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Derek Dietrich

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  • Post last modified:1 May 2024

Nickname: Dietz

Introduction

This one may be a little more recent, so I’m not sure if it has properly marinated yet to be a full blown obscure athlete, but screw it this is my website and I say that Derek Dietrich is a forgotten athlete (or at the very least, a soon to be obscure athlete. Maybe I’ll make that into its own category one day). The first time I had ever heard of Dietrich was Opening Day 2019 when he hit a three-run homer as part of a 5-3 victory for his Cincinnati Reds over the Pittsburgh Pirates (they are going to show up a lot during his little run). This welcome to Cincinnati moment was just the beginning of arguably the hottest stretch of hitting for that 2019 season.

Why He Should Be Remembered

Now in the next series versus the Pirates, Chris Archer pitched him up and in but then, Dietrich, full of attitude, homered and leaned back to watch the ball fly into the Allegheny River at the Pirates’ ballpark. Obviously pissed off now, Archer hurled the ball behind Dietrich’s back when he returned to hit in the fourth inning. The umpire gave a warning to Archer and while the Reds manager was arguing with the ump over this, the benches cleared and fists were thrown. After this brawl saw five players get ejected, Dietrich still wasn’t done bashing that day as later in the eighth inning, he hit another homer into the river. This game was part of a pretty good April in which he had fiver homers and hit .204/.323 OBP/.537 SLG in 65 plate appearances. But Dietz was just heating up.

The hot month of May began on May 3rd, where Dietrich hit two three-run shots against the San Francisco Giants, then followed it up the next day with another solo bomb. As if three homers in two days wasn’t enough, Dietz jacked another solo shot on May 5th. The next couple of weeks saw him cool off a tad (no, not really though) as he only hit four home runs during that stretch. His tally sat at eight home runs for the month of May and then the Pirates came to town (I told you that they were a large part of this stretch). The first homer against them came on the 27th of May and then Dietrich did this:

A three dinger game for Derek effin’ Dietrich. I mean he genuinely had the Reds thinking that they had found a diamond in the rough as they got him for cheap from free agency. His month of May ended with him slashing .304 BA/.400 OBP/.841SLG to go along with twelve long balls. He had everything going for him, the beautiful lefty swing, the attitude, the slicked back hair, I mean Reds’ fans loved him. Just as quickly as he came though, he was gone.

Why He Is Not Remembered

After his three homer game, he only hit two more homers the rest of the 2019 season. In fact, in his last 57 games he only had just 12 hits. His June and July splits, .140 BA/.329 OBP/ .263 SLG and .150 BA/ .306 OBP/ .300 SLG, resulted in him playing less and less as the year went on. He ended up signing a minor league contract with the Reds in 2020, but ultimately opted out of it. His last stint in the majors was with the Texas Rangers and then a stop at the minor league affiliate for the New York Yankees. He was then suspended for PEDs (can’t even blame him for this here. Who wouldn’t want to try and recreate some of that magic?) and that’s all she wrote for Dietz’s MLB career.

Where He Is Now

Currently, Dietrich is an advisor to the New York Yankees’ player development system. Being with the minor league club back in 2022, he has a good understanding of the organization and how it operates. It sounds like he is showing the young players how to properly train their bodies and what to expect from the majors. He’s basically “Unc” for them and that’s not a bad gig to have at all. I’m sure he tells them stories of when he was the hottest hitter in baseball at one point.

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