Segedin and Dickson fighting for relevance
Two players generally acknowledged as long shots to make the 2017 Dodger roster, are doing their best to make it harder for the Dodger brass to ignore them when it comes to making the hard decisions. Making it even harder for the duo is that they both are fighting for the same spot.
That current spot would seem to be headed to Scott Van Slyke who can play 1st/OF and swings a right-hand bat. SVS however, has a history of health issues, and it is no given that his bat is any better than the duo gunning for his job.
Rob Segedin was acquired last year in a minor deal with the Yankees and gave the Dodgers a much-needed lift in August when he had quite a week at Chavez Ravine. September was not kind to Segedin and his hold on a 40 man roster spot seemed tenuous. He came into this spring with a newly tooled swing and has not stopped hitting. He hit at the beginning of spring, he hit for Italy in the WBC, and he continued to swing a torrid bat this weekend. Segedin is now 8 for 16 with 5 XBH. Segedin has the versatility the Dodgers seem to covet as he can play 1st / 3rd / OF though it is hard to imagine that he would be plus defensively at any of them. I’d normally think of Segedin as simply an AAAA player who is having a great spring, much as he did in 2016. Yet, we have seen too many players in the past few years who have taken to a new swing and changed the direction of their careers, so I’m not writing off Segedin as simply a spring wonder. He might be but he also might be much more.
If you look at the Dodger spring training stats you see a few things. One is O’Koyea Dickson having a great spring. Dickson is an interesting story, just a year ago at this time his career as a future Dodger seemed in danger of never happening. He had been left off the 40 man roster and got zero at bats during the 2016 Cactus league play. He was such a non-factor in the organization that he only garnered 44 plate appearances the first two months in AAA and didn’t exactly impress with a .750 OPS. Everything turned around for Dickson in June when he started getting full-time burn and his offense exploded putting up a 1.028 OPS with sixteen home runs in his final 333 plate appearances. That didn’t get him added back on the 40 man roster but it did get him an invite to spring training and with Adrian Gonzalez dicking around for Mexico in the WBC he has made the most of his opportunity. Dickson hit a home run on Saturday that was as hard a bit ball as you’ll ever see.
If I squint hard I can see a spot for Segedin this year because he’s a tad more versatile than SVS or Dickson in that he can play 3rd base. He might be the equal of SVS against LHP, and he is already on the 40 man roster.
The case for Dickson is very hard as he’s behind SVS/Segedin in the pecking order for 1st base backup. He’s behind a boatload of right hand hitting outfielders, and he’s not on the 40 man roster. Yet, everything he can do this spring to not only impress the Dodger brass but impress scouts from other teams could eventually help him snag a major league job. Dickson probably still doesn’t have a Dodger future but given what his future looked like a year ago, he is making great strides. He may even be able to make some money playing for Japan or Korea.