Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com released his top 10 first base prospects today, and for the second year in a row Alex Dickerson made the list. This time around Dickerson was ranked 7th, up from 9th last year. There were a few players who moved off the 2012 list due to losing their prospect eligibility, so players moving up isn’t a total surprise. Dickerson remaining on the list is a bit of a surprise, considering the season he had.
Mayo credited Dickerson’s hitting skills, although that didn’t translate well on the field. He had a .156 ISO in high-A, which isn’t what you want to see from a college hitter in high-A. The MLB average ISO for first basemen in 2012 was .179. Dickerson was 23 points lower, and three levels below the majors. We heard from scouts before and during the year who questioned whether Dickerson’s body type could allow him to hit for power in the future.
There definitely seems to be a divide starting with the first baseman. This is the second year in a row that he was named one of Mayo’s top 10 first base prospects. He also was named the Florida State League Player of the Year. However, there are scouts that are down on him, and he didn’t make Baseball America’s FSL top 20.
Mayo does note that Dickerson has found a position at first base. His defense was poor at first, spending most of his time in college in the outfield. He’s improved defensively at first in the last year, which is a silver lining. However, first base is an offense first position. It’s good that he can stick at the position now, but that means little if he doesn’t hit enough to make it to the majors. He should jump to Double-A next year, which is already a difficult jump for hitters. His performance at the plate in 2013 will need to be a lot better, and that will be more difficult to accomplish at a tougher level.