Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler was taken with the first pick of the second round of the Major League Baseball draft Thursday by the Detroit Tigers.
Dingler is the 38th overall pick.
He hit .340 in 50 at-bats this year as a junior before the Buckeyes’ season was cut short after 14 games because of the pandemic. Dingler hit five home runs, all in the final four games of the season.
He began his OSU as a center-fielder before switching to catcher as a sophomore.
"Dillon is a physical presence," Ohio State coach Greg Beals said before the draft. "He’s 6-2, and a really good-looking athlete, a strong kid. He has an absolute cannon for an arm.
"He's got power potential offensively. I think when you put the combination together -- that he can catch and throw and he's got the ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark -- that's what's run him up the draft charts as far as he's gone."
Dingler was regarded as potential first-round pick, but he wasn’t overly disappointed to have to wait until the second day of the draft.
"A bunch of people texted me last night not quite apologizing but saying, ’Stay in there,’" Dingler said in a Zoom call after his selection. "But it’s a first-world problem. It’s one pick apart. It doesn’t matter. Five years down the road, nobody’s going to really remember. You’ve just got to get to work and prove yourself."
The North Canton native was a three-star star at Jackson High School. Beals said he believed when Dingler signed with OSU that he would eventually play pro ball.
"We knew we were getting a good athlete and we were excited about what that meant to his future development when he started concentrating on one sport," Beals said.
Dingler was a captain as both a sophomore and junior.
"There’s just a lot to like about the young man," Beals said. "Not only are (the Tigers) getting a guy that can really play the game of baseball, they're getting a great competitor and even better young man."
Beals said it was bittersweet that Dingler’s junior season was cut short. Had he continued his hitting tear, his draft stock would have risen even more.
"It was hard," Dingler said of having a short season. "But you’e just got to put things in perspective. People are losing their lives, and we’re playing a game and they’re taking away our game for a short amount of time. You have to think about it that way and that kind of helps deal with it.
"It would have been nice to have a full season to see what the team could have done. But I’m very happy with the draft and very happy to be a Tiger."
Ohio State pitcher Seth Lonsway, a redshirt sophomore left-hander, is considered likely to be drafted later Thursday. MLB shortened this year’s draft to five rounds.
Only two Ohio State players have ever been taken in the first round. Pitcher Alex Wimmers went 21st to the Minnesota Twins in 2010. Nick Swisher was picked with the 16th pick in 2002 by Oakland.