District on Deck Player Profile: Cutter Dykstra

brandonconner
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With the release of the Washington Nationals list of non-roster invitees earlier this week, District on Deck has been profiling each of the players to give you a little background information leading up to spring training. So far, we profiled Pedro SeverinoSpencer Kieboom, Rafael Martin , and Matt Skole.  Today, we’ll keep it going with second baseman Cutter Dykstra.

In case you were wondering, yes, Cutter is the son of former Mets and Phillies center fielder Lenny Dykstra, the wild and crazy character who was on the Mets team that won the World Series in 1986. Cutter also isn’t doing too poorly for himself off the field. He’s engaged to actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Meadow Soprano on HBO’s The Sopranos.

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Dykstra was originally a second round draft pick (54th overall) of the Brewers back in 2008. He spent two seasons in Milwaukee’s farm system before coming over to Washington in a trade for Nyjer Morgan in 2011. Prior to coming over, Cutter showed a consistent ability to get on base with a bit of occasional power.

In the Nationals minor league system for the past four seasons, Dykstra has logged time at Hagerstown, Potomac, and Harrisburg. At all levels, he’s managed to keep up his steady production. In 107 games in Potomac (high-A) during 2013, Cutter hit .283 while getting on at a .413 clip. He hit only 3 home runs, but he still managed to drive in 43 runs, which is fairly impressive for a guy who isn’t known for the long ball.

Last year, the Nats advanced Dykstra to AA Harrisburg, and Dykstra rewarded them by hitting .274/.349/.391 for Harrisburg in 96 games. He also doubled his home run total to 6, with 49 runs driven in. The performance was enough to earn Dykstra a midseason All-Star selection.

So what are Dykstra’s chances of making the Opening Day roster? Barring an injury to one of the team’s regular second basemen, probably very low. The Nationals acquired Yunel Escobar during the offseason, and they still seem fond of Danny Espinosa. It’s possible that if Espinosa falters and Dykstra stands out during the spring that he gets a chance, but that seems a long shot at the moment.

Probably the biggest thing hurting Dykstra’s roster chances is the team’s depth at middle infield. Escobar and Espinosa are ahead of him at second, and Rendon could step in to play the position in a pinch. Dykstra may be getting closer to making it to the show, but he’s not quite ready to make the jump just yet unless he shows the team that he’s a better option than Espinosa. It’s not probable, but crazier things have happened.

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