What Role Will Chris Dickerson Have For Pittsburgh Pirates?

By Vinny Gala
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced that OF Chris Dickerson has been signed to a minor league contract. Dickerson has also been given an invitation to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. He comes to the Pirates by way of the Baltimore Orioles, who had signed him as a free agent prior to the start of the 2013 season. He’s also spent time with the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds organizations.

Granted free agency at the conclusion of the 2013 season, Dickerson appeared in 56 games with the Orioles, posting .238/.266/.400 line in 109 plate appearances with the big club. He spent the remainder of this time at Triple-A Norfolk, producing some less impressive statistics by comparison (.243/.350/.368) with only 136 at-bats.

Offensively, Dickerson is not a power hitter by any means, but he did have nine extra base hits with the Orioles, including four home runs. His strikeout numbers are high (36), but he does score a decent amount of runs. His best asset is by far his speed, as he stole five bases in six attempts in 2013. Over his major league career, he is 32-for-39.

Defense will likely be the primary factor that will earn Dickerson a spot on the 40-man roster as the Pirates’ fourth outfielder. Zach Morrison says that the Pirates could have the best outfield in baseball very soon with Starling Marte (LF), Andrew McCutchen (CF) and new addition of Gregory Polanco.

Dickerson will be competing with the likes of Travis Snider and Andrew Lambo for the open spot, but will have a slight edge as he is flexible enough and possesses the necessary skill set to play the other two outfield positions.

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