Chicago Cubs: 2019 MLB Draft Profile and Interview with Drey Jameson

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The former two-way player decided to focus just on pitching in 2019 and would be a terrific selection for the Chicago Cubs with the 27th overall pick.

Drey Jameson is a draft eligible sophomore at Ball State University and could potentially be the strikeout pitcher the Chicago Cubs need for their future rotation. Jameson was a two-way player for the collegiate Cardinals but after having little success at the plate in 2018, he decided to solely focus on pitching in 2019. The results were fantastic.

It’s easy to see why he made the full-time switch to the mound. In 2018, he batted just 0.094 with one home-run and four runs-batted-in in 32 at-bats. On the mound in 2018? Jameson tossed 72.0 innings with 97 strikeouts to the tune of a 3.88 ERA and an opponent’s batting average of just 0.203.

"“Pitching was my second position last year,” Jameson said. “I would hit and do fielding and then at the end of practice I’d throw a bullpen. This year, I’m throwing three times a week. I’m always on the mound, and I think that’s a huge part of getting your command down.” – via BaseballProspectJournal"

In 2019, the 6′-0″ 165 pound hurler threw 78.2 innings and accumulated a ridiculous 128 strikeouts compared to just 26 walks.  His ERA in 14 starts was 3.20 and was allowing opponents to bat just 0.210 against him.

Scouts really like his pitching arsenal which features a fastball that touches the upper 90’s. Jameson sets up batters with his fastball and utilizes his changeup and other secondary pitches to get guys out. He has stated that he has spent a lot of time developing his changeup:

"“I think a big key with the changeup is throwing it with the same intent as you do your fastball,” Jameson said. “It’s hard to pick up a pitch that’s going to move in or away from you when you throw it with the same arm speed.”"

We covered those topics and more during a recent Q&A with Jameson.

Q&A with Drey Jameson

Q: You’ve been a strikeout machine in your two years at Ball State. What has made you so successful on getting guys to whiff so much?

A: I trust in my stuff and i throw my best pitch every pitch. I don’t take a pitch off. Also just believing in the guys behind you as well i think is a huge aspect to getting a lot of strikeouts as well. You get to relax more on the mound and not think about if they put the ball in play that its a good chance they will get on. My teammates behind me pick me up if i throw a mistake. But overall it’s basically trusting in your stuff and staying within yourself and not try and do to much.

Q: Can you touch on how you ended up at Ball State?

A: I ended up at Ball State because I thought it was the best fit out of all the others schools I visited in high school. I loved the coaching staff and Coach Maloney really pulled me into the program. It was a good program and was known for winning and so was coach Maloney. Winning is a huge thing for me and I drive to win every game. I hate to lose and that’s just not only on the baseball field but it’s in anything that I do. So Ball State was the best fit for me out of high school and I am getting everything I wanted to get out of the school and I am satisfied in every aspect of the school and the baseball program.

Q: Besides your fastball, which pitch do you consider to be your “out” pitch?

A: You know I throw 4 pitches and i have confidence in all of them. It really determines on the batter that i am facing on which pitch I am going to throw for my out pitch. If i were to pick tho my out pitch to a righty is my slider and my out pitch to a lefty would have to be my changup.

Q: In 2018, you were more of a two-way player but primarily focused on pitching in 2019. Was there a point in the 2018 season that you realized you should make the switch?

A: Yes, I had some trouble hitting and it was very frustrating but I backed it up when I got on the mound. I thought to myself what is going to get me to the next level to continue my career at the highest level. That’s when i made the choice to switch to just a pitcher only. Come the 2019 season I had a lot more feel on the mound and all my pitches and command were a night and day difference. It was for the best and I am glad I made the transition to just being a pitcher only.

Q: Do you consider your size to be limiting or a deterrent from MLB teams”?

A: Well I know it is. The question is do I agree with it? No I don’t. The only thing it is for me is “fire” to prove people that you don’t have to be 6’3-6’6 and 220 to be a big league pitcher. Those guys get hurt just as easy as the guys my size.

Q: Many mock drafts have you going in the second round. What would it mean to you if the Cubs grabbed you with the 27th overall pick in the first round?

A: You now it would be a honor to be picked the 27th pick overall. It’s been a dream to play professional baseball my whole life but I have a mission to get to the big leagues and compete for a world series. If that doesn’t happen then that means I have failed. To be able to have the opportunity to be drafted by the Cubs 27th overall would just be a start to my mission.

Q: What pitches do you feel you still need to work on to become a complete major league pitcher?

A: You know all my pitches need to improve because if I’m satisfied with what they are now then there is no growth and I will get passed up. You can always improve your pitches. I’m not satisfied where I am and I am working on all my pitches to get them better and better each day and I probably will never think they are perfect and think that They are mastered. Like I said earlier if you think they are good enough then that’s when you will get passed.

Q: I know one of your primary goals in 2019 was to have better command. Can you speak a little bit on how you accomplished that?

A: Yeah and that is still the goal. I have not accomplished that goal and I will agree that it is better than it was last year but is not good enough for my expectations. With that being said I have had better command this year than I did in 2018. That is because I believe that I have transferred over to just a pitcher only. By doing that it gave me more time just devoted on the pitching aspect of the game and not have a little time on the slope and playing catch and then the rest of practice is devoted to hitting and fielding. Another thing that has helped me is making a routine that I do everyday and sticking to that plan. That has been a huge key to the command from this year to last.

Next. 2019 MLB Draft Profile and Interview with Hunter Barco. dark

A special thank you to Drey Jameson (@dreyjameson09) for taking the time to answer these questions.