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Shane Dawson Made the Most Out of 2015

Shane Dawson Made the Most Out of 2015

March 10, 2016

Shane Dawson

LHP Shane Dawson had a big season in 2015 and hopes to improve upon it this year. (Kyle Castle)

Success in the minor leagues can sometimes come down to focus and determination. With the right attitude towards the daily demands of playing professional baseball a player can not only stay healthy, but find themselves in a position for a bigger opportunity moving forward.

Increasing his value to the Toronto Blue Jays organization drastically during the 2015 season, left-handed pitcher Shane Dawson made tremendous strides in his growth and development as a prospect with big league potential.

Although he found success as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts last season he wasn’t initially excited to be joining the Blue Jays Midwest League affiliate in April. Despite a team leading 12 wins and an impressive 1.17 WHIP in 101 2/3 innings of work with the Lugnuts. Playing in Lansing wasn’t where he wanted to be as he performed there the previous season and was hoping for an opportunity with the high-A Dunedin Blue Jays.

“I wasn’t happy when I found out they wanted me to return to Lansing,” stated Dawson. “But I had to pitch wherever they put me. I came back with the focus of putting together a bunch of good outings so I could move up as soon as possible.”

Even though it wasn’t at the beginning of the year, Dawson would get a shot in the Florida State League during the second half of the season. But first he had an opportunity to join the Midwest League’s East All-Star squad. Serving as Lansing’s lone pitching representative for the contest was a tremendous honor for the Alberta native.

”It was great seeing the best of what the Midwest League had to offer,” said Dawson. “Wearing that jersey and being able to show my family and friends back home that I was able to accomplish something like that was special.”

Registering 26 innings for the Dunedin Blue Jays in the final month of the season before returning to Lansing for the clubs playoff run gave Dawson an idea of what to expect next season. While the talent jumped a bit, the prospect remained steady as opposing batters only managed a .202 average against him in the Florida State League.

The great season has raised Dawson’s stock a lot. Currently ranked a fringe top 30 prospect by numerous publications can largely be attributed to the continued success he found during his 2015 campaign.

Dawson isn’t known for being an extremely overpowering pitcher. With a fastball that usually sits in the high-80’s to low-90’s range. It’s important for the 22-year old pitcher to continuously mix up his speeds and pitches to keep hitters guessing every outing.

Lansing Lugnuts’ pitching coach Jeff Ware was encouraged by the way Dawson was able to do just that every fifth day during his 2015 campaign. Especially impressed with his ability to throw strikes in any situation, Ware feels the young pitcher is on the right path for continued success down the road.

“Shane Dawson had a pretty good season,” stated Ware. “Shane’s got an aggressive approach. He has a lot of pitch ability. Shane is able to throw all of his pitches for strikes and he’s able to mix his speeds up to keep hitters off-balanced. Shane’s not a hard thrower so he has to do those things to be successful. He’s done a nice job all season.”

The lefty agrees as he has complete confidence in his ability to attack hitters with every pitch in his arsenal. Understanding the importance of locating all of his pitches low in the strike zone, Dawson will be well prepared for the challenges that still lay in front of him.

“I just try to go out there and attack the hitters with everything,” explained Dawson. “I just try to throw a lot of strikes. You can’t give those guys too much credit. With my fastball I just try to throw strikes and keep it low. If I get to a two strike count I’m just focused on putting them away.”

Most likely returning to Dunedin next spring Dawson will be looking to showcase his skills more at the high-A level. If he can find the same level of success during the 2016 season, the southpaw’s opportunity in double-A won’t be too far away.

Until then fans of the Toronto Blue Jays will be patiently waiting for the home grown talent to continue to develop his game with hopes of pitching at the Rogers Centre one day.

 

Brian Crawford

Brian Crawford

Brian has covered professional baseball for eight seasons for numerous media outlets.
Brian Crawford
Brian Crawford

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