Chris Dickerson

Chris Dickerson Being a Mentor to Gregory Polanco

Nearly all of the buzz in the Indianapolis outfield this season has been designated for Gregory Polanco. However, just to the right of the star prospect is a hitter who has been slightly overshadowed in Chris Dickerson.

Dickerson has hit .329 in 40 games, with 18 extra base hits. He also boasted a 16-game hit streak earlier in the season, which was broken May 19. He has a .410 OBP and has reached base in 36 of his 38 starts this season.

“It is just having a plan and sticking to it day after day,” Dickerson said. “It is just staying within yourself and not trying to do too much. Being in the leadoff spot just keeps me in the frame of mind to do whatever I can to get on base.”

Though he has hit four home runs, Dickerson admitted that it is not about the long ball for him being in the leadoff role. This allows him to focus on keeping his swing level and hitting the ball in the gaps. Batting leadoff has also allowed Dickerson to form a relationship with Polanco. Though the bond is friendly, it also contains a competition aspect.

“The guys behind me, especially Polanco, we have made it a competition,” Dickerson said. “For me, it is kind of the Jerry Maguire factor – help me help you. We kind of having a little thing going where he’s mad when I’m out of the lineup because I won’t be on base for him and when I am on base, I am giving him the opportunity to help himself and the team by driving in runs.”

In addition, Dickerson has been helping with Polanco’s defense in right field. For the pair, success defensively is all about preparation, as Polanco is switching positions in the outfield this season.

“We have done a lot of work the last couple of weeks with ground balls, his transfers, and learning how to assess different fields and different atmospheres,” Dickerson said. “It’s all different things and I have just told him that it is something that he is going to have to do his first year in big leagues…every field that he is going to get to is going to be brand new to him. He needs to get out there and make sure that he is getting the lay of the land as soon as he gets there, so he is that much more comfortable.”

Defense is general is an aspect of the game that Dickerson takes very seriously. Saving runs and showing range while being a “safety net for the pitchers” are the goals for Dickerson in center field.

“It’s just repetition,” Dickerson said. “It’s the work that you put on during the offseason and in spring training. It is just getting good jumps and having good communication out there. It is essentially having three different center fielders with me, (Jaff) Decker, and Polanco. When you have that many guys who can cover that much ground, it gets difficult, but we have managed it.”

Dickerson left the game on Wednesday with a right heel injury and was placed on the disabled list on Friday. Prior to the ailment, Dickerson also admitted that he has been hampered by a bulky hamstring for a couple of weeks. This has limited his range recently.

Indianapolis hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo has noticed the work that Dickerson puts in and said that there are two ways to practice – going through the motions and practicing like it is a game experience. He said that Dickerson “practices more game-like than most.” This has aided Dickerson when it comes to his time in between the lines this season.

“He is preparing for games better and his practice is really good,” Pagliarulo said. “He practices with a purpose and works on hitting the ball to all fields. He is running the bases well and he is very consistent.”

Dickerson has played 314 Major League games with four different teams over six seasons, where he is a career .262 hitter. He said that he has embraced the leadership role on the team and is open to any questions when players come to him. He said that it comes with the territory of being the more experienced player on the squad. While he could eventually aid the big league squad, Dickerson is taking a future star under his wing and teaching him how to play the right way in Triple-A. In the long run, this will show to be much more valuable that a couple of months with the Pirates.

Share This Article

Ryan Palencer

Ryan joined Pirates Prospects as the Indianapolis Triple-A writer in 2014. Prior to joining Pirates Prospects, Ryan covered high school, college and professional sports in the Indianapolis area. For more updates throughout the season, follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanpalencer.

Adrian Sampson is the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month For May

Next Story »

Week In Review: 2014 Draft, Impact of Bryan Morris Trade

  • Leefoo Rug Bug

    Dickerson has been a class act wherever he has gone. I hope the Bucs reward him by calling him up at some time.

  • dr dng

    We could use someone with his skills, attitude and work ethic in left field.

    • leowalter

      At the present time, I couldn’t agree with you more dr.

  • Scott Kliesen

    Maybe when Polanco gets to Pitt he can pay it forward by mentoring Marte on plate discipline, proper base running and all out effort in the outfield.

    • leowalter

      Scott ,I’ll tell you the same thing I just said to dr dng : I couldn’t agree with you more also !

Latest Analysis

  • Jung-ho Kang signing autographs.

    Q&A: Will Jung-ho Kang’s Presence Create Issues in the Pirates Dugout?

    4 hours ago

    Every Friday we run a Q&A with questions that I’ve received throughout the week. You can submit your questions all week by using the Q&A form on the ...

    Read More
  • Austin Meadows

    Austin Meadows Lowered His Hand Position to Add More Power

    1 day ago

    Ever since he was drafted, Austin Meadows was regarded as a prospect with power that you could dream about. He drew comps to Jay Bruce in the ...

    Read More
  • Tarpley Brault

    Will the Snider Trade Result in the Pirates Finally Having a Left-Handed Starting Prospect?

    2 days ago

    Despite adding plenty of pitching through the draft over the last several years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been short on the amount of quality left-handed pitching in their ...

    Read More
  • Connor Joe 2

    Meet Connor Joe: The First Round Pick You Know Nothing About

    2 days ago

    This site is now in its seventh year of existence. For the last four years, I’ve been doing this full-time, allowing me to see every affiliate throughout the year, along ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What is the Difference Between Mel Rojas and Keon Broxton?

    3 days ago

    Mel Rojas Jr. was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft. The son of the former big league closer had ...

    Read More
  • Jose Tabata

    The Details of Jose Tabata’s New Swing

    4 days ago

    On Friday I wrote about how Jose Tabata talked to Marlon Byrd over the off-season, aimed at changing his swing to add some leverage, lift the ball, ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More

    Advertisement