Toronto Blue Jays minor league relief pitcher Brady Dragmire joined Jays Journal to discuss the 2015 season, 2016 offseason and more!
Brady Dragmire joined the Toronto Blue Jays system in 2011 as a 17th round selection out of Bradshaw Christian School in Sacramento as an 18-yr-old.
Coming out of HS, the athletic Brady starred on his school’s football, basketball, and of course baseball teams. After being signed away from a Nevada commitment for $250K, Dragmire reported to Toronto’s Gulf Coast team. He also bought his very first truck, a lifted black F-150.
At the time (2011 draft), Dragmire was throwing a high-80’s sinking fastball which made appearances in the low-90’s, a slider and change. Since then Brady has put in long hours with his coaches to improve his fastball control.
"They [coaching staff] have done an awesome job of giving me tips on ways to throw it [2-seam fastball] in certain counts….and believing in me to throw that pitch in any count."
The command of his fastball is not the only improvement Brady has made since being drafted. In 2015, Dragmire threw his fastball between 93-96 mph, complementing it with a slider and change that sits between 82-86 mhp. Another change he made was switching this grip on his change to a two-seam grip.
In terms of ERA and walks, 2015 was not Brady’s best year; however, he set career highs with 57 strikeouts (11.45K/9) and ground ball rate (2.71 GO/AO). Despite opponents hitting over .300 off him, Dragmire didn’t allow a single home run in 40 relief appearances.
When asked about his struggles, Brady replied,
"Even when it gets tough and feels out of hand, in the end you are going to learn from it. And to just keep on playing because eventually it all comes your away again! The beauty of the game itself."
The California native finished 2015 with 2 wins and 2 losses, a 5.26 ERA, 20 walks and 57 strike outs, with the ERA and BB totals representing by far the highest of his career. His previous high in ERA was in 2014 posting 2.91ERA and 9 walks in 77.1IP. His 2.52 FIP suggests that he pitched much better than indicated by a high ERA and that bad luck may have played a role, so expect a bounce back in those departments.
Like most pitcher, Brady points out that his catchers (Mike Reeves, Jorge Saez, and Martin Medina) were instrumental his growth and state-of-mind. His catchers allowed him to have fun on and off the field.
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After throwing 63.1 innings for the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays, management decided to send the RHP to the Arizona Fall League. In 11IP with the Salt River Rafter’s, Dragmire struck out 14 batters, walked 4, allowed 2 runs (one earned), while posting a 0.82ERA and 2.52FIP.
Brady Dragmire then got added to the 40-man roster shortly after the conclusion of the AFL, and therefore is longer eligible in the upcoming Rule V draft.
When asked about the opportunity to play in Arizona with some of baseball’s top young talent, Brady answered,
"It’s going well! I’m enjoying my out here and I love being close to home!"
Brady’s reaction to being added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster is priceless,
"Oh sweet! It was an unreal feeling, it still is. In a good way though. Its something that you stride for and work at, to be put on. When it finally happens it’s a rush of excitement! I was so excited, my heart was racing and my legs were shaking a bit. After the phone call with Charlie Wilson I just knew I had to call my parents and share with them."
With the off-season in full swing, Brady will get some rest before resuming baseball activities, focusing on his slider, which by his own admission, “I have days, where its [slider] really good and then days where it [slider] isn’t as sharp.”
Regardless of what the future holds for the hard throwing reliever, he’s thankful for the chance and the support he’s received and continues to receive from his parents and coaching staff (Vince Horseman and Sal Fasano).
When Brady isn’t on the field or in the gym, he’s outdoors fishing, hunting and spending time with friends and family.
The 22-yr-old Dragmire will likely start 2016 in Double-A New Hampshire, but not before getting a taste of major league spring training. Brady will have the chance to pick the brains of Toronto’s pitchers and managers, to face major league hitters, and to prove that after 5 years in the system he has what it takes to be a major league reliever.
Good luck in 2016!