Tyler Nevin Seizes AFL Opportunity
Tyler Nevin seized the opportunity to play in the Arizona Fall League after replacing shortstop Brendan Rodgers, who was scratched because of shoulder soreness. Besides hitting safely in 10 of the first 11 games in which he played, Nevin was hitting .436/.538/.641 with two doubles, three triples, 17 RBIs and just two strikeouts in 39 at-bats with 10 walks.
"He’s really got a good combination of patience, power and hitting ability,” farm director Zach Wilson said. "He’s even surprised me a little bit with how well he’s performed there. I knew he would do well, but the strides that he has taken and the type of at-bats that he’s taken there are even more advanced than I expected at this point.”
A 2015 supplemental first-round pick out of Poway (Calif.) High, Nevin was drafted as a third baseman but played first base in the AFL after making 66 starts there and 16 at third base in 2018 at high Class A Lancaster.
The 21-year-old Nevin hit .328/.386/.503 in the California League while establishing career highs in doubles (25), home runs (13) and, most importantly, games played (100). He dealt with a minor quad injury, but that was nowhere near as severe as the hamstring injury that limited him to one game in 2016 at short-season Boise or the broken hand in 2017 that limited him to 82 games, mostly at low Class A Asheville.
"The more he plays, the more he just keeps getting better and better and better,” Wilson said. "That’s been the key this year is just keeping him on the field and getting those reps on both sides of the ball.”
Nevin, whose father Phil, was drafted first overall by the Astros in 1992 and played 12 seasons in the majors, is listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds.
"For the kind of size that he has and kind of the long levers, it’s a very quiet approach,” Wilson said of the righthanded hitter. "It’s a simple swing from start to finish. It’s a very clean path to the baseball, but he’s able to keep the barrel in the zone a long time.
"He has a very selective eye. He’s got good discipline, and he ends at-bats when they should be ended, meaning when he gets a pitch to hit, he’s attacking it. Sometimes it’s a double and sometimes it’s a ground ball to short, but he’s ending at-bats when they should end and that’ll keep the strikeouts down, too.”
Seven ex-MLB Players To Know In The KBO
Here are seven foreign players scouts and front office officials specifically identified as ones they’ll be watching closely in the KBO this season.
• A broken right hand ended first baseman Roberto Ramos’ winter ball stint after 14 games in the Mexican Pacific League, where he hit .326/.448/.587 with two homers, 10 walks and 18 strikeouts. He was showing better breaking-ball recognition after combining for 140 strikeouts and 58 walks last season at Lancaster and Double-A Hartford while hitting .269/.360/.510 with 32 homers and 77 RBIs.
• Rookie-level Grand Junction pitching coach Doug Jones was let go after four seasons in the organization, the past two in the Pioneer League following two in the Northwest League.