Pirates set to sign outfielder, Chris Dickerson

Dickerson could add depth in Pittsburgh

by John Toperzer

Don’t be surprised if Chris Dickerson finds his way onto Pittsburgh’s roster in a similar manner as Felix Pie did in 2013. They’re not the same player, but their roles as a fifth outfielder are similar. Dickerson could make an appearance or two at PNC Park when injuries occur.

Dickerson is a huge specimen at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds. He hits from the left side and his versatility in the outfield – he played all three spots for the Orioles last season – gives him big league value.

He’ll be 32 years of age April 10, so the days of projecting him as a starter have likely passed.

A 16th round draft choice by the Cincinnati Reds in 2003, Dickerson has seen bits and pieces of time with four clubs, including the Reds (2008-10), Brewers (2010), Yankees (2011-12), and Orioles (2013).

With Baltimore, Dickerson hit .238/.266/.400 with four homers and five stolen bases in 105 at-bats. He saw his most extensive action in the majors since his second season with Cincinnati in 2009.
Dickerson worked his way into the starting lineup early on and hit three homers in a one-week period. As the team got healthier, however, his playing time pretty much ceased. He strained his left shoulder in July, came back for a short time and was promptly designated for assignment.

A career .352 on-base percentage had been his calling card prior to last year. The left-handed hitter also has batted well against righties. For his career, his slash line against righties is .264/.341/.423 with 15 homers and 29 steals in 537 at-bats. He’s up their hacking against righthanders, as his 61:166 BB:K ratio indicates.

Dickerson rarely faces southpaws. He’s 21-for-86 (.244/.330/.302) with zero homers and three stolen bases against left-handed pitching. Pinch-hitting hasn’t been his thing — he’s a career .196 batter (11-for-56).

Defensively, he has good speed and has been used as a late-inning replacement. He compiled a 5.1 UZR rating and 50.8 UZR/150 in 131 innings for Baltimore in 2013.

He’s also stolen at least 20 bases six times in the minors and could be good for a key steal in Pittsburgh.

Dickerson is likely looking at a Triple-A season with the chance to serve as an injury replacement with the Pirates throughout the 2014 campaign.

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Chris Dickerson Links

FanGraphs numbers

Baseball Reference

Rotowire

Twitter handle @CDickerson_PFTP

Co-founder of Players for the Planet

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