Tyler Nevin

Nevin's MLB career coming together in perfect union with A's

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OAKLAND -- Tyler Nevin is having a career year in his first season with the Athletics.

The infielder is one of Oakland’s most productive bats through the first month of the 2024 MLB season, slashing .325/.375/.500 over 25 games, with a team-high 26 hits, four home runs and 10 RBI.

Nevin, who went 2-for-4 with a home run in the A’s 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday at the Oakland Coliseum, enters Friday’s home matchup against the Miami Marlins with a career-best nine-game hitting streak.

In speaking to NBC Sports California after the A’s victory -- their fourth in a row -- Nevin detailed his approach amid the hottest stretch of his four-year MLB career.

“Yeah, [I’m] just trying to stack the good days and continue with the process that got me feeling good and just riding that out each and every day,” Nevin said. “[I’m] trying to put together productive at-bats to help the team win. And you know, we're having a lot of fun right now, so we're trying to keep it rolling.”

The A’s, like Nevin, are enjoying themselves, as they earned their first series sweep of the year over the Pirates on Wednesday.

Nevin appreciates the “good days” when they come because they were hard to come by not too long ago.

After being selected No. 38 overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 2015 MLB Draft, he struggled to find his footing in the majors. Traded to Baltimore in Aug. 2020, Nevin slashed .286/.444/.643 in a mere 18 at-bats after debuting with the Orioles during the 2021 season.

Nevin received more playing time in 2022, but hit just .197 in 58 games before being traded to the Detroit Tigers that winter. During his first and only season in the Motor City, he finished at the Mendoza Line in 41 games.

The Tigers designated Nevin for assignment in January, and quickly he was reacquired by the Orioles for a second chance in spring training. Despite slashing .333/.367/.474 over 60 at-bats, Baltimore decided it didn't have room for him, designating the infielder for assignment in March.

Nevin, who turns 27 on May 29, was at a dead end in his career. But in a surprising move at the time, the Athletics might have saved it.

Oakland demoted fan-favorite outfielder Esterury Ruiz, who went 3-for-7 in the first three games of the season, to Triple-A Las Vegas in favor of Nevin, whom the A’s had just claimed off waivers.

Nevin has done everything and more for the A’s, who hit the jackpot with their under-the-radar acquisition. Rightfully so, most were focused on Ruiz’s demotion at first -- he since has returned to Oakland, batting .250 in a platoon outfield role.

Oakland enters Friday's game with a 15-17 record -- a vast improvement following a 15-50 start to the 2023 season -- and is 10-11 in games Nevin started.

As of Friday, the A’s trail the Seattle Mariners (17-14) only by 2.5 games for the No. 1 spot in the AL West and the Orioles and Cleveland Indians (20-11) by 5.5 games for the AL’s No. 1 overall seed.

Nevin, who has had 2,575 at-bats over 608 career minor-league games, is grateful to be along for a big-league ride with the A’s, soaking in the fun.

“High,” Nevin gladly described the mood of the team. “Very high. Vibes are very high.

“No -- I just -- it's all coming together. I think, really, there's a lot of talent in this room and we're playing together right now. So I think that's been a separator.”

The A’s 57th and likely last season in Oakland, like Nevin’s career, started bumpy.

However, the player and team are finding their respective strides together and are reaping the rewards, scorecard after scorecard.

It’s uncertain how this season will end for Nevin and the A’s, but it’s clear both sides are glad they found each other.

Nevin, in particular, has never been better.

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