Alex Dickerson On Fire at the Plate; Navarro Makes Spot Start
Alex Dickerson has been on fire at the plate lately. In the month of June he hit for a .316/.369/.537 line with four homers in 95 at-bats. So far in July he has hit for a .313/.364/.552 line with four homers in 96 at-bats. All of this followed a slow start to the season when Dickerson posted a .668 OPS in April and a .727 OPS in May, while combining for two homers in 182 at-bats.
“I had a great Spring Training, and then just coming in to the season I was trying to do too much,” Dickerson said of his early season slump. “Mechanically my swing was pretty bad, and then every month I felt a little better and a little better each month, and it’s starting to get to the point where I’m feeling real good in the box.”
The first baseman made some adjustments with his timing, and worked on shortening his swing, which had gotten too long. He also started getting aggressive, attacking the good pitches to hit, and he’s stayed aggressive at the plate. On Thursday, Dickerson had four hits, including two homers. Tonight he continued his hitting with a double, one of four hits for the Marauders.
“Been feeling good for about a week or so now,” Dickerson said of his hitting. “Kind of had a quick set back against Clearwater, and then recently I’ve been hitting the ball well. It’s just been finding people, and today it was just finding the holes. Sticking with my approach, that’s just been working for me.”
Earlier in the year the first-baseman had been working on his defense, and saw some improvements. But while the offense went from bad to good, the defense had the opposite effect.
“The funny thing is the defense has gone in the other direction,” Dickerson said. “It hasn’t gotten too bad. At the start of the year, in the first half, I felt great.”
The wear and tear of the long season has impacted Dickerson’s defense. When it comes to first basemen with power, defense is really just the icing on the cake. The important thing is hitting, and hitting for power, which is something Dickerson has been doing the last two months. He’s got plenty of time to improve his defense, but his real value is always going to be based on his hitting, which looks to be on track.
Navarro Makes a Spot Start
With Colton Cain going to the Houston Astros, the Bradenton Marauders needed a spot starter tonight. They turned to left-hander Eliecer Navarro, who went five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits. Navarro gave up one home run, struck out three, and walked none.
On the season, Navarro has a 3.24 ERA in 80.2 innings. He’s a typical small left-hander. The 5′ 9″, 177 pound lefty doesn’t throw with a lot of velocity, but has great off-speed stuff, including a nice breaking pitch that got a few strikeouts tonight. Those types of pitchers usually have success in A-ball, but rarely make it beyond high-A.
Navarro didn’t get any run support tonight, with Bradenton only recording four hits. Alex Dickerson and Kirk Singer each doubled in separate innings, but both runners were stranded on the bases as Bradenton lost 2-0.