SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Sam Dyson has gone viral after the World Baseball Classic. Well, almost."According to Instagram, I got 25 to 50 more followers," Dyson said. "I went over 5,000 followers and said, 'Yeah!'"• Spring:Info | Tickets | Schedule | GearSocial media aside, those who followed the World Baseball Classic
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Sam Dyson has gone viral after the World Baseball Classic. Well, almost.
"According to Instagram, I got 25 to 50 more followers," Dyson said. "I went over 5,000 followers and said, 'Yeah!'"
• Spring:Info | Tickets | Schedule | Gear
Social media aside, those who followed the World Baseball Classic saw what Rangers fans have seen over the past two years. They saw why Dyson has secured a job with the Rangers as one of the more dependable closers in baseball.
"One, he is a groundball machine," manager Jeff Banister said. "And he is more than a groundball machine. He's got swing-and-miss stuff. He can handle big situations. He doesn't get rattled. This is a high quality, back-end bullpen pitcher with his demeanor."
Dyson pitched six innings over five games and did not allow a baserunner. He struck out four while working as a setup reliever.
"Very good…95 mph sinker, the changeup was good, that's what he does," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "Everybody was saying… nasty. Other guys were definitely impressed with him."
Dyson did what he did with the Rangers in 2016. Dyson didn't take over as closer until mid-May, but still finished third in the American League with 38 saves in 43 chances. He had a 2.43 ERA, 16th-best among American League relievers. He also induced opponents to ground into 12 double plays, the most in the league for a reliever.
That was the only category he led the league. Otherwise he was just quietly effective.
That's how he approached the World Baseball Classic.
"Competed, got the job done and put zeros up," Dyson said. "The best part is being with a bunch of guys I had never played with before, coming together and performing at that high level in a short period of time, playing for something that meant so much. It was pretty cool."
Dyson said it was the best experience of his athletic career.
"One-hundred percent," Dyson said. "Anytime you're representing your country and winning for your country, it's hard to beat."
Dyson was as stoic as ever on the mound but admitted there were some "butterflies" inside his stomach.
"It's an unbelievable honor," Dyson said. "Outside of that, you want to do the best you can."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.