Astros: Talking Stros with 2nd Round Pick Ronnie Dawson (Interview)

May 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; General view of a Houston Astros helmet and glove before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; General view of a Houston Astros helmet and glove before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Talking Stros Interviews Astros’ Draftee Ronnie Dawson

The Houston Astros pick up one of the best college hitters, according to Mike Elias of the Astros, in Ohio State outfielder Ronnie Dawson. Contrary to scouting reports, Elias said that he is good defensively and has speed on the bases. It sounds like Dawson has potential five-tool talent, but his original dreams were to play professional football.

The left-handed Dawson hit .331/ 13 HR/ 51 RBI/ 21 SB in his time with the Buckeyes, stats from college site. He led the Buckeyes in homers and was tied with Troy Montgomery for the stolen base lead. In the interview below, Dawson was asked about Montgomery, but I did not include this in the transcript below.

Even though Brian McTaggart broke the news a little later, Dawson told us live that he will be forgoing his senior year to play for the Astros. Take a listen and tune into Talking Stros every Sunday 7-9pm central.

Talking Stros: Tell us about yourself, you have a history of playing football?

Dawson: I was a three-sport athlete in high school, but I always focused on football more than baseball, I thought that football would be my meal ticket, but then I got hurt. My senior year, I started focusing on baseball after debating my entire junior year between football and baseball, but when I got hurt my senior year, I took it as a sign to focus on baseball.

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Talking Stros: I know Ohio State, and the Astros are really happy with your choice, you said you played a little basketball, what position did you play?

Dawson: Small forward, I was a slasher scorer. My outside jumper depends on what day it is, some days its good then other days it is not. If you couldn’t keep up with me, I could score 25 on you.

Talking Stros: Buckeyes led the Big Ten with six draft picks. What has Coach Beals done to make that program such a stepping stone to the big leagues?

Dawson: The way he develops our guys, I wasn’t drafted out of high school, I think all the guys who were drafted this time were not drafted out of high school. We all had great talent, but the way he developed us along with our hard work has gotten us here.

Talking Stros: How does being one of the best hitters in the Big Ten last year prepare you for the next level? Big league pitching?

Dawson: There is some great pitching, you don’t see that many power arms, except for every Friday guy who can throw 92 or 94, but you don’t see 97 or 98 that much. College pitchers use their breaking balls a lot more which helped me get used to the timing needed to hit a breaking ball. Past 2-3 years, I have seen mostly breaking balls.

Talking Stros: The Astros drafted two pitchers (Brett Adcock-4 and Carmen Benedetti-12) from the University of Michigan. Ask him to give a scouting report of each one from the perspective of an opposing hitter. 

Dawson: Yes, actually, I played with Carmen last summer, I played against Brett last summer, we were texting each other on draft day. He said that he might go to the Astros on the second day, I was pumped, those are two real good guys.

Talking Stros: What can you tell us about their stuff?

Dawson: Adcock, 92-94 plus breaking balls, he’s a competitor, we beat him twice, but he faced our lineup when we were hot. When everyone in our lineup is hitting, we were tough to beat. I think the first game he gave up one or two runs and the second game was around that too. Carmen is a little funky, he is 92-94 also, maybe a three-fourths sidearm slot.

Talking Stros: Tell us your story about when you found out that you were going to be drafted by the Astros?

Dawson: It was crazy, I was with my teammates because I thought I would go on the second or third day. When they said Ronnie Dawson, everyone went nuts. It was a great experience to have with the guys that I have played with for the last few years.

Talking Stros: You mentioned that you faced both Michigan pitchers, how did you do against them being a left-handed hitter?

Dawson: I’ve never faced Carmen, but Adcock, I was 1-3 against him but went 3-3 in the next game. My freshman year, Adcock tore me apart, so I learned by facing him.

Talking Stros: What type of discussions have you had with the Astros about signing?

Dawson: We are coming to a deal, it will probably be done tonight, it’s exciting.

Talking Stros: Are you looking forward to getting back out there are you going to take a break?

Dawson: I’m ready to get started, I fly out Thursday to Houston, sign my contract, get to take BP with the team.

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Talking Stros: Did you know the Astros were looking to draft you and what position do you think you will play?

Dawson: No, I talked to them during the winter, and I’ve spoken to them a couple of days before. I thought the Yankees were going to draft me right after the Astros did. I wasn’t even paying attention to the Astros pick before the Yankees were telling me that they were going to pick me. I can play the outfield

I can play the outfield, and I didn’t really play the outfield in high school. My freshman year of college was the first time I played the outfield. I played center field, then last year I moved to left, playing there with the different reads. The ball tailing away from you was different, but this year I came more in tune with it with more reps. I think I play a good outfield, the more I play, the better I am. But I can also play first base.

Talking Stros: So you are not a natural left fielder, you just started last year?

Dawson: Yes sir, I think that center field is a lot easier, you get better reads because you can see it better.

Talking Stros: Have they told you where you will be headed out?

Dawson: They are sending me to Tri-City.

Next: Astros Draft Summary of the Day 2 Rounds 3-8

Thanks for joining Talking Stros Ronnie, it was a great interview. We look forward to keeping up with you mashing in Tri-City. You can follow Ronnie at @RonnieDawsonn.