"I came out throwing strikes, doing what I was supposed to do, gave [my team] a chance to win," Rollins said. "I think I've gotten more mature about pitching and learning how to pitch a lot better in certain counts, kind of like seeing what the hitters do with certain pitches and what they do in certain counts."
Rollins, who touts a repertoire of a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup, was among a Blue Jays' draft class that featured a lot of pitchers, many of whom signed straight out of high school. Rollins, though, played college ball at San Jacinto College North, in his home state of Texas. He believes the time he spent playing in college has helped him more comfortably transition into pro ball.
"I think it helped me out a lot because coming out of high school, going into college my first year you've gotta buckle down and realize that you can't just throw fastballs passed anybody anymore," he acknowledged.
"In college, you're facing guys that can actually hit instead of playing in high school and there's only a few guys that can hit. I think I jumped ahead of a lot of people by going to college and maturing a lot more and actually learning how to pitch and learning how to throw to certain hitters."
With impressive command in his first season, Rollins struck out 29 batters and walked just three. It's no surprise that he listed his command, along with the will to win, as his biggest strength on the mound.
"I think the biggest strength I can give to the Blue Jays is I come out and I'll fight for my team and always give my team a chance to win, because if you're walking guys, your team can't really do anything about it," he said. "If you can hold them to one or no runs a game, it'll give [your team] a chance to come through and get that big hit or score the winning run."
Along with that, he understands that he has areas of his game to improve upon. He listed his pickoff move, slider and changeup as areas of his game that need work. And though it's the offseason, Rollins said he is going to begin throwing bullpen sessions in the next week so he can start improving on those things.
"I'm going to really buckle down on my offspeed and commanding the zone and I'll be definitely working on my pickoff move somehow."
He also spoke about what he sees for himself in the long-term while with the Blue Jays' organization.
"Hopefully I make it to the show—that's my biggest thing," Rollins said. "If I keep going out and throwing like I did my first season, I think I'll make it. But I also need to get not necessarily bigger, but I need to get stronger and stay conditioned and healthy."
Looking ahead to the 2012 season, Rollins would like to take the next step in his career and play at High-A Dunedin. He knows that if he is to achieve that goal, he will have to perform well in Spring Training.
"Hopefully I start out in Dunedin this year. I just gotta go out and do well in Spring Training. Hopefully I'll start in Dunedin."
The Blue Jays' 24th round pick in the 2011 draft, 21-year-old David Rollins spent time in both Bluefield and Vancouver for his inaugural professional campaign. In a combined total of seven outings and 35.2 innings pitched, the 6-foot-1 lefty posted a 1.77 ERA and a .209 opponent batting average.
Rollins Did What He Was Supposed To Do
David Rollins had a very good professional debut season and now he wants to build on it.
Dunedin Beat Writer
Rollins came out throwing strikes
Dec 1, 2011