Alex Dickerson Could Impact Padres in 2015
By Pat Callahan
As the Padres prepare for the Winter Meetings, the team recently tweaked its 40-man roster, adding three players, including outfielder/first baseman Alex Dickerson. The Poway native, who was acquired last offseason from the Pirates in exchange for pitcher Miles Mikolas and former first round pick outfielder Jaff Decker, spent most of last year rehabbing a surgically repaired ankle.
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The injury, which started as a sprain in Spring Training after stepping on a sprinkler head in Peoria, did, however, lead to the discovery of what was termed a potentially career threatening abnormality in his heel.
“Basically, we were told Alex’s heel was like a lightbulb,” Padres Manager Bud Black told the San Diego Union Tribune. “There was a 50-50 chance that heel could break into a thousand pieces. If that had happened, Alex’s career would have been over.”
Dickerson, 24, came back to play in 41 games, and put up a respectable line of .317/.368/.503. Overall, in 2014, he hit three home runs and drove in 26 RBIs, while striking out 33 times in 174 plate appearances. In 2014, Dickerson spent time with the Padres of the Arizona Rookie League, Eugene, and Double A San Antonio, where he appeared in 34 games.
Before joining the Padres, the former third round pick out of Indiana University-Bloomington hit .295 with 13 homers and 90 RBIs at Single-A Bradenton in 2012. He followed that up with a 17-home run season with 68 RBIs at Double-A Altoona in 2013.
Jeff Sanders of the Union Tribune predicted the left-hander would fit best at a corner outfield spot, as well as platooning at first.
It will be interesting to see what happens in March with the Padres outfield. With a strong spring, Dickerson may have a chance to make an impact in 2015, and some of this could even be settled by the end of the Winter Meetings.
This much is sure: if the Padres are counting on Cameron Maybin, Will Venable and Carlos Quentin, they are in serious trouble and can expect an offensive output similar to what we watched in 2014. I would love to see Quentin play in 140 games, but, at this point, that simply isn’t realistic. What I fear the most, is the Padres can’t move Maybin or Venable due to their contracts (Maybin signed a five year $25 million deal in 2012 and Venable signed a two year $8.5 million extension in 2013). What I fear even more is that the team won’t dump either because the Padres refuse to eat their contracts. A.J. Preller seems less than content with the current situation, and, hopefully, the picture will become clearer at the conclusion of this year’s Winter Meetings.