CHRIS DICKERSON
CENTER FIELDER
  Born: April 10, 1982
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 230
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 16th Round, 471st Overall, 2003 (Reds)
How Acquired:
 Minor league free agent
College: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Agent: Icon Sports Management

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Dickerson was considered a puzzle as a college player.  He had outstanding athleticism, and good strength and speed, but didn’t hit much in college.  His athleticism bought him opportunities as a minor leaguer with the Reds.  He routinely appeared on Baseball America prospect lists, but his performance rarely lived up to his perceived potential.  He struggles with pitch recognition, leading to strikeout rates that have ranged from very high to extremely high, and his swing has never lent itself to hitting for power despite his size and strength.  He’s generally had high walk rates, but has struggled to hit for average.  He improved enough once he reached the upper minors to play semi-regularly at times with the Reds, but since an injury-plagued 2010 season his major league time has come primarily as a baserunning or defensive specialist.  He has good speed and has been an efficient base stealer, and most defensive metrics show him to be an excellent defender at all three outfield positions, with a solid arm.  Dickerson hasn’t faced LHPs much in the majors and has had little success hitting them at any level.  The Pirates signed him to a minor league contract for 2014, with a spring training invite.

2003
R+:  244/376/403, 201 AB, 6 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 39 BB, 66 K, 9-13 SB

Dickerson played center for the Reds’ advanced rookie affiliate, which isn’t a high level for a player drafted out of a four-year college.  He drew a lot of walks and showed some speed, but he had a very high strikeout rate and didn’t hit the ball with a great deal of authority.

2004
A:  303/410/408, 314 AB, 15 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 51 BB, 92 K, 27-41 SB
A+:  200/321/244, 45 AB, 2 2B, 7 BB, 14 K, 3-4 SB

The Reds moved Dickerson up to full season ball and he hit for average with a lot of walks, but he continued to strike out a lot, once every three and a half ABs, without producing much power.  He stole a good number of bases but at a low success rate.  He struggled in a brief promotion to high A at the end of the season.

2005
A+:  236/325/383, 436 AB, 17 2B, 7 3B, 11 HR, 53 BB, 124 K, 19-22 SB

Dickerson spent the season in high A, in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, and mostly struggled.  He did, however, show a little more power and improve his base stealing efficiency.

2006
AA:  242/355/424, 389 AB, 21 2B, 7 3B, 12 HR, 65 BB, 129 K, 21-27 SB

The Reds moved Dickerson up to AA and he showed some improvement, increasing his power and walk rate a little, but also seeing his K rate increase to once every three ABs.  The Reds added him to their 40-man roster after the season.

2007
AA:  272/325/351, 114 AB, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 BB, 31 K, 7-9 SB
AAA:  260/361/435, 354 AB, 11 2B, 6 3B, 13 HR, 52 BB, 131 K, 23-28 SB

Dickerson started the season off slowly in AA, but the Reds promoted him to AAA anyway.  He did the best hitting of his pro career up to that point after the promotion, although his K rate surged even higher.  He did not get a September callup.

2008
AAA:  287/384/479, 349 AB, 16 2B, 9 3B, 11 HR, 54 BB, 102 K, 26-33 SB
MLB:  304/413/608, 102 AB, 9 2B, 2 3B, 6 HR, 17 BB, 35 K, 5-8 SB

Dickerson had his first genuinely good pro season in AAA, improving his hitting across the board and cutting his K rate to a still-very-high once every three and a half ABs.  The Reds called him up in mid-August and, as sometimes happens with players new to the majors, he hit far over his head for the rest of the season.  The Reds played him more or less regularly, mostly in left and a little in center.

2009
AAA:  250/400/250, 232 AB, 12 2B, 3 BB, 4 K, 2-2 SB
MLB:  275/370/373, 255 AB, 13 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 39 BB, 66 K, 11-14 SB 

Dickerson platooned in left for the Reds for most of the year, playing semi-regularly against RHPs.  Starting in late July he missed some time with a bruised shoulder.  He more or less followed his standard profile, drawing walks but not hitting for much power.

2010
AAA (Cinn):  442/528/767, 43 AB, 5 2B, 3 HR, 9 BB, 13 K, 6-7 SB
MLB (Cinn):  205/222/273, 44 AB, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 19 K, 3-3 SB
MLB (Mil):  208/271/264, 53 AB, 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 BB, 15 K, 1-1 SB

Dickerson opened the season with the Reds but went out at the end of April with a wrist injury.  He returned for a minor league rehab in late July, at the end of which the Reds sent him to the Brewers in a waiver deal for Jim Edmonds.  He finished the season with the Brewers, but hit very little during either major league stint.

2011
AAA:  241/341/325, 212 AB, 10 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 30 BB, 63 K, 18-22 SB
MLB:  360/296/360, 50 AB, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 17 K, 4-4 SB 

Milwaukee traded Dickerson to the Yankees late in spring training.  He still had one option left and spent the season shuttling back and forth between AAA and New York.  He didn’t hit well in AAA.  In the majors he served primarily as a pinch runner and defensive replacement.

2012
AAA:  316/417/515, 266 AB, 24 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 49 BB, 73 K, 17-20 SB
MLB:  286/412/714, 14 AB, 2 HR, 3 BB, 5 K, 3-3 SB

The Yankees outrighted Dickerson to AAA shortly before spring training.  He had a strong season there and got a September callup to the majors.  The Yankees released him the following January and he signed a minor league deal with the Orioles.

2013
AAA:  243/350/368, 136 AB, 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 21 BB, 35 K, 1-2 SB
MLB:  238/266/400, 105 AB, 5 2B, 4 HR, 4 BB, 36 K, 5-6 SB

The Orioles called Dickerson up early in the season and he stayed with them until mid-July.  He played sparingly, mainly coming off the bench.  Baltimore outrighted him to AAA in mid-July, but called him back up in September.

Dickerson got a chance to compete for the right field job or a backup role with the Pirates.  With Starling Marte more than able to move over to center, though, the Pirates don’t have much need for a fourth or fifth outfielder who can handle center.  Their greater need is for outfielders who can hit.  As it turned out, Travis Snider had a very good spring and won the right field job, and Jose Tabata remained as the fourth outfielder.  Dickerson will open the season in Indianapolis.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2014: Minor league contract
2010:
 $415,000
2009: $400,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2003
MLB Debut: 8/12/2008
MiLB FA Eligible: 2014
MLB FA Eligible: 2017
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/18/2005
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2007, 2008, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 3.133
TRANSACTIONS
June 5, 2000: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 32nd round, 968th overall.
June 3, 2003: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 16th round, 471st overall; signed on June 9, 2003.
November 20, 2006: Contract purchased by the Cincinnati Reds.
August 9, 2010: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jim Edmonds.
March 25, 2011: Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers to the New York Yankees for Sergio Mitre.
February 26, 2012: Outrighted to AAA by the New York Yankees.
September 1, 2012: Called up by the New York Yankees.
January 11, 2013: Released by the New York Yankees.
January 29, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Baltimore Orioles.
April 10, 2013: Called up by the Baltimore Orioles.
July 19, 2013: Designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles; outrighted to AAA on July 28.
September 6, 2013: Called up by the Baltimore Orioles.
October 31, 2013: Became a free agent.
January 6, 2014: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates.