Alex Dickerson
FIRST BASEMAN
  Born: May 26, 1990
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 225
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 3rd Round, 91st Overall, 2011
How Acquired: Draft
College: Indiana University
Agent:  N/A

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Dickerson was one of the better hitters available in the 2011 draft.  He won the Big Ten triple crown as a sophomore, but fell off as a junior.  There were probably several factors in this, including some back problems, the new college bats and the fact that teams pitched around him.  He has power to all fields and, according to Baseball America, showed a willingness to go the other way when teams refused to pitch him on the inner half of the plate.  Dickerson was an outfielder in college, but the Pirates shifted him to first base.  He doesn’t run well, had below average range in left, and doesn’t have a good arm, so the move makes sense, not least because the Pirates have nothing at the major league level that might block him.  His selection, following their second round gamble on Josh Bell, probably signals a realization that they desperately need more hitting, especially power hitting, in their system.  He signed in mid-July.

2011
A-:  313/393/493, 150 AB, 16 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 16 BB, 28 K

Had a solid debut at State College, hitting a lot of doubles and ranking 11th on BA’s list of the top twenty New York-Penn League prospects.  He had only three HRs, but that could change as he gets more time with wood bats.  Even Brad Eldred had a lot more doubles than HRs in the NYPL.  Dickerson’s plate discipline was alright and he hit LHPs better than RHPs (.936 OPS vs. .868), so hopefully there won’t be any platoon issues.  He played first exclusively.

2012
A+:  295/353/451, 488 AB, 31 2B, 3 3B, 13 HR, 39 BB, 93 K, 12-19 SB

As an advanced college hitter, Dickerson opened at Bradenton rather than West Virginia.  He had a mildly disappointing season, finishing with solid numbers but not dominating, and not showing more than moderate HR power.  He started off slowly, hitting only two HRs and slugging just .357 in the first two months.  After that he slugged .507.  On the season he slugged .485 with nine HRs at home and only .417 with four HRs on the road.  McKechnie Field is a very good park for left-handed power hitters, but then the rest of the Florida State League is terrible for power hitters generally, so it’s hard to say what this shows.  He had no platoon split at all.  Dickerson had 17 errors, but he didn’t have much previous experience at first.  He was chosen the best defensive firstbaseman in the FSL, but those selections can be very eccentric.

2013
AA:  288/337/494, 451 AB, 36 2B, 3 3B, 17 HR, 27 BB, 89 K, 10-17 SB

Dickerson spent the season at Altoona.  For the first two months he seemed be falling off the prospect track, as he posted an OPS of .587 in April and .728 in May.  He got blistering hot in June, though, and finished with an OPS of .917 in June and 1.123 in July, before slumping to .667 in August (he went 4-for-8 in September).  His hot streak included a significant power increase; he hit three HRs the first two months, then 11 in June and July.  His walk rate for the season dropped to a low point, as he may have sacrificed some patience for increased power production, but his K rate remained about once per five ABs, which is fine for a power hitter.  Dickerson played almost exclusively in right.  Matt Curry was in Altoona to start the year and, after Curry got hurt, the Pirates presumably wanted to increase Dickerson’s versatility.  He really doesn’t belong in right, though.

Dickerson’s mid-season breakout in 2013 is encouraging, but out of the whole season he had two great months, two very bad, and one mediocre.  A bat-only corner player who was ostensibly advanced college hitter needs to hit on a more consistent basis.  Dickerson will turn 24 early in the 2014 season.  It’s possible he could get blocked by whatever veteran AAA corner players the Pirates sign in the off-season, but they did promote him to AAA at the very end of the year.  He didn’t get in any games, but presumably they wouldn’t do that if they weren’t fairly set on sending him to AAA next year.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MiLB.com
NCAA
BA
OBP
SLG
AB
2B
3B
HR
BB
K
SB
CS
2009 .370 .426 .618 238 15 1 14 18 47 2 4
2010 .419 .472 .805 236 19 0 24 20 35 3 2
2011 .367 .440 .540 215 10 0 9 24 21 2 1
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2014:  Minor league contract.
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus:  $380,700
MiLB Debut:  2011
MLB Debut:
MiLB FA Eligible:  2017
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible:  2014
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
June 6, 2008: Drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 48th round, 1432nd overall pick.
June 7, 2011:
Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 3rd round, 91st overall pick; signed on July 14, 2011.