Dustin May shot up prospect ranking lists due in large part to a fastball that reaches triple digits in velocity and a sinker with tremendous movement. Both were on display last season as May made his MLB debut and was a key member of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff.
However, tantalizing velocity did not produce the strikeout numbers one would expect. After a successful rookie season, May went to work on refining his arsenal and is primed to put it all together as the fifth member of the Dodgers’ staring rotation.
“Just being able to land a breaking ball, incorporating some more four-seams, getting a little more swing and miss, I feel like helped a lot,” May said of his improvement during Spring Training compared to last year.
The 23-year-old explained, however, that his primary focus is on inducing softer contact, not chasing strikeouts. “I’ve been so fastball dominant down in the zone with my sinker, so they kind of got a good idea of that and they know that’s my go-to,” May added.
“So being able to mix some breaking balls down in the zone or being able to flash the heater up, I feel like has been really good.”
Spring Training also saw May take time away from Cactus League play after a relief appearance to iron out mechanics and improve his direction to home plate. The right-hander returned from the sidework and ‘B’ game to make four starts on a regular rotation turn.
That allowed May to settle into a five-day routine, which he believed further helped fuel success.
May thrilled with role
Although May continued to express a willingness to pitch in any capacity asked of him, there was understandable jubilation with being named to the Dodgers’ rotation.
“I was super excited. I feel like I’ve worked super hard, it definitely wasn’t given to me. I feel like I went out every day and just did what I was supposed to do,” May recently said.
“Ended up working out for me.”
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