Minor Monday: Tyler Nevin shows power for Triple-A Norfolk - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Minor Monday: Tyler Nevin shows power for Triple-A Norfolk

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Tyler Nevin is not putting any added pressure on himself to hit a bunch of home runs in his first season at Triple-A Norfolk.

Nonetheless, he knows that’s the quickest path to the majors.

And Nevin has homered a team-leading four times in his first 11 games — tied for third-most in Triple-A East.

“I provide solid defense, but my main influence has been my bat and that’s how it’s been for my whole life,” Nevin said. “I haven’t consciously made more of an effort to hit home runs. When I barrel the ball consistently as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more home runs. I felt really close all year.

“A lot of my strikeouts, I fouled off a pitch I should have hit. I’m not in any sort of mindset that way right now. It’s more about hitting the barrel consistently and letting things happen after that.”

Nevin was acquired by the Orioles along with infielder Terrin Vavra and outfielder Mishael Deson from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Mychal Givens on August 30, 2020.

In his last competitive season in 2019, Nevin appeared in a career-high 130 games with Double-A Hartford and was named the Eastern League Player of the Month for August after leading all Eastern League players in home runs (8), RBIs (24), slugging percentage (.609), OPS (.972), extra-base hits (19), and total bases (67).

In six minor-league seasons, Nevin has slashed .286/.362/.441 with 36 home runs and 93 RBIs in 366 games (1,362 at-bats).

Nevin said the Orioles have been helpful with the analytics and putting players in a position to succeed in Norfolk.

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“It’s not much different as far as playing the actual game,” Nevin said. “I feel like I have more tools as far as scouting reports over here. There’s a lot more analytic approach and just broader information. That might be a Triple-A, Double-A thing. I like the tools that are provided for me over here a lot. It’s nice to develop a game plan going forward.”

Nevin is savoring his time with his new teammates in Norfolk. Several players, such as catcher Austin Wynns and infielder Seth Mejias-Brean, have major league experience. He’s also close to third baseman Rylan Bannon, who has yet to play in the majors but was added to the 40-man roster last fall. Those players have been helpful in providing advice and insight on what it takes to make the next step.

“I think it’s a great mix of guys who have spent some years in Triple-A, maybe with different organizations,” Nevin said. “I’ve talked to a bunch of older guys, Wynns, Seth, guys that have played in the big leagues, picking their brains and watching them play a more cerebral game with more advanced approaches and stuff that is helpful at the big-league level. I’ve learned a lot in a short time from those older guys.

“It’s also fun watching a guy like Rylan — he has a little bit of experience at Triple-A, too, but we’re on the younger side and it’s a great mix of guys, and I’m excited for this year. We have a lot of fun together and a lot of talent.”

Nevin is also enjoying the experience of playing in competitive games. Until this year, he had spent his brief time in the Orioles’ organization at the alternate training site in Bowie. The return of fans to the stadiums has also been energizing — on the road and at Harbor Park.

“Getting out of the hotel and having some people want to see you win is going to be a fun thing we missed for the past 600 or so days,” Nevin said. “I didn’t participate in an affiliated game last year, just the alternate site so it’s going to be a sight for sore eyes.”

Nevin, who is the son of longtime major leaguer and current New York Yankees coach Phil Nevin, and his teammates at Norfolk did have to make some other adjustments this season. The Triple-A teams compete with opponents  in six-game series in order to cut down on travel, as opposed to the traditional three- or four-game series.

That means the pitchers and opposing hitter develop more of familiarity with one another during the extended trips. However, Nevin is just appreciative of playing competitive baseball again.

“It’s weird playing against the same team for six straight days,” Nevin said. “It’s different for sure. You might see a relief pitcher three times in one series. You see the same starter the first day as you see the last if they’re on a five-man rotation.

“It’s a new challenge. You’re going to have a team adapt to you quicker and know you better. So, it’s on you to adjust quicker. It’s kind of interesting how it plays out to make those adjustments on the fly. It’s still baseball so it’s not that crazy, but it’s definitely different.”

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Bman

    May 17, 2021 at 7:47 am

    Getting Nevin, Vavra, and Deson for givens was highway robbery

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 17, 2021 at 8:50 am

      It does look like a pretty good trade doesn’t it? Of course, a couple of these guys are going to have to actually make it to the majors and produce before we can readlly crow about it. But you’re right, it appears Elias may have fleeced somebody.

  2. Orial

    May 17, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Good article about a potential journeyman type ballplayer but 2 things: one–he’s basically a first baseman so get in line Tyler and two–covering one player in these writeups is fine but covering at least 3 or 4 each week would be more beneficial. We starve for a LOT of MiLB info.

    • FantasyGM

      May 17, 2021 at 8:31 am

      Agree Nevin will most likely be a journey type player. Agree he is basically a 1B, his 0.901 minor career fielding pct at 3B is worrisome. Agree more than one player write up a week would be good.

      Hitting 4 home runs in 12 games is great, but Nevin slugging 0.447 for the season isn’t really that notable IMO, six AAA-E teams have team average slugging percentages above 0.447 for the season. Striking out 17 times in 51 PAs isn’t very good either.

    • Rich Dubroff

      May 17, 2021 at 9:00 am

      Orial, Todd will be at Aberdeen’s home opener tomorrow night, and he was at Bowie’s home opener last Tuesday. I’m glad that readers are enjoying our minor league coverage.

  3. FantasyGM

    May 17, 2021 at 8:52 am

    A statistical ode to Ramon Urias, much under appreciated middle infielder (okay primarily 2B).
    With a two-part harmony (imagine it) featuring value comparison to Chance Sisco, who, in case you didn’t know, has thrown out 6 of 9 would be base stealers this season!

    Oh Ramon! 5 for 9 over the past 14 days. With a 2021 WAR calculated higher than Pat and Rio’s WARs by both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference; 5th best WAR on team for non-pitchers according to FanGraphs, 7th best according to Baseball Reference. Why? Why, o why, have they sent you to Norfolk? Is it the five errors? Did you tick off the wrong person(s)? Did you go afoul of the Orioles’ COVID protocols?

    Your 0.3 career WAR over 86 PAs is better than Sisco’s 0.2 career WAR over 576 PAs, making your value approximately 7 times more than Sisco’s. But remember Sisco was never, ever, nuh uh, given a fair chance, but you kind sir, have!

    According the homers & haters here on BB comment board, Elias finally, F I N A L L Y, made a good transaction!

    Stay strong until we see you again in the MLB, yours sincerely – OFGM!!!

  4. Orioles20

    May 17, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Nevin has a low average which I think could be attributed to the fact that he has no help in the dreadful Norfolk lineup. Same with Adley in the Bowie lineup. They are not pitching to adley and it shows in his numbers. He had six walks in two games over the weekend. He his showing power though. Hopefully they can get adley some help down there.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 17, 2021 at 12:13 pm

      Or bertter yet, maybe Adley can give the Os some help up here?

    • CalsPals

      May 17, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      Absolutely:)….go O’s…

    • dlgruber1

      May 17, 2021 at 2:10 pm

      There should be NO pitching around batters in minor leagues. I understand that teams want to win games but what good is that teaching anybody at the minor league level? What, are scouts telling the GM such and such a pitcher is looking great but is struggling with pitching around hitters so I’d keep him in the minors a bit longer? I don’t have the answer for it but in my opinion umpires should have the discretion to, say, I don’t know, maybe give the hitter 2nd base if he determines they pitched around him, and even if there were runners in 2nd and 3rd then the runner from 3rd scores and the runner in 2nd gets 3rd. Pitching around someone in minor league ball is BS.

      • CalsPals

        May 18, 2021 at 9:59 am

        Agree, not sure what it teaches batters or pitchers, other than an easy way out, not sure how you could enforce it, but it makes sense…Go O’s…

    • FantasyGM

      May 17, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      Hahahaha, that’s very funny Orioles20!

      Yesterday’s dreadful Norfolk lineup featured the following:
      1 Wilkerson BA 0.357, OPS 0.914
      2 McCoy 0.289, 0.831
      3 Mejias-Brean 0.294, 0.839
      4 Cumberland 0.282, 0.851
      7 Wynns 0.320, 0.913

      Those five dreadful players definitely have contributed to Nevin’s BA 0.191 and OPS 0.682.

      Now let’s look at those slackers at Bowie that are dragging Rutschman’s BA down – yesterday’s dreadful Bowie lineup featured:
      1 Vavra 0.382, 1.210
      2 Santander 0.333, 1.012
      4 Dorrian 0.333, 1.420
      5 Escarra 0.250, 1.007
      6 Jarrett 0.289, 0.752
      7Neustrom 0.317, 0.776

      You win today’s “say anything” unsubstantiated negative nonsense post and the wanna-be 80s boy band, Simple Mind Redux, consisting of BRR and CP get supporting nonsense awards!

      • Orioles20

        May 17, 2021 at 7:45 pm

        Ok let’s not act any of those guys at triple a are world beaters. We’ve all seen what Wilkerson can do which is a whole of nothing. McCoy might be something. Mejas-Brean is a journeyman and the other two are platoon catchers. As far as double a are you really going to put that much stock on Santander rehabbing for three games in double a. What I meant by help is protection in the order. They’re not pitching to him.

      • Tileman

        May 18, 2021 at 7:47 am

        I love those stats and for keeping everyone honest

  5. willmiranda

    May 17, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    I, too, appreciate the coverage of minor league players. Like Orial, I would prefer reading about a number of players; I also would prefer more baseball information and less human-interest dialogue. I know that many people here dismiss batting average, but Nevin’s 0.191 is really not promising. I do wish the player well, and I look forward to Todd’s future articles as he develops and hones this feature.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      May 17, 2021 at 2:57 pm

      I can’t imagine a baseball fan that dismisses batting average.

    • dlgruber1

      May 17, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      BRR, I don’t believe it’s the everyday fan that dismisses the BA, especially the old timers like myself. I think it’s the talking heads on MLB network, Sportscenter and even, believe it or not, some GMs. It’s the “exit velocity” that’s all that matters to them now. Some guy wrote an article criticizing Alberto in 2019, saying how he’s the “luckiest hitter in baseball” because his over .300 avg was somehow achieved while being in the lowest 10% of MLB players in average exit velocity. I responded to him by saying “no, he’s achieved that by making contact more than just about anybody in MLB”. I ended by asking him “what’s the exit velocity of a K?” Not surprisingly I didn’t receive a response.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        May 17, 2021 at 6:01 pm

        I guess the game has left dinosaurs like me behind but I hear you. All the analyticss and technology is fine, it really is. but does it really tell us anything we don’t know about grading a player than simply watching him? I can tell when the ball is hit really hard. Can’t everyone?

        Batting average to me, is the end all (but not only) statistic when grading a hitter. Why? Because hitting a baseball consistently is hard. Putting wood on the ball is HARD. Especially one against a pro pitcher at any level. Heck, I could never hit a curve and I played through my Sr. year in high school. To say a .300 hitter is lucky, is showing your ignorance of the game.

    • Icterus fan

      May 17, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      Hey Gruber, good take regarding the Hanser Alberto observation.
      Exit velocity simply follows the steroids era – mashing homers and tossing 98 mph heat seems to be the name of the game. Not opposite field hitting, gappers, understanding strategies, beating the shift, taking pitches, hitting ‘em where they ain’t, hustling down the line, and all the other seemingly ignored fundamentals that we often grouse about.

      I like our guys

    • Shamus

      May 18, 2021 at 9:19 am

      Alberto batting .228 with Royals… maybe those guys were correct

      • willmiranda

        May 18, 2021 at 10:39 am

        Could be those guys were correct. Or maybe the 0.228 is based on a small sample of sporadic appearances by a non-starter.

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