143-ER).

• In high school, captured All-Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League honors for three straight years... Posted 8-3 record with 2.20 ERA and 75 strikeouts as a senior, adding All-Santa Cruz County distinction.

• Owned horses and was an avid rodeo competitor when he was younger.

• Majoring in human development


Rays Digest: Could you describe what the moment was like when you found out the Rays drafted you?

Dayne Quist: There was a lot of excitement and a lot of relief. I had been watching the draft for three days straight, and hearing every name pop up gets monotonous, and then I hear my name get called. There was a lot of excitement, I was very happy.

Rays Digest: Had you been in contact with the Rays organization previously?

Dayne Quist: Yeah, but not as much this year, there was a lot more in my junior year. I had been in contact with them over the years, not as much as some other teams recently, but I have talked to them.

Rays Digest: Were you surprised at all when they picked you?

Dayne Quist: Yeah I was actually. Coming down close to the draft, I had talked to quite a few different teams and had some telling me what round they were thinking about getting me. I really hadn't talked to the Rays leading up to the draft, so when they called my name I kind of had to double check what team it was. I was definitely a little surprised it was the Rays, but at the same time I'm very excited because it was an organization I wanted to play for.

Rays Digest: You posted your best college numbers in 2012, improving your ERA by about 2 runs from the previous year. How do build off that type of season as you move on to the next phase of your career?

Dayne Quist: I just want to continue to progress and soak in everything the professional coaches have for me. With the better resources I'm going to get at the next level, I don't see why I can't continue to grow and get better.

Rays Digest: What can you take away from your experience at UC Davis?

Dayne Quist: I've always said that you can't teach experience, so to be able to pitch as a starter in a good conference in college for four years, I think that has given me a lot of knowledge and good experience to take with me. I feel like I have been able to mature and hone my craft over those four years.

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

Dayne Quist: I'm not going to overpower guys, but I stay in the high 80's and mix four pitches (fastball, curveball, splitter, cutter) and have good command of those pitches, and I'm willing to throw any pitch in any count. My game is to keep hitters off-balance and keep them guessing, and not let them sit on any of my pitches. That's basically it, to just keep them off-balance and miss the barrel of the bat, and try not to let anything go straight.

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

Dayne Quist: I just want to consistently get better, in strength and conditioning and the mental side of thing, and to learn from these pro guys how to set up hitters and the complexities of the game. You don't quite get all that in college, so I think more the mental aspect and how to work against hitters.

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

Dayne Quist: I like to look at a lot of the lefties in the big leagues and try to take a piece from each of their games. Guys like Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and even Barry Zito, different left handed pitchers that are doing it with command and with a lot of different pitches, kind of like myself. I look at lefties around the league to see if there's anything I can take from their game and implement into mine.

Rays Digest: Switching gears, how are negotiations going?

Dayne Quist: I actually signed over the weekend, got it all taken care of, now I'm back in Davis and I graduate this weekend. That night I fly out to Florida to report on Monday.

Rays Digest: Do you know where you'll end up now that you have signed?

Dayne Quist: I'm heading to the Gulf Coast League to start, so I'll report there, get my physical and they'll make sure I'm in playing shape. I hope to be in short season in the New York Penn League, but I have to get to the Gulf Coast League first and show them what I've got.

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

Dayne Quist: I'm really excited because that's what I've heard and it's what people have been telling me. The resources that you get at the next level in professional baseball are second to none, so I'm really excited to be able to soak it up, learn and get better. In college, a lot of it is more on your own as far as the depth of the game goes, so I'm really excited to go out there and use the Rays' resources and get better.

Rays Digest: Lastly, who has helped you become the player and person you are today?

Dayne Quist: First and foremost I'd say my mother. She has been my number one fan and supporter. Without her sacrifices I never would have gotten where I am today. My high school coach was very instrumental in getting me into college and getting me a scholarship. From there, my head coach and pitching coach in college were very important figures for me as a person and as a baseball player. I've been fortunate to have really good coaches, the staffs at the last two schools I've been at have been instrumental.

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


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