Two Unlikely Outfielders Forcing Their Way into the Conversation

Credit: AP Photo

Credit: El Paso Chihuahuas

Former big-leaguer Alex Dickerson, who is averaging .378 with five homers and 19 RBI in 23 games and 2018 Postseason All-Star Jacob Scavuzzo, who has ten homers and 21 RBI in just 16 games for Triple-A El-Paso are forcing the Padres to add two more names to the long list of potential big-league outfielders. 

Alex Dickerson, a name that may have been lost amongst the many players who have come and gone since the 2015 season, is making some noise down in Triple-A El-Paso.

Dickerson exploded onto the scene when, in just his 13th major league AB, he crushed a late-game, pinch-hit grand slam in Wrigley Field to bring the Padres within a run. The left-hander went on to finish that season with 16 doubles, two triples, ten home runs, and 37 RBI in the 84 games he appeared in.

However, the following two years for Dickerson would prove to be physically testing as one injury after the other held him back from being able to take the field for two seasons. It was a bulging disc in his lower back that landed Dickerson on the 10-day DL near the end of March back in 2017; he eventually ended up being transferred to the 60-day DL just six days later where he would go on to remain for the rest of the season.

Fast forward a year to March 2018 and Dickerson’s name was coming up on injury reports again, but this time with a “sore elbow” that turned out to be a UCL sprain in his left elbow. At first, he opted to rehab the elbow in hopes that he would not have to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, but towards the end of March, it became more apparent that TJ surgery was his only hope at recovery. So for a second straight season, Dickerson was forced to sit for another 162 games.

Now almost three years, two stints on the 60-day disabled list, and one TJ surgery later Dickerson is showing promise that he will force his way back onto the show. In just 82 AB this season, he has shown his ability to be a rock at the plate by slashing .378/.480/.622 with five doubles, five home runs, and 19 RBI. He is also showing some improved patience at the plate forcing 13 walks and only striking out 16 times. For some reference, while in the majors Dickerson struck out nearly twice as many times as he walked.

Credit: USA Today Sports

One thing different about Dickerson this year is that he is showing just how valuable he can be at any given time. Not only is he crushing left-handed pitchers with an average above the .400 mark (.412), but he is hitting right-handed pitchers at an excellent .354 clip. Four of his ten extra-base hits (two 2B, two HR) have come when a left-hander is on the mound, while five of them have come when a righty takes the ball ( 3 2B, 3 HR). He is also showing his ability to get it done at home by hitting .375 and hitting even better on the road with a .380 average. Dickerson is averaging an even .400 in the middle of the lineup (55 ABs) with 11 RBI and crushing the ball at the end of the lineup with three of his five homers coming when batting 7th or lower while averaging .346.

Dickerson, who primarily played LF at the big league level, is also showcasing his ability to be a solid defender in both corner outfield spots and at first base for the Chihuahuas. He has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage across the board in all three positions he has played so far this season with 19 putouts on 19 chances in the outfield and 38 putouts with three assists on 41 total chances at first base.

He is now moving over to another corner outfielder trying to make his case for the bigs, Jacob Scavuzzo. At age 25, Scavuzzo has spent the last seven seasons in the Dodgers minor league system. The 6’4″ right-handed hitter has shown his improving power at the plate growing his home run total each of the last three seasons from 10 home runs in 2016 to 26 in 2018; he ended last season with a career high in HRs (26) and RBI (85). He continues to show his improvement to crush the ball already hitting ten home runs this season in just 55 at-bats.

He also has showcased his ability to change a game racking in 21 RBI, 11 runs, and 15 hits in just 16 games. Just to give you some insight into just how hot Scavuzzo can get, let’s take a look at his last five games:

DATE OPP AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB AVG
04/24/2019 @LV 6 2 4 2 6 0 2 0 .263
04/25/2019 @LV 4 2 2 2 2 1 1 0 .286
04/26/2019 @LV 4 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 .261
04/27/2019 @LV 5 2 3 2 4 1 1 0 .294
04/28/2019 @LV 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 .273

Despite having two 0-4 games in the span of just five, the Orange County native blasted six home runs, racked up 13 RBI, and even swiped his first bag of the season.

In the field, Scavuzzo has shown some signs of concern; he already has two errors in just 20 total chances. Although I do not believe this is something that will continue for the outfielder, he has just 31 career errors in over 940 chances (.032 error rate). An even more promising stat to look at, he has 23 assists and three double plays from beyond the infield.

Alex Dickerson, it was just a year ago when we were asking our selves if his time with the Friars was slowly coming to an end. They say patience is a virtue and Dickerson is proving that it was not a mistake for the Padres to give him another chance when they agreed to a minor league deal just before spring training.

Jacob Scavuzzo, a 25-year-old 21st round pick out of high school, who has yet even to play September ball in the bigs looking to prove it was a mistake for the Dodgers to keep him locked down in the minor leagues.

Both of these players are more than exceeding early season exceptions. With so many players in the mix fighting for just three outfield spots, it will be interesting to see how the Padres will respond if Dickerson and Scavuzzo continue to rip up Pacific Coast League pitchers.

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Derek Cluff
Derek is a 22-year-old out of Lemon Grove, California. A burning passion for San Diego sports led him to pursue an opportunity to write and share about what's going on with the teams in America's Finest City. A young and aspiring sports journalist looking to grow his knowledge and expand his experience at any opportunity.

3 thoughts on “Two Unlikely Outfielders Forcing Their Way into the Conversation

  1. Whatever they are paying you, Derek, it is not enough…..
    “San Diego Padres
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    The #Padres have optioned RHP Luis Perdomo to Triple-A El Paso, transferred RHP Brett Kennedy to the 60-day IL and selected the contract of OF Alex Dickerson from ELP.”
    2:00 PM – 3 May 2019

  2. Dickerson is REAL! He should be the Left handed bat in the outfield now. When Cordero is back to health and completes his minor league rehab, then a decision should be made. But for today, Dickerson belongs on the 25 man roster.
    I am not impressed with Scavuzzo’s defence. The Dodgers released him for a reason. They could have offered him as a trade piece for anything if he had value.

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