The Versatile Ryan Dent

Ryan Dent has worked hard over the last two seasons in Double-A to become one of the most versatile players on the team. In 27 appearances this season Dent has played second-base, shortstop, third-base, and even one game at first. With the athletic ability to play nearly anywhere in the field, Dent is giving himself the opportunity to get consistent reps at the plate.

"He is a much more complete player now," manager Kevin Boles said. "He is starting to manage his at-bats. It looks like he has had a better approach at the plate managing the strike zone.

"This is a guy that has a lot of versatility. He can play third, short, second base, and you can also plug him in in the outfield. In an emergency we were even able to play him at first base for a little bit. This guy has a lot to offer and we think very highly of him."

Last season was a difficult, and at times frustrating, one for Ryan Dent. He suffered a major injury early in the year and wasn't able to fully recover during the season.

"I tore my hamstring at the beginning of May and I was out for a while," Dent recalled. "I was just trying to get that healthy. I came back later in the year but I still had some nagging injuries so in the offseason I worked hard on strengthening that hamstring."

Hitting coach Dave Joppie looked back on Dent's 2011 campaign in a solemn manner.

"He started off last year with us doing very well, putting together good at-bats and getting positive results, and then he had the unfortunate injury. He ended up missing a considerable amount of time and I have always wondered what kind of year Ryan could have had last year had he not been injured because he was doing some very good things here."

By the time Dent reported to Spring Training in early 2012 his hamstring had been completely rehabbed and he was able to concentrate on baseball rather than getting healthy.

"Spring Training was good for me this year," Dent opined. "I continued to work on versatility at all positions in the infield. I got a chance to play in a couple of big league games at spring training, which was awesome."

Dent also continued to work on his approach at the plate. Specifically, seeing more pitches, using the entire field, and maintaining his confidence in the batter's box.

"We really haven't made any major changes from last year. Ryan has worked tremendously hard on his swing. He puts in a lot of time in the cage and the work that he has done is a very focused work –he now works with a purpose," explained coach Joppie.

In the past the 23-year old from Long Beach, California, had a tendency to lose confidence in himself at the plate if he was not achieving the results, offensively, that he felt he should. This season Dent appears to have developed a new poise at the plate.

"One thing I have seen in him is that he is maintaining the confidence level regardless of results and he is not giving away at-bats," Joppie said. "He is learning to separate his ABs and is not letting a lack of results corrupt a future approach or at-bat. He is now able to separate and move on."

Dent's athletic ability and defensive play continues to get him playing time and the more innings he sees, the more refined his approach at the plate becomes.

"Things are going well for me defensively. Offensively, I am having quality at-bats. I am just trying to stay positive and keep working hard every day," Dent concluded.


Diehard Magazine Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"He is a much more complete player now,\" manager Kevin Boles said. \"He is starting to manage his at-bats. It looks like he has had a better approach at the plate managing the strike zone.
\r\n
\r\n\"This is a guy that has a lot of versatility. He can play third, short, second base, and you can also plug him in in the outfield. In an emergency we were even able to play him at first base for a little bit. This guy has a lot to offer and we think very highly of him.\"
\r\n
\r\nLast season was a difficult, and at times frustrating, one for Ryan Dent. He suffered a major injury early in the year and wasn't able to fully recover during the season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I tore my hamstring at the beginning of May and I was out for a while,\" Dent recalled. \"I was just trying to get that healthy. I came back later in the year but I still had some nagging injuries so in the offseason I worked hard on strengthening that hamstring.\"
\r\n
\r\nHitting coach Dave Joppie looked back on Dent's 2011 campaign in a solemn manner.
\r\n
\r\n\"He started off last year with us doing very well, putting together good at-bats and getting positive results, and then he had the unfortunate injury. He ended up missing a considerable amount of time and I have always wondered what kind of year Ryan could have had last year had he not been injured because he was doing some very good things here.\"
\r\n
\r\nBy the time Dent reported to Spring Training in early 2012 his hamstring had been completely rehabbed and he was able to concentrate on baseball rather than getting healthy.
\r\n
\r\n\"Spring Training was good for me this year,\" Dent opined. \"I continued to work on versatility at all positions in the infield. I got a chance to play in a couple of big league games at spring training, which was awesome.\"
\r\n
\r\nDent also continued to work on his approach at the plate. Specifically, seeing more pitches, using the entire field, and maintaining his confidence in the batter's box.
\r\n
\r\n\"We really haven't made any major changes from last year. Ryan has worked tremendously hard on his swing. He puts in a lot of time in the cage and the work that he has done is a very focused work –he now works with a purpose,\" explained coach Joppie.
\r\n
\r\nIn the past the 23-year old from Long Beach, California, had a tendency to lose confidence in himself at the plate if he was not achieving the results, offensively, that he felt he should. This season Dent appears to have developed a new poise at the plate.
\r\n
\r\n\"One thing I have seen in him is that he is maintaining the confidence level regardless of results and he is not giving away at-bats,\" Joppie said. \"He is learning to separate his ABs and is not letting a lack of results corrupt a future approach or at-bat. He is now able to separate and move on.\"
\r\n
\r\nDent's athletic ability and defensive play continues to get him playing time and the more innings he sees, the more refined his approach at the plate becomes.
\r\n
\r\n\"Things are going well for me defensively. Offensively, I am having quality at-bats. I am just trying to stay positive and keep working hard every day,\" Dent concluded.
\r\n
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