He posted a 1.50 ERA in six games for the GCL Blue Jays last year, limited opposing batters to a paltry .171 batting average, walked just one batter, and struck out fifteen in just twelve innings.
"Just to be able to get down here -- my goal for playing in the GCL last year was to get used to the five-man rotation and get used to the pro ball lifestyle, grinding it out every single day," he said. "I was able to adapt to it fairly quickly and have some success in my first stay in the GCL."
He acknowledges the fact that he didn't exactly have a ton of time last year to make any sort of radical improvements to his game. And while he is the first one to admit his game is predicated on his advanced secondary pitches, he would like to see some progress with his 90-92 mph fastball down the road.
"Something I can definitely improve on is fastball velocity," he admitted. "I know people can pitch with a low-90s fastball but I'm a little bit bigger of a guy. If I get a little more weight on me and get a little bit stronger -- I'm 19 so it's going to come with time -- but if there's anything I can do to expedite that process that would benefit me I think.
"Hopefully I'll get bigger, stronger, and start throwing the ball harder, but I want to be able to command the ball to both sides of the plate and do it with all three pitches so I can feel comfortable throwing anything.
"Mark Beurhle apparently never shakes off and he works quick because he has faith in every single pitch and every single time, and I love that mentality.
"That's something I've been able to hear from some of the guys coming down and I think that's a great philosophy, and I'd love to be able to command my pitches like that."
Wrapping up his very first Spring Training, DeJong has used his time in camp to pick up as many nuances as he can and also see how he stacks up against the competition.
"It's humbling when you get here and think 'I played in the GCL, I can hang with these guys' and when you get to Instructs 'these guys are pretty good but I can still hang with them', and then you get all of these Double-A and Triple-A guys and I'm 19 [years old] but it's like 'I can still hang but some of these guys are getting pretty big'.
"It's humbling but it's a lot of fun being able to mix in with these guys. We do have a lot of young prospects and it's been a lot a fun hanging out with them and picking their brain.
"I've only been in pro ball a few months so I've been asking guys about their routines and how they've gotten through it, and how to get through it every single day for seven months."
In sponge-like fashion, DeJong, who wants to continue harnessing his command and his overall consistency, simply wants to keep progressing on an upward track in his first full season this year and it starts by taking in as much as possible.
"I'm definitely like a sponge. One thing I pride myself on is I love learning about the game. I ask questions and I really want to know the answers.
"There's a lot of guys in this clubhouse that have been playing a while and we have a great resource in our coaches and scouting department so I ask as many questions as I can and absorb as much as I can.
"Just to be a better pitcher at the end than I was at the beginning," he said of his goal for 2013. "I just want to keep getting better every year, do my time in the minor leagues, and get up to Toronto."
DUNEDIN, FL - Right-hander Chase DeJong had a solid professional debut season with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays last year, but the 2012 second round pick says he's been using his time in his first Spring Training camp to soak up as much information as possible.
DeJong Like A Sponge
Chase DeJong is soaking everything in at his first Spring Training camp.
DeJong is picking up a lot of things in camp
Mar 31, 2013