January 8, 2014 - International League (IL) - Indianapolis Indians
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have announced the signings of infielder Robert Andino and outfielder Chris Dickerson to Minor League contracts with invitations to Major League Spring Training as non-roster players. The two MLB veterans each saw action in the International League last season as Andino suited up in 25 games with the Tribe and Dickerson in 37 contests with the Norfolk Tides.
Andino returns to the Pirates system for the second consecutive year after being obtained from the Seattle organization for a Player to Be Named and cash considerations on Aug. 1 of last season. The right-handed infielder batted .302 (29-for-96) in 24 Triple-A games with Indianapolis in 2013, including notching the team's first 10-game hitting from Aug. 6-17. Andino was also voted as the Indians August Player of the Month after hitting safely in 18 of 24 contests and reaching base safely in 20 of 24 games during the final full month of the season.
Originally selected by Florida Marlins in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2002 MLB Draft, Andino was tabbed by Baseball America as the organization's "Best Defensive Infielder" from 2004-06 and as possessing the "Best Infield Arm" from 2004-07. The three-time Pacific Coast League All-Star enters the 2014 season with a .259 career average (924-for-3568) in 897 Minor League games and a .232 average (306-for-1320) in 468 games at the Major League level between Florida, Baltimore and Seattle.
Dickerson joins the Pirates system after he hit at a .243 clip (33-for-136) with the Tides and .266 mark (25-for-105) in 56 games with Baltimore last season. Along with tallying 10 multi-knock efforts with Norfolk, the left-handed outfielder also notched a seven-game hitting streak with the Orioles from April 30 - May 21, a span in which he batted .444 with 12 hits in 27 at-bats. Dickerson's streak also featured the first multi-homer game of his six-season MLB career, when the slugger went 2-for-3 with a pair of solo home runs on May 21 against the Yankees.
Dickerson, who was originally selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 16th round (471st overall) of the 2003 MLB Draft, ascended the Reds' system heralded by Baseball America as Cincinnati's "Best Defensive OF"from 2004-06, "Best Athlete" from 05-07 and "Fastest Baserunner" from 2006-07. In addition, the speedster's climb featured appearances on the 2004 Midwest League Postseason All-Star team and 2005 Florida State League Midseason All-Star squad, with the outfielder taking home the "Top Star" award at the 2005 Midsummer Classic. Dickerson made his Major League debut in 2008 and enters the 2014 season with a .262 career average (163-for-623) in 314 MLB games with Cincinnati, Milwaukee, New York (AL) and Baltimore.
The Pirates have now invited 13 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training.