Swing of the Quad Cities Report – Week 15

Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Swing of the Quad Cities of the Single-A Midwest League includes an interview with pitcher Brandon Dickson.

I was recently privileged to get to sit for part of an evening and talk baseball with Brandon "Cotton" Dickson. It takes just one quick glance at his pure white/blonde hair to know where he got the name Cotton. No doubt, being from the Deep South could also be a contributing factor. He stands 6-foot-5 and weighs in at about 190 pounds, so he has plenty of room to bulk up, but he certainly has good control over his body on the mound. At this point in the season, Dickson has an ERA of 3.55 and is allowing his opponents to hit .266. This is exactly why I don't put much weight in the stats. Stats can't measure a young man's heart. Cotton's is a size 17.


Jon: Brandon, what's the best part of playing baseball at the class-A level?


Brandon: It's a childhood dream. Every day is a test and I get to go out and prove myself.


Jon: What's the worst thing about it?


Brandon: It's a toll on your body. The daily grind can be tough.


Jon: When I come to the stadium, I come to watch a game. When you get there, you're there to perform your job. How do you keep the fun of the game balanced with the fact that it's a job?


Brandon: Well, I love baseball, I wouldn't do anything else. I can't believe I get paid to play! If you don't love the game, you won't do well. I keep that in mind.


Jon:  What are you working most to improve in your game this year?


Brandon: I'm working on my inside pitching. I need to keep the ball down and in and I need to keep it more consistent.


Jon: Away from the game of baseball, what are your hobbies?


Brandon: I love hunting and fishing. I'm from Alabama, so I'm your typical redneck. If it's outside, I like it.


Jon: Let's consider a worst case scenario. Imagine that for some reason you're suddenly unable to play baseball anymore. What would you do instead?


Brandon: I'd go back to school. I was studying math and computer science when I got drafted. I want to go to graduate school in engineering.


Jon: Who else on the team are you most like as far as playing style?


Brandon: I'd say it's Tyler Herron. We have the same approach to the plate. We both work on throwing inside.


Jon: Looking back on your entire baseball career so far, both pro and before, what would you consider to be the highlight?


Brandon: It would be my first appearance as a professional. That was a night I'll always remember. I was living out a dream. I had a lot of highlights from junior college, too, but the best was my pro debut.


Jon: Nobody likes to answer this last question, but I always write that you're not hot dogging it, and I forced you to answer. When do you want to throw your first game in St. Louis?


Brandon: I'd have to say 2009. I hope to hit Double-A next year and then have a shot at the bigs the following year.


Jon: Thanks, Brandon. We'll see you at John O'Donnell.


Swinging this week (who's hot):  Obviously with four promotions in the last 10 days, it's easy to point to Brad Furnish, Luke Gorsett, Chris Grossman, and Donovan Solano on the hot list this week.


Jared Schweitzer (.293) is on a seven game hitting streak as of Tuesday evening and a six-game RBI streak. Tony Cruz (.438), Antone DeJesus (.500), and Nick Derba (.600) have each had a very positive impact since joining the team. Christian Reyes (.299) has kept his bat awake this week, too.


On the mound, Mike Schellinger (3-3) is shining; in his last appearance he stuck out five in 2.2 innings. I'd be wrong if I failed to mention Marco Gonzalez, too. He's only getting an inning or two a night, but he's throwing well every time. (Watch this column next week for an introductory article on Marco.)


Missing this week (who's not):  Willian Sandoval has been placed on the restricted list and he has returned to Venezuela. Jose Ramirez is second lowest on the totem pole for batting average. He's 22 years old, so we can't give him the "young player pass." He needs to find a way to hit the ball or a way to get home; and I'm not talking about home plate. This is the time of the season that we can't give guys time to develop anymore. If he's been here for more than a few weeks, it's time to play ball.


Keep an eye on him: Steven Hill, Christian Lopez, and Armando Carrasco are all on the watch list and all in a good way. I'm not putting Daryl Jones on the missing list this week because he seems to be improving, but I'm keeping an eye on him.



© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


Photo courtesy of www.NamesAroundTown.com.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories