Red Sox prospect Tyler Dearden is ready for another career season
We’ve been talking a lot lately about how solid the Red Sox farm system is and it’s hard to not get excited about the talent that’s rising through the ranks. We all know the big names that will more than likely be calling Fenway Park home in the near future but one guy that doesn’t get as much love is outfield prospect, Tyler Dearden.
Dearden currently plays for the Greenville Drive, Boston’s High-A affiliate and he’s coming off of a career season. The New Jersey native was drafted by the Red Sox back in 2017 and has slowly made his way up the ranks of the developmental system. I think many of us get caught up in the excitement of how fast some of our prospects make it through the system whereas Dearden is more of your standard story.
Had COVID not erased the 2020 season he’d have five years of MiLB action under his belt but he sits at just four thanks to the lost year. While he has shown some glimpses of what he could be his progress isn’t quite up to what some of the other names we constantly hear about have done. The outfielder spoke this week about what he did in 2020 and 2021, as well as, what his goals are for 2022 as we inch closer to the MiLB season.
"“For me, I think it was one of the best things to happen to me personally because I was coming off kind of a down year in ‘19 where I was injured,” Dearden said. “2020 kind of gave me a chance to really focus on getting my body healthy and getting my swing really to where I wanted it to be. It gave time to really take some time and dive in and get my swing in a place that I felt confident in.”"
That down year he talks about in 2019 actually syncs up with a memory of mine. While visiting my brother and his family in Greenville that summer we made our way over the Fluor Field to see the Drive do the damn thing. My main point of excitement that night was seeing Triston Casas in person but it was Dearden that had me talking as I left the ballpark that night.
The Drive had a 4-1 lead heading to the bottom of the seventh inning and Dearden would come up with the bases juiced. He hadn’t recorded a hit yet that night but this was one of those moments where everything fell perfectly into place.
Dearden got a pitch that was right where he needed it to be and he launched a grand slam right into the section we were sitting in, putting the game out of reach for the Columbia Fireflies.
From that moment on I was a Tyler Dearden Guy. As I look at his player page on Sox Prospects, there’s plenty to be excited about while they don’t hold back on their analysis of his future.
Luckily, at just 23-years-old he has plenty of time to figure things out and continue to work on his deficiencies. If the Red Sox has any sort of flux as far as positions are concerned it’s in the outfield. We may be set for the now, but the future is definitely wide open and Tyler can kick the door in.
"“Potential minor league depth player. Can dream on a bat-first, corner outfield profile, but has a lot of development to go, and there is wide gap between what he is now and what he could be in the future. Progress has been slow and impeded by injuries. Must develop physically. Will have to hit, as he doesn’t project to add much defensive value.” – Sox Prospects"
Dearden credits his career-best 2021 campaign by staying healthy and just trying to slow the game down. By being more patient at the plate his offensive numbers skyrocketed and it’s likely going to be the reason why he should see a promotion in 2022.
His final slash for Greenville last season was a strong .261/.368/.523 with a Greenville record 24 homers and 80 RBI. Again, it won’t be easy to match those numbers again but staying healthy will definitely be the first step.
That summer I got to see him play he had to battle hamstring and ankle issues which hampered any chances at production he may have had. Now that he’s healthy and ready to rock after a good showing in the Winter Warm-Up Camp, his future is bright.
"“For me, it was more about kind of just simplifying things,” Dearden said. “Just trying to get into a good position consistently. And I think mentally, it was a big thing taking it one pitch at a time, one at-bat at a time. Kind of slowing the game down. Something that I think worked for me all year was just telling myself good or bad, I’m always one swing away. I’m one pitch away. And I think that played a big role.”"
MassLive’s Christopher Smith mentions that Dearden will most likely start 2022 with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs which will put his work ethic to the test. He’ll need to keep putting in the hours that he is now but with a stronger level of competition ahead of him it’ll take even more to keep climbing the ranks.
Just based on what he said about not just his 2021 season but what he’s doing to prepare for the 2022 campaign has me excited. He knows his weaknesses and is formatting his training and working toward turning them into strengths.
The Red Sox have plenty of exciting prospects in the system right now and Tyler Dearden should be on that list for people. If he repeats what he did last year with the Sea Dogs, I think we’ll be putting much more respect on his name.