As the Youngstown State University baseball team began its rebuilding season last week, Drew Dosch helped take the team one step closer to its goal by being named the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year by Baseball America.
Dosch, a junior third baseman, batted .353 last season with eight home runs and 13 runs batted in.
“It’s a great honor,” Dosch said. “If you look around the league, there are a lot of great players.”
Dosch was named to the Cape Cod All-Star Game as a designated hitter, which caught the attention of Jim Callis, an executive editor at Baseball America.
“If you go back to the Cape Cod game, that’s where he caught my eye,” Callis said. “He wasn’t on a lot of scouts’ radars, but he was definitely coming off of a good sophomore year.”
Callis explained the significance of Dosch’s appearance in the All-Star game and the importance of Dosch’s patience at the plate, noting that he struck out only 21 times in 2012 but was walked 23 times.
“Dosch has a good left-handed swing with a lot of power. He’s a potent left-hander,” Callis said. “Alongside his power, he controls the strike zone really well.”
Dosch pitched in high school and admitted that though his transition to third base in college hasn’t been the easiest, he’s doing his best to improve. He added that aside from all-around consistency on defense, his offense is key for him as a player.
“Defense has always been a focus of mine. It’s been a learning process for sure,” he said.
Callis said that Dosch’s ranking was based more on his offense than defense. “He’s not the quickest player at third base, kind of erratic, but his arm strength is a big improvement for him going forward,” Callis said.
Head baseball coach Steve Gillispie, who is in his first season at YSU, said he is impressed with Dosch.
“He’s an extremely hard worker, he’s here early and he’s one of the last guys to leave,” Gillispie said.
Gillispie said that Dosch is a team-first player, adding that baseball doesn’t affect his personality outside of the field.
“He’s the first guy to volunteer for community service activities, things we’re doing outside of baseball, and he’s nearly a 4.0 student,” Gillispie said.
Dosch said that after college, he wants to play for as long as he possibly can, whether that’s in Major League Baseball or not.
“It’s always been my dream to play professionally since I was a little kid,” Dosch said. “You know, that’s every little kid’s dream, being in the World Series.”
Growing up south of Columbus, Dosch and his father would watch Cincinnati Reds games, but the Reds weren’t Dosch’s favorite team.
“My favorite team growing up was always the St. Louis Cardinals,” Dosch said. “Jim Edmonds had this left-handed swing that my dad loved and wanted me to model after.”Dosch said after watching the team and Edmonds over and over, the Cardinals have stuck with him, though he would love the opportunity to play for any major league team.Callis said Dosch has a real possibility of getting drafted. “If I had to guess, I could see him going in the third or fifth round of the MLB draft,” he said.Gillispie said he doesn’t want Dosch to shoulder all of the responsibility for the team. “We will only be as good as our 35-man roster will allow us to be. One guy will not make or break our season,” Gillispie said. However, Gillispie also said his goals for Dosch are important not only for the YSU team, but for Dosch himself. “I want him to be as good as he can possibly be,” Gillispie said. “The better he performs, the better it’ll be for YSU baseball.”