Dillon Dingler 2020 MLB Draft Profile

Dillon Dingler

The 2020 Collegiate Baseball All-American teams were released this week. Ohio State catcher, Dillon Dingler, was featured on the third team. Dingler had an impressive shortened junior season. He had a team-high .340 batting average, four doubles, five home runs, and 14 RBI. The team only competed in 13 total games, but Dingler didn’t need much time to impress MLB scouts.

Dillon Dingler was on pace to surpass almost all of his personal bests from previous seasons. He boasted a .760 SLG which ranked second in the Big Ten. Aside from his batting Dingler also showed he could be versatile in the field. He spent extensive time in the outfield and performed well. His stellar play has him projected to be drafted in the first round. MLB.com rated him the 24th best prospect and third-best catcher in the upcoming draft class. If he does get picked in the first round, he will be the third Ohio State player ever to do so.

Strengths

Dillon Dingler is a very solid catcher behind the plate. He showed above-average arm strength and continues to improve his accuracy. Scouts believe he displays more mobility and athleticism than most backstops. Not to mention his versatility. He can play in the outfield and actually spent the majority of his freshman year in center field. Dingler also shows great leadership and work ethic. He was voted team captain as a sophomore.

As for his batting, Dingler made huge strides in his final college season. The improvement at the plate is clear. In his first two seasons as a Buckeye, he had a combined slash line of .267/.362/.396. As a junior, he hit .340/.404/.760. Obviously this is a smaller sample size to compare but he has the potential to be a successful hitter at the MLB level.

At 6’3, 210 lbs, Dillon Dingler is more than capable of hitting for power. He controls the strike zone well and is able to keep strikeout numbers down. However, his most sought after trait is his defense. So if he can just be consistent at the plate he will be a good asset for any organization. He doesn’t have to be elite with the bat if he continues to improve as a backstop but his recent performance shows that he may just reach high levels in both aspects of his game.

Weaknesses

For most of these first-round talents, finding clear weaknesses in their game is hard and it is no different with Dillon Dingler. The catcher hasn’t always been consistent at the plate and the Buckeyes didn’t play enough games for MLB scouts to be true believers in his swing. With his stature, he should be hitting for power more often. We saw a glimpse of this in his junior campaign but it will need to carry over at the professional level.

Currently, he exhibits plus speed compared to most catchers but it’s unlikely that he maintains that as he continues to play behind the plate. This is typical because of the constant wear and tear that catchers are put through each game. One other red flag could be the recent injury that kept him out for over a month in his sophomore year.

Dingler broke a bone in his left hand and was limited for most of the season. This can obviously be worrisome for scouts but it didn’t seem to be an issue in 2020. Overall, this top-rated catcher is a well-rounded player. He’ll need to be more consistent at the plate and remain healthy. But if he continues to develop he could be an MLB talent in the next few years.

MLB Comparison

To highlight what Dillon Dingler’s production might be like in the majors it’s easier to find current players with similar attributes. His arm strength is the first trait that comes to mind and it reminds me of Cubs’ catcher, Willson Contreras. Dingler is a bit bigger in size, but their skills are what make them stand out.

They possess unique speed for catchers and have raw power at the plate. Even their stances are very much alike. What really puts them apart from the pack is their level of athleticism. You can’t teach their natural talent at the backstop. It’s extremely hard to steal bases against these guys because they have cannons for right arms. They can simply make plays that others cannot. There are two catchers listed above Dingler in the Prospect Rankings, and he has the better arm strength and fielding mechanics than both.

In his first four seasons, Contreras has averaged 25 home runs. His average slash line is .267/.350/.470. Dingler has the ability to reach these numbers but will clearly need time to develop his swing. With more improvements at the plate, he could not only be the best catcher out of this draft but also a future All-Star in the making. Needless to say, he’ll have high expectations placed on him early on in his professional career.

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