Dickerson goes to Pirates at top of third round

Indiana junior Alex Dickerson was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates as the first pick in the third round. The Pirates selected him as a first baseman as opposed to a left fielder, portending a position change that many expected. The MLB’s scouting report on Dickerson follows.

Teams interested in the University of Indiana outfielder will be buying the bat, as that’s the one tool that stands out for the left-handed hitter. He’s a solid hitter who seems to have overcome some holes in his swing, making adjustments to continue performing. He’s got power, winning the Big Ten Triple Crown in 2010 as a sophomore. The power numbers have fallen off with the new bats, which might lead some to question if his power will translate to wood. He doesn’t run or throw that well, limiting him to left field, and there are those who think he’s marginal there, at best, with some thinking a move to first base might be essential. Those limitations might impact his stock, but his pure hitting ability should interest someone in the early stages of the Draft.

Hope to get a hold of Dickerson soon and will provide an update.

UPDATE: 1:20 p.m.: Just got off the phone with Alex Dickerson. He was hoping to go a little higher and admitted the wait was starting to get long, but said he was still ecstatic to go at the top of the third round.

“It’s just a dream come true,” Dickerson said. “I’m ready to get going. I’m ready to be the guy I set out to be 15 years ago. I’m extremely excited.”

Dickerson said he thinks that part of the reason for his slide was that scouts weren’t sure what his position would be defensively. Though he did a solid job at left field for the Hoosiers last season, he doesn’t have quite the speed or arm to play it at the Major League level. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder seems most physically suited to play first base, but senior Jerrud Sabourin had that position locked down at Indiana. The Hoosiers needed both in the lineup — Sabourin leaves IU as the school’s all-time leader in hits — and Sabourin was excellent defensively.

The Pirates drafted Dickerson as a first baseman, though and he believes that will be an easy transition.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem at all,” Dickerson said. “I just took some ground balls the other day. I don’t think it’s too difficult of a position. There are some finer points I need to get better at. I worked there at Team USA, and I had a little problem on quick righty pickoff moves, but I should be fine.”

At first base, Dickerson will need his bat to carry him. First base is a position where teams often hide power hitters who aren’t great defensively, and they will need production out of the position at the major league level. There were some concerns about Dickerson’s drop in power numbers because of the NCAA’s change in bat standards and some scouts wondered if his power would translate. However, Dickerson has said from the beginning that he feels more comfortable with wood than the bats he had to use this season and thinks he will adapt well.

“Personally, I know I can hit a ball much further with wood in some cases,” Dickerson said. “I’m just happy to have a spot.”

3 comments

  1. Great news! The Indianapolis Indians are the AAA affiliate of Pittsburgh, it would be nice to be able to drive up there and see Alex play in a few years.

  2. As usual John Galt is on top of things. H-T guys, please tell us you contacted someone at MLB to casually mention that the university in Bloomington, IN is Indiana University. It irritates me when people don’t get their facts straight.

    Congratulations to the IU players who’ve been drafted.

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