Rays’ Derek Dietrich Finding His Power

Derek Dietrich needed some time to get his bat going last year but still turned in a 22-homer season in low Class A. The Rays prospect hit 15 of those homers in the second half, and his 2012 season may be following a similar track after the 22-year-old made the move up to the pitcher-friendly Florida State League.

A lefty hitting shortstop with power, Dietrich went homerless in April with high Class A Charlotte before hitting his first long ball on May 1. He’s hit three more since then, his last coming Monday as part of a 3-for-5 night against Brevard County. He also mixed a pair of doubles and drove in five runs. He improved his line for the year to .273/.362/.487 in 154 at-bats. Since his below-average speed and range make his chances of sticking at shortstop slim over the long haul, he’ll need to keep producing with the bat.