Saturday, June 15, 2013

Ian Dickson Scouting Report

Ian Dickson is a 22 (will be 23 years old at the end of the season) right-handed pitcher that stands at a listed 6-5. The Cubs traded him to the Nationals for Henry Rodriguez (whom I wrote about here). Statistically, since being picked by the Cubs in the 35th round of the draft in 2011, Dickson has been mediocre, with a 4.33 kwERA and was moved to the bullpen early in 2013. So far this year in A-ball, Dickson has a 4.23 SIERA and 4.14 kwERA with an okay strikeout rate, but too many walks.

I watched his lone MiLB.TV outing (which was a start in April) in 2013 to get a better idea of what Dickson was throwing, as actual scouting reports on Dickson seem hard to find.

It looks like he throws a lot of moving fastballs. He kept them up, most of them middle of the plate or higher. This may help explain the home run rate in a relatively pitcher friendly league. Some did sink some to the glove side, which is probably what he is trying to do. It seemed to have a little bit better command as the game went along. He can work as a backdor moving fastball to right-handers and the velocity looked reasonably good (audio wasn't working on the broadcast so I am not sure what his velo was game in the game). With his very heavy usage of the pitch he just isn't going to miss a lot of bats with it. He threw an occasional 4-seam (just going by movement, as it was more straight) fastball  in on the hands of righties.
His delivery doesn't have a lot of moving parts to it, but the size is clearly not working to his advantage. Both in short season in 2012 and in full season in 2013, his groundball rate was really poor.
The only breaking or off-speed pitch I saw was a slider that seemed to sweep reasonably well, maybe a little bit soft and "loopy" (not real tight or hard). He located it like a traditional slider. Didn't throw it a ton, but he increased usage as the game went along. Dickson doesn't really have a tool to get lefties out, but so far in his minor league career, he actually has reverse splits.

It looks like Dickson is a probably just an organizational relief arm. It seems unlikely that he will really find any success in AA, if he makes it that far. He was drafted very late in the draft, and so far, he is performing like you expect a pitcher drafted late in the draft. He has just two real pitches, with none of them plus or really average, with control that is mediocre.

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