The Detroit Tigers used their first pick on the second day of the 2020 First-Year Amateur Player Draft on catcher Dillon Dingler from the Ohio State University down in Columbus. Since then, he has quite possibly been the Tigers’ most exciting catching prospect.
Even though there was a heavy amount of buzz around Detroit Tigers catching prospect Jake Rogers who has fizzled out immensely, not to mention, he is going to be sidelined with his Tommy John Surgery which will certainly allow a better opportunity for Dingler to keep getting his reps in.
At the big league level, the Tigers made a move to bring in Tucker Barnhart for the big league roster. Barnhart will lock things down at the big league level with Eric Haase to back him up. So Dingler has some time to wait, but this time might do him good.
Dingler can use this time to work on the tools of the trade that will be crucial for his future career. If Dingler comes out as a future catcher for this organization and really hones in on his tools in the minors, things could work out splendidly.
Detroit Tigers catcher Dillon Dingler will have the time to develop.
Dingler spent the summer of 2021 climbing through the ranks of the Tigers organization. He started in Rookie ball and worked his way up to Double-A with the Erie Seawolves. With the Seawolves, he logged 50 games with a .202/.264/.314 slash line with four home runs with 20 RBI. It was not the best performance with the Seawolves, or overall, but there’s still time to make improvements.
Overall he had 85 total games in 2021 across the levels. He had a .239/.310/.407 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI overall. While he has not been a solid and exciting prospect for the Tigers, some things are going to blossom during his time in the minors.
If he can go out and continue to work on these tools, the Tigers might be able to breed a future solid catcher from within. Think about what the San Francisco Giants have done with Joey Bart, another high-level pick who spent a lot of time in the minors and then worked to be insanely good.
Bart will take over things now that Buster Posey has hung up the cleats, but the Tigers can have Dingler do the same thing. That’s the hopeful result. So, looking ahead, Dingler will have to work on his tools of the trade and iron things out to be the future stud catcher the Tigers are hoping for.
Dingler seems like he’s got two years from getting into the big leagues. That’s the minimum. From the looks of it, Barnhart will be around for the long haul, and Haase is still here too. So Dingler will have to wait his turn, but when the time comes, there’s hope he will be the player that the Tigers need.
With a two- to three-year timeline to his debut, there’s a chance the Tigers are in an excellent spot to hammer out development on him until the time comes where he’s needed. When he does crack the big league roster, he can be worked in slowly, which also might be great for his future in the bigs.