Right-hander Dazon Cole enters ‘shock mode’ after being drafted by Los Angeles Angels
When Central Michigan junior right-hander Dazon Cole was selected in the 2018 MLB Draft, he was shocked.
Cole was surprised when he received a phone call from his uncle Eddie Dewalt, who told him he had been picked.
“Really?” Cole questioned.
“Yeah, your name is about to pop up,” Dewalt stated.
Sure enough, Cole’s name appeared as the Los Angeles Angels 25th round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
“During that whole moment, I was just in shock mode," Cole said. "I didn’t know what to do or how to celebrate. It was a dream come true and I can’t wait to head out to start my career with the Angels.”
The most important thing Central Michigan taught Cole throughout his time on the team was overcoming adversity.
"After coming my freshman year and playing every day, the odds slimmed down my next year," Cole said. "I had to overcome injuries this recent year. Being able to be ready at every given moment even if I’m not a starter and play my game is important. I try not to let the game too big and let it come to me.”
From Pontiac, Mich., Cole started seven of the 13 games he pitched in over the course of the 2018 season. He was 1-6 with a 4.53 ERA. In 45.2 innings, Cole struck out 43 and walked 27 hitters.
Cole was used as a starter, reliever, outfielder and hitter throughout his career with the Chippewas. When talking to scouts from the Angels, it was made clear the team wants him in the closer role.
"The Angels want to use me in the back end of their bullpen as a closer," Cole said. "They want me to come in and throw as hard as I can for the team to get saves and wins. I feel comfortable in that position.
“I’m going to go out there and throw my fastball hard, my slider hard and my changeup hard to get outs. I like knowing I’ll be called on in one of the most clutch moments of the game to finish it out. Getting a save is one of the best feelings.”
When looking at his chances of getting drafted, Cole was unsure following the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Instead of going back to school, the right-hander is ready to chase his dreams, even as a 25th round selection.
“It was a little iffy this year and last year," he mentioned. "Last year, I didn’t have a great season and this season, due to injuries, I didn’t have a much better year. It was about the same for both years. I didn’t believe I’d get drafted, but I knew if I did, it wouldn’t be as high as I would have liked.
"I was a little shocked, which is why I was more shocked than excited when I heard the news.”
Cole, when taking the mound, plans to get on and off the field as quickly as possible. He hopes to get to the MLB as soon as possible.
“The longer I’m out there as a pitcher, the harder it will be," Cole said. "I have to get in and get out. The faster I do that, the quicker I’ll get moved up. I just need to keep that mindset.”
Cole believes he is better than his collegiate stats. As a sophomore, he started all 16 games he appeared in, owning a 3-7 record with a 5.92 ERA.
As a hitter in 2017, Cole logged a .268 average with six doubles, one triple, 11 RBI and two stolen bases.
Cole heads to Arizona on June 14 to start his professional career in Minor League Baseball with hopes of making it to the MLB.
“This is my opportunity to go out and show that I’m a lot better than what I have been showing.”