By Jon Weisman
Pratt Maynard, the Dodgers’ third-round pick in the 2011 draft, has retired from baseball because of injuries.
The catcher, who turned 25 in November, had a .347 on-base percentage and .437 slugging percentage in 197 plate appearances for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2014, including .394/.506 in August, the only month he saw regular duty last year.
“I’ve had health issues my whole career,” Maynard said today. “Last year, I had back problems twice. And I felt like it was time to move on. I knew I had the talent to make it, but I knew it was a matter of if I could stay healthy … You have to stay on the field and perform to make it in the big leagues. I just couldn’t stay healthy.”
Maynard has returned to school at North Carolina State, where he was an all-Atlantic Coast Conference player as a junior in 2011. He is studying program management in the school’s parks, recreation and tourism department, and also is helping out with the school’s baseball team. He said he looked at this transition as “closing one chapter and opening up another one,” and said that baseball had taught him to deal with adversity.
“I’m obviously going to miss playing baseball a lot,” Maynard said, “but I’m happy with my decision. I love the game of baseball —that’s what I know. I’d love to have a career in baseball as a coach, but we’ll see how it goes from here.”
Overall as a pro, Maynard played in 237 games with a .340 OBP and .369 slugging percentage, including 55 doubles. Asked to name a highlight from his minor-league career, Maynard took a larger perspective.
“Just being a Dodger,” he said. “It’s something I took pride in … They show you the history of program and being a Dodger and what it meant to wear that jersey every day. I took great pride putting that jersey on every day. It was a great opportunity from a first-class organization. I’m gonna miss every player and every coach. They taught me so much — probably the best coaching staff in minor-league baseball and Major League Baseball.”