Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: A Day in the Life of a Minor Leaguer With Jasiah Dixon
In today’s second installment of “A Day in The Life of a Minor Leaguer” I sat down and talked to the Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Jasiah Dixon.
I want to thank everyone for the warm reception of my first installment in “A Day in the Life of a Minor Leaguer.” The first installment, which highlighted Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Jake Snider, received it is much appreciated. In today’s second installment, I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to California native Jasiah Dixon.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Dixon in the 23rd round of the 2019 MLB Draft. He is a well mannered young man who clearly has a passion for baseball. Now, here is his story.
To begin every interview, I want to get a feel for who exactly the man behind the curtain is because, let’s face it, not many people get to see that. Like the relaxed kid he is Dixon responded:
“I’m just a kid from Riverside, California. I had a bit of a rough childhood, but I was surrounded by people who drove me to get to where I am now.”
Now, obviously, you ca not hear what he said through my writing. But believe me when I say he is such a relaxed and chill individual who just wants to succeed.
Unbeknownst to me, I’ve been noticing a ton of these prospects we have been covering are from California, so, naturally, I asked what is in the water out there?
“Man, I think there is something in the air, but a lot of these guys out here have a common goal. There are a lot of really talented players out here, and we all just push each other. We all know each other, so we obviously want them to succeed as well as ourselves.”
The one word Dixon used to describe himself as “energetic,” which is a perfect word for him. He seems like a lightning bolt on the field and in the batter’s box.
“Even if it’s a chopper back to the pitcher, I’m trying to beat him. I want him to be like WOW that dude is quick.”
Dixon seemed to do a lot of that for the GCL Pirates in 2019 with a .329 batting average, and 51.7% of the balls he made contact with were ground balls. Like most aspiring athletes, there had to be some influence to why they wanted to play their specific sport.
“Growing up, my dad put me in every sport, but baseball was the one that really drove me. Guys like Yasiel Puig actually paved the way for me out in the outfield the way he was loose and always having fun with it. That’s what really hooked me into baseball, he was my big inspiration along with my dad.”
No one to this point has ever beaten father time. Everyone is destined to have their career come to an end at some point. So, I asked what did he want to do once baseball is done?
“A big dream for me since I was a kid was to be a fashion designer and have my own clothing brand. In California, you have a ton of touristy fashion places. I’ve been able to make some clothes and sell them, but that is the ultimate dream for me.” I’ll be waiting for my t-shirt, Jasiah.
Like I asked my previous interviewee Jake Snider, I asked Dixon the same question, and that was where do you see yourself in three years?
“I’d like to be living in my own house. A lot of people have helped me out, but I feel like I’d be ready to go out on my own. I didn’t get that college experience to live on my own. As far as baseball goes, I’d like to be in AA (Altoona) by then.”
Staying with that college theme, I asked Dixon why it was he didn’t go to college? Was it something the front office did?
“It was more of me being too scared to leave my support here, and so I was letting a lot of people influence my choices. When it comes down to it, it’s you who have to make the choices. One day I finally sat down and said I do want to go (pro) and it’s just been amazing so far it’s the best choice I’ve made.”
Making the jump to pro ball from high school is not that uncommon for baseball standards, but I had to know how much faster the game was as compared to high school and if it was like 0-100?
“Well that’s what I thought it was going to be, but I felt like the GCL was a warm-up for the next league it was like getting you ready for the next level.”
Which, on the field, in a weird way this could have very well been a version of college for a year to Dixon. Sticking with the GCL theme, I wanted to know what hitting coach Kory DeHaan and Skipper Gera Alverez worked on with him during the season?
“I was late getting there, so they were already in gear, so for the first month, they let me do my thing to see what I had. Then during instructs, they were telling me how I was hunched over to work on my power cause balls weren’t going as far, so they stood me up more. Then we worked on loading into my back hip during instructs, so it was just coming up more in my stance.”
Like most ballplayers, I was sure there was something Dixon was looking to improve from last year.
“I want to improve on hitting the ball not consistent but squaring it up better. I feel like going into that was a big concern cause people were saying he’s not consistent or something. Even when I was hitting over .300 this year, I felt I proved them wrong, but when I looked deeper, I saw it was just a lot of infield hits. So more consistency with the barrel to the ball.”
During this lasting lock down, I was curious about how he was staying in shape and if he had any difficulties doing that like some minor leaguers.
“Well, the great thing is I ended up living with a completely different family who has a whole gym with a treadmill, a lifting machine, squats, and dumbbells, which is nice. The guy I live with actually pitches at San Diego State, so when he’s home, we work together with hitting off the tee.”
There were a ton of jokes and laughter during this experience, and in a time like this, laughter is a much needed break from this harsh reality. Like Snider, Dixon is unsure of where he will be when the season starts. Hopefully, he can make it out of Bradenton and put the league on notice.