WEST PALM BEACH, Florida- Landon Dieterich got off to a quick start during his first month of professional baseball, as the former UMHB baseball standout spent the first 20 days of his minor league career with the Fredericksburg Nationals, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.
But, like most rookies, his hitting cooled off ever so slightly, and was sent down to the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Nationals for more “seasoning” as scouts like to say.
Through 15 games in Fredricksburg, the Riesel, Texas native hit for an average of .188 (9-for-48) with seven runs scored.
He tallied his first home run of his pro career on the third day of the season, as he drove a pitch over the plate past the outfield fence. It was the first home run in Fredericksburg’s short history as a team.
“That might be my most memorable at-bat ever,” Dieterich said in a recent interview with True To The Cru. “That was something I’ll never forget. Saw it well, hit it well, and now I have a little piece of history with the FredNats that I didn’t know I had until after the fact.”
The previous night he notched the first RBI of his career on a two-out single in the fourth inning.
He also registered four walks.
The stat that he will need to work on lowering, however, is his number of strikeouts. He was fanned 27 times in 48 at-bats as he worked to adjust to the new level of pitching.
Though Dieterich may have been sent down, it is a common occurrence amongst rookies across minor league baseball, and there is little doubt that he will be back in Fredericksburg, or perhaps in Wilmington, with Washington’s High-A affiliate, by the season’s end.
To read more about Dieterich’s journey from UMHB to the professional ranks, check out our recent feature on him: Former UMHB baseball standout Landon Dieterich has defied the odds, is aiming high in first professional season