It was just a line on the daily transactions list, but it meant so much more to the Modesto Nuts family.
Corey Dickerson, who opened the 2012 season in Modesto as little more than a mid-level outfield prospect, was added to Colorado’ big-league roster on Friday.
Any time a player makes his way to the majors, all the coaches and managers he’ listened to along the way carry themselves a little taller, and Nuts’ manager Lenn Sakata couldn’t help but beam about Dickerson.
“I’m proud of that kid because I saw him chance and get better, and that’ a testament to the kid’ desire to become a big-leaguer and the work ethic he has,” Sakata said. “He understood his deficiencies and improve them so he could play Double-A, Triple-A and now in the majors.
“He was a sleeper because of his draft status and more importantly because he wasn’t a complete player. He announced himself with so much authority with the bat that people had to realize he was special. He carried this ballclub in the time he was here."
Dickerson moved up after only 60 games with Modesto, where he hit .338 with nine homers and 43 RBI. Upon advancing to Double-A Tulsa, he hit .274-13-38 in 67 games.
Dickerson, an eighth-round draft pick in 2010 out of Meridan Community College in Mississippi, had a great spring training and was named the organization’ top spring performer. He carried that momentum to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was hitting an amazing .386-9-38.
In his last 10 games with Colorado Springs, Dickerson was hitting .583 (12-for-21) with seven walks and a .622 on-base percentage.
“A good player plays better at every level, and that’ what Corey has done,” Sakata said. “That’ an indication that this is a kid with talent and tenacity. I’m very happy and I hope he has a long and successful career. It won’t be easy, but he has a lot of confidence.”
While Charlie Blackmon (Nuts’ 2009) is considered the better all-around player of the two, Colorado plucked Dickerson off the SkySox roster simply because the Rockies are scrambling for offense right now.
“He’ a great kid with a great competitive desire to succeed,” Sakata said. “He’ a winning player. He wanted to play to win and I appreciate that about a kid more than the kids who come out here to play for themselves.
“He always has believed he was going to make it. I think the next guy in line is Kyle Parker, who also is going to be a good one once he gets there.”
LOCAL TALENT ON THE MOUND
As part of the Modesto Nuts’ World Championship Weekend theme, two accomplished local athletes were invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
On Friday, world champion ultramarathoner Jon Olsen did the first-pitch honors, while on Sunday, Erin Cafaro, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in rowing, will handle the chores.