When Orioles’ prospect Tyler Nevin’s preschool teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he responded with “baseball player.”
He held on to that dream throughout his childhood, whether it was playing wiffle ball with his mother, father and younger brother in their backyard or attending his big-league dad’s baseball games.
“It’s probably been the one constant in this crazy baseball life my family has,” Nevin said on Glenn Clark Radio July 14. “I can’t remember a time where it wasn’t part of the picture, honestly. … This has always been a dream of mine, and I’m fortunate that I’ve made it this far.”
Nevin’s father, Phil, played 12 years in the big leagues and currently serves as a third base coach for the New York Yankees. He was named a National League All-Star for the San Diego Padres in 2001 and was the Padres’ MVP in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He was also named the National League Player of the Week three times. He was a .270/.343/.472 career hitter with 208 home runs and 743 RBIs.
Between his father’s play at the big-league level and his family’s competitive nature, Nevin continued to work toward his childhood dream. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies out of high school in 2015.
Those dreams eventually came true. Nevin was called up to the Orioles May 28 and made his professional debut the following day on his 24th birthday against the Chicago White Sox. During the game, Nevin hit a double.
“It was amazing,” Nevin said, reflecting on his major-league debut. “It hasn’t always been a smooth road. I’ve had some injuries here and there. … Just to kind of see it all come to fruition was incredibly special. I can’t put it into words.”
Nevin was grateful to have his family in the stands during his debut. The Nevin family’s loud cheers and claps put a smile on the California native’s face.
Today, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound Nevin plays for Triple-A Norfolk. He has hit .249/.328/.473 with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs across 54 games this season entering play July 21.
The Orioles acquired Nevin in a deal that sent right-handed pitcher Mychal Givens to the Colorado Rockies in August 2020. Baltimore also received infielder Terrin Vavra as part of the trade.
Nevin believes that his major-league debut provided him with the necessary assurance that he is capable of playing at the highest level. He will continue to work to get back there.
“More than anything, I think it showed that I can do that,” Nevin said. “I always believed in myself, but I went up and I felt comfortable right away — and it’s just really helping me going forward.”
Nevin plans to continue improving his skills, whether that may be in the field or in the batter’s box. He has played at first and third base and in right and left field at Norfolk. A corner infielder by trade, Nevin says he feels good in the outfield and focuses on making the right play and taking efficient routes to the ball.
For now, Nevin says he will continue to focus on the present rather than the future and encourages other minor leaguers to do the same.
“Any day you can get called up, but you can’t get caught up in that,” Nevin said. “You’ve got to be present. You’ve got to be where you’re at and work with what’s in front of you. If you spent your whole day daydreaming about the next level, you’re not going to do much at this one. It’s a day-to-day process of just going with it and playing with what’s in front of you and not what’s ahead of you.”
For more from Nevin, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Les Treagus