RC Interview with Joe Dickerson

After an impressive 2005 season in the Arizona Rookie League, Joe Dickerson is making more strides this year with Idaho Falls. With little more than a week remaining in the season, the 19-year old outfielder, who was a fourth-round pick by the Royals in 2005, is hitting .291/.342/.481. RC recently sat down with Dickerson to discuss his season, his approach at the plate, and his goals.

Royals Corner: Joe, how do you feel about the season so far?

Joe Dickerson: I feel it's been going good so far. Lately I've been in a little slump, but I'm still hitting the ball pretty good. Some days I hit well, some days I don't. It's tough right now to get a hit. Overall, the team is struggling a little bit right now. Basically, it's been up and down, but hopefully we finish off strong.

RC: How would you describe your offensive approach at the plate?

JD: Early in the count, I'm looking for a pitch to drive in the gaps, and later in the count, I'm just trying to make contact and not strike out, and to hit the ball hard somewhere.

RC: Do you pattern your approach after any Major League hitter? Is there anyone you particularly admire?

JD: Not really. It's tough to portray myself as a Major League hitter already. I guess I like the way Barry Bonds hits the ball – but obviously, it would be nice to hit the ball like he does. Other than that, I just try to hit on my own.

RC: I read a scouting report after last season that said you occasionally have trouble hitting with power to left field, but in the few games I've seen so far, you've driven a few balls hard the opposite way. Is that something you're working on, and what have you been doing to address that?

JD: Yeah, I've really been working on hitting the ball to left field. It's been a big thing I've been working on this year. I'm just trying to stay back more. I used to get out on my front foot a little bit and be a dead-pull hitter, but I think I'm starting to pick it up a little bit and get better at it. Hopefully I can continue to do that.

RC: What type of hitter do you expect to become?

JD: I think I'll have decent power – a lot of gap-to-gap power, with a lot of doubles and triples and some home runs mixed in.

RC: Let's talk a little bit about your defense. How's your defense progressing in center field this season?

JD: The defense is going good. It's pretty routine each day as I work on stuff, but it's something I take to heart and want to be good at. It's kind of tough since some of the fields produce ground balls that take brutal hops, but it's good. I'm enjoying playing defense, and hopefully I'll continue to get better.

RC: What aspect of your game do you think needs the most work right now?

JD: Probably tracking the balls hit right before it gets completely dark. At dusk, it's tough to see the ball, and I probably need to keep working on getting jumps at that time of night. That, and maybe coming in on balls, are probably the parts of the game that I need to work on most.

RC: What are your goals for the remainder of the season?

JD: I'd like to continue having quality at bats and keep hitting the ball hard. I'd like to keep winning, and hopefully make the playoffs. That's the main goal.

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