(Photo Credit: Scout.com)
With the 61st pick in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, the Houston Astros select Ronnie Dawson, outfielder from the Ohio State University.
Left handed, patient, versatile, intelligent, durable, fast, leadoff, very fast, on-base machine…all these things describe Ronnie Dawson. A running back and linebacker as well as a basketball player, he didn’t even start focusing on baseball until 11th grade at Licking Heights High School in Grove City, Ohio.
Turns out he was pretty darn good at it. Eventually playing at the Ohio State University just a short drive from his hometown, Dawson burst onto the scene in his Junior season (see blow).
Simply put, the Buckeye was always on base and always touching all four one way or another. He hit 13 home runs and stole 21 bases, added 25 doubles with a glistening 1.030 OPS, drove in 51 runs and scored a whopping 55 runs. He walked almost as many times (37) as he struck out (43), a fantastic rate of 1.16.
Now a member of the Houston Astros organization, he’s ready to get his professional baseball career started.
How did you find out you were drafted?
“Watching the Draft with teammates and they called my name. It was exciting, a dream come true. Being there with all my teammates was really special for me. Working hard with those guys the past three years, to be with those guys was unreal.”
Your reaction when it was the Astros?
“I was really excited. One of my teammates, coming into my freshman year a guy who really took me under his wing, got drafted by the Astros last year (Pat Porter). This winter he’ll come back and workout and he’ll talk to me about the organization. It’s just ironic that the same organization picked me up. “
What changed for you in your breakout Junior season?
“My freshman year I just came in and competed. I wanted to play right away. I just really hit. My Sophomore year I didn’t have the year I wanted or could have had. I tried to be someone I wasn’t, go backside more and force balls the other way. That’s not me, I can go backside without trying to do it so this year I just really hit.
I had some great coaching this year. They told me ‘Ronnie, just be you, don’t try to be anyone else don’t try to force it just hit.’ Once I started doing that, that’s why I had the year I had.”
Do you take pride in your ability to get on base, score and stay healthy?
“Oh yeah. I’m still learning, I was a three sport athlete so my athleticism helped me out a lot. My speed on bases, I’m becoming smarter. I didn’t play a lot of baseball through High School, I wasn’t an Under Armour All-American, that wasn’t me, I was always playing football or basketball.
I’m learning the game more and more each time I play getting more reps, learning different situations. I’m excited and that’s something I take pride in.”
Grove City…Ohio State…Ready for the Texas heat?
“Yeah, I can’t deal with the cold. You can live with it and get used to it, but i’d rather be hot than cold.”
“I go down to Houston to sign my contract. See the team, see the ballpark then I go out to (short-season A-Ball) Tri-City and play.”