The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed third round pick Alex Dickerson, a first baseman out of Indiana University. Dickerson was rated the 42nd best prospect overall in the 2011 draft by Baseball America. He’s a left hander who gets his value from his bat, with average to plus power, and the ability to hit for power to all fields. He only hit nine homers in 2011, although he was bothered by back problems, and was pitched around. The back issues are a big issue, as he had surgery on a bulging disc in high school, and dealt with those issues again in 2011. That could be the reason he slipped to the third round.
Dickerson hit .367 (79-for-215) with 10 doubles, nine home runs, 49 RBI, 33 runs scored and a .540 slugging percentage in 54 games this year as a junior at Indiana University while being named the First-Team All Big Ten Designated Hitter. As a junior, Dickerson was the 2010 Big Ten Triple Crown winner (.419 average, 24 home runs, 75 RBI), a First-Team All-American and a unanimous selection as Big Ten Player-of-the-Year.
Dickerson ended his collegiate career tied for first in school history in career home runs (47), fourth in slugging percentage (.657), fifth in hits (266), fifth in batting average (.386) and sixth in runs scored (181).
“Alex is an offensive oriented corner type best suited for first base,” said Pirates Director of Scouting Greg Smith. “He is a power/bat combo guy that has performed well, which is illustrated by him winning the Triple Crown in the Big Ten Conference.”
The signing isn’t a big surprise. When I interviewed State College Spikes announcer Joe Putnam at the end of June, he mentioned that Dickerson was set to come to State College, and the question was “when”. The draft pick signing tracker has been updated. The Pirates have now signed 17 players.