Few Wingnuts have established themselves as fan favorites with the kind of devoted following that Dean enjoyed over the course of his three seasons in Wichita. After being added late in the 2014 season, the former Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguer announced his presence with a .317 batting average and three home runs over the final 21 games of the year, boosting the Wingnuts to the American Association title.
Dean returned in 2015 to serve as the Wingnuts backup catcher, posting a solid .281 average while stealing 10 bases in 11 tries. His success was noted by Rob Pannier of Minor League Sports Report, who wrote about Dean’s journey to Wichita during the stretch run of the 2015 campaign. The Culver City, California native boosted his power numbers across the board for Wichita in 2016, pounding three homers and a career-high 13 doubles, in addition to gunning down 27% of attempted base-stealers.
Well respected by both fans and players alike, Dean’s personality on and off the field earned him a reputation as one of the league’s most likable individuals.
Prior to the 2017 season, the Wingnuts traded Dean to the Lincoln Saltdogs in exchange for right-handed reliever Josh Goossen-Brown. The trade could certainly be classified as a “win-win,” as both Wichita and Lincoln won their respective divisions with help from their new acquisitions. Dean backed up Midseason All-Star catcher Dashenko Ricardo behind the plate, playing in 55 games for the Saltdogs and hitting .225. In Lincoln’s first round playoff series with Winnipeg, he started three of the four contests, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the Saltdogs lone postseason victory. Including his three seasons with the Wingnuts, Dean has now been a part of four consecutive division title-winning teams.
The 31-year old owns a career batting average of .253 over nine professional seasons, including a six game stint with the Sioux City Explorers back in 2009. He makes his offseason home in California, where he works as a strength and conditioning trainer.