Dustin May Shines In Big League Camp
An eye-catching burst of red hair explodes from the back of Dustin May's baseball cap. But it's the way the ball explodes out of his hand that bodes well for his future.
"I've seen composure, confidence and pitchability and really good stuff," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of May, who spent spring training in big league camp. "He knows exactly what he wants to do to big league hitters. He can strike his secondary pitches, has weapons to attack guys left and right.
"He's a pitchability guy—with a lot of stuff."
Roberts acknowledges that the 21-year-old righthander is "not a finished product" but praises him for having a four-pitch mix beyond his years.
"I've always pretty much had a fastball and curveball. That's always been part of my mix," May said. "I always struggled with a changeup. Last year I added a cutter and it was just pretty easy for me."
During instructional league, May worked with Connor McGuiness, who was his pitching coach at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga, on different grips for his changeup. He finally settled on a split-finger grip that plays well off his other pitches.
May, a 2016 third-rounder out of high school in Texas, fared well against hitters at both the high Class A and Double-A levels in 2018. In total he went 9-5, 3.39 and struck out 122 while walking 29 in 132.1 innings.
The Dodgers are high enough on May that they refused to include him in their July trade for Manny Machado. He was off the table this winter, too.
The long-limbed, 6-foot-6 May was effective enough this spring that Roberts said he wouldn't be surprised to see May in Los Angeles this summer.
Spending all spring surrounded by major league players has given May time to wrap his mind around the idea that he could make his big league debut this season.
"Yes, you kind of start thinking about it," May said. "It is a possibility, but you never know for sure. You have to wait for that moment and then take advantage of it. That's why I'm trying to soak up as much as I can then work hard to get back here."
—Roberts was similarly effusive about another righthander in big league camp: 24-year-old Tony Gonsolin. He and May were both 2016 draft picks, with Gonsolin going in the ninth round out of St. Mary's.