Dillon Dingler on the move in the Detroit Tigers minor-league system
AKRON – On his rare day off from baseball, Dillon Dingler enjoys playing golf with his teammates.
As for the quality of golf, the former Jackson High School three-sport star and Ohio State star shakes his head and says, âIt’s terrible. Everything is going well.
It’s good to know that Dingler is human.
It’s also worth pointing out that Dingler’s baseball swing is doing very well.
Dingler, drafted last year in the second round by the Detroit Tigers, is making his professional debut this season after COVID-19 knocked out minor league baseball in 2020. He has already made it to Double-A. He finds himself in Akron this week with the Erie SeaWolves against the RubberDucks.
On June 14, Dingler, 22, was promoted to High Class-A West Michigan after defeating 0.287 with eight homers, six doubles and 25 RBIs in 37 games. In five games with Erie coming in this week, he was down .294 with a run batted in and a pair of runs scored.
After:Ohio State coach saw professional future for Dillon Dingler early on
âI’m happy with the way I’ve played so far, both offensively and defensively,â Dingler told Canal Park on Tuesday. âAt the (alternate) site last year and this spring training I kind of got my feet wet. But I didn’t really feel comfortable until a few weeks after the professional ball started. You start to learn certain things and the routine becomes a little easier.
Handling the workload of a professional catcher on a day-to-day basis is a process, even for a 6-foot-2, 215-pound specimen like Dingler, a guy Erie’s manager Arnie Beyeler described as “Very athletic.” For a catcher, he’s just a very athletic guy.
Erie plays Akron for the rest of the week
The SeaWolves seated Dingler on Tuesday for a scheduled day off, much to the chagrin of the many purple-clad Jackson fans who traveled to Canal Park to watch Dingler play.
“I feel pretty bad about it,” said Dingler, who is at the mercy of a Tigers organization that is more interested in properly developing its valuable perspective than in appeasing the people of Jackson Township.
Local fans should have plenty of opportunities to catch Dingler in person as Erie is in Akron until Sunday.
Dingler seems to enjoy life as a professional baseball player, the novelty of it all not fading since the Tigers made him the second-highest Stark County player selected in the history of the Draft. Major League Baseball ranked 38th (Thurman Munson was chosen fourth in 1968).
âI still think it’s pretty funny,â he said. âYou still feel like you’re playing a game, like in school, but now you get paid to play baseball. I feel very lucky to be in this situation. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Join top prospects Spencer Torkelson and Riley Green in Erie
Baseball folks tend to think the future is very bright for Dingler, who is the fourth prospect in the Tigers’ organization. He was promoted to Erie with infielder Spencer Torkelson, the Tigers’ No.1 prospect and No.1 pick in last year’s draft. They join outfielder Riley Green, the Tigers’ No.2 prospect and a 2019 first-round pick, in a SeaWolves team that has the undivided attention of Detroit baseball fans.
Dingler does his best to avoid the chatter that goes up the ladder. Baseball is tough enough without worrying about the next stop.
âIt’s a lot of talk. A bunch of rumors, âDingler said. âYou try not to think about it. You can’t get dragged into it or anything. All you can do is take care of your business on a daily basis.
While Dingler is a catcher likely paving a faster path to the big leagues, it also accentuates his professional baseball learning curve. Handling a throwing stick and receiving / blocking / framing throws at a high level are huge tasks for a young player like Dingler, who has turned heads with his right arm rifle.
Becoming a major league catcher seems to be the first priority, followed by becoming a major league hitter.
âYou have to be a catcher first,â Dingler said. âIt’s a plus if you can hit. “
Beyeler put it this way: âFrom now on, it’s all going to come down to his capture. The pitchers don’t care about his at-bats. They just want him to catch the ball and block the ball and know which fingers to put down. Some guys struggle with that when they get to Double-A, Triple-A, in the big leagues.
âNow he has some potential as a bat on the road. Hope he can be in the middle of the order type. It’s hard for a lot of receivers once they hit Double A to put that on the back burner and reach the big leagues as a receiver.
All three sports star for the Jackson Polar Bears
Dingler was sort of a figure from Bo Jackson to Jackson.
As a senior, he was talented enough to be Stark County Player of the Year in the Canton Repository and a sixth man on the Jackson State champion basketball team before he even drew. reach for his bread and butter baseball (where he helped lead Jackson to another championship state with his future pro colleague Kyle Nicolas).
He then went to Ohio State, where he won the All-Big Ten Freshman honors in a position (center field) he had never played in his life before returning to wide receiver.
The Dingler star continues to move up into professional baseball.
Despite his high notoriety, Dingler retains an unassuming quality that dates back to Ohio state to his high school years in Jackson.
âHe’s a great teammate. Fits everywhere, âBeyeler said. âHe’s not the guy who runs his chest forward and expects to be given everything. He works his butt and shows up early every day. He wants to learn. He asks questions. â¦ With his attitude, the sky is the limit.
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On Twitter: @jweirREP