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
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
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
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
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
Jon: Looking back on your entire
baseball career so far, both pro and before, what would you consider to be the
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
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
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
Brandon. We'll see you at John
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.
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