Tuesday, June 7, 2011

IU’s Alex Dickerson Gets What He Wants – And Didn’t Want

Sometimes you don’t always get what you want. Didn’t the Rolling Stones sing something about that back when steroids were something just Iron Curtain countries did?

Anyway, Alex Dickerson is a very good IU baseball player. Make that a FORMER IU player. He’s been drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates as the 91st pick of the Major Leauge Baseball draft. That made him the first selection of the third round.

The Pirates, by the way, haven't had a winning record since 1992. That's the longest losing streak by any professional North American team in history.

Anyway, Dickerson was hoping for a lot higher, but he’ll get his professional shot. It’s up to him to make the most of it.

He was a stud for the Hoosiers. In 2010, he won the Big Ten triple crown with a .419 average, 24 home runs and 75 runs batted in. He was a first team All-America.

In three seasons his 47 career home runs ties him for the school record. His .657 slugging percentage ranks fourth in school history. His 266 hits rank fifth. His .386 career batting average is fifth. He’s sixth with 181 runs batted in.

The word on the Internet mock draft street was that he’d go between the No. 40 and No. 60 pick. He missed that mark, but he was drafted WAY better than he was coming out of high school in California, when he was a 48th round selection by the Washington Nationals.

Three years with IU coach Tracy Smith made a huge difference. While his numbers fell this past season when the NCAA mandated a less potent aluminum bat (everybody in college baseball saw a similar drop), he has the size and strength at 6-2 and 225 pounds to be a formidable offensive force.

Dickerson is not a defensive wizard. He has an average arm and average speed. He’ll probably get a shot at the outfield first and, if that doesn’t work out, move to first base.

Another Hoosier, pitcher Blake Monar, was drafted by Washington in the 12th round as the 367th overall pick.

This past season he went 6-3 with a 3.52 earned run average and a team-leading 61 strikeouts.

A shoulder injury sidelined him for much of 2010. He only pitched once, but did contribute with his bat (eight hits and six runs batted in). As a freshman in 2009 he won five games. He was first drafted by the New York Yankees in the 26th round right out of high school.

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