Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top 15 Hitters: #10 Derek Dietrich

Derek Dietrich
6'1" 200 lbs DOB: 7/18/1989
Bats: Left | Throws: Right
2010: Hudson Valley
Acquired: 2010, 2nd Round

Dietrich was a coveted middle infielder as a high school, but the Astros failed to pony up for him when they took him in the third round in 2007. He continued to Georgia Tech, where he had his best season as a junior, leading to the Rays grabbing him with the second round pick they got as compensation for not signing Kenny Diekroeger.

Dietrich has some good tools at the plate, starting with his above-average power. He posted double-digit home run totals all three seasons with the Yellow Jackets, including 17 as a junior. He isn't a plus pure hitter, and tries too often to pull the ball, but he has the potential to develop that tool into an average one. His plate patience is also only okay, and his swing is prone to some strikeouts, evidenced by a platinum sombrero (five strikeouts) on August 30th with Hudson Valley.

In the field, Dietrich is somewhat of a tweener. His defensive actions at shortstop are good, and his arm is plenty strong for the position, but doesn't have the overall athleticism to stick there. Third base seems like the logical place for him to go, but with that position taken at the major-league level, the Rays will probably try to develop him as a middle infielder, albeit a second baseman. He's the exception rather than the rule, of course, but check out this scouting report from 2000:
(Player X), a .394-18-61 hitter, has similar hitting skills, though his tendency to be pull-conscious has resulted in teams effectively using a Ted Williams shift on him a number of times this spring. He has excellent hands to hit, enabling him to wait on balls until the last moment to make adjustments. Like Kennedy, (Player X) lacks a true position. He was drafted in the second round out of high school as a shortstop, but he lacks the range, hands and ability to read hops to be a true middle infielder--even as he switched to second base.
That sounds a lot like Dietrich, doesn't it? Dietrich doesn't have quite that type of hitting acumen, but the rest of the report checks out. Player X, by the way, is Chase Utley. It would, of course, be ridiculous to expect Dietrich to become Chase Utley, but being a labeled a "tweener" isn't the death sentence it might sound like.

Dietrich could continue to play shortstop in 2011 as there's no obvious candidate to man the position at Bowling Green. If the Rays are aggressive with Hector Guevara and skip him to BG, then second base would be occupied and Dietrich would be somewhere on the left side of the diamond.


  1. If Dietrich could become Utley lite on both offense and defense, that would be great. Is that report on Utley out of High school or College?

  2. Nevermind the 2nd question, I reread it and figured it out.

  3. I would have much prefered we would've signed Kenny Diekroger. We got Dietrich for not being able to sign Diekroger.who hit around .350 as a Freshman at Stanford,and may be one of the top 15 picks in the 2012 draft.

  4. Ah yeah, Utley was a 2B from UCLA in that 2000 report.

    I would've loved Diekroeger too, he's looking like a top-10 pick in the (admittedly weak) 2012 class. But he seemed pretty set on attending Stanford, I'm not sure the Rays ever had a shot.

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  6. Knew this kid in grade school at St. Bridget's in Parma Hts., Ohio. He hit well then and he'll hit really good as a pro. Kept in touch with him while he was at Georgia Tech. Wish him the best.