BRENHAM, Texas -- The best way for Blinn baseball coach Harvey McIntyre to describe his pitching ace Robbie Dickey, who went from an undrafted player out of high school to the No. 124 overall pick in the First-Year MLB Players Draft, is to simply think back to an outing earlier this season.
The Buccaneers held a 19-0 lead over the Laredo Palominos, and Dickey was barreling through the lineup. But after getting an inning-ending strikeout, Dickey returned to the dugout with a look of disgust.
Instead of throwing a fastball down and away to get the batter swinging, Dickey left the ball up, and although the result was the same, he wasn’t pleased with the pitch.
“That’s who he is,” McIntyre said. “He wants every pitch to be his best.”
Dickey was drafted as the 124th overall pick in the fourth round by the Washington Nationals in the First-Year MLB Players Draft on Friday, making him the highest selection in McIntyre’s 14 years with the program.
Dickey went relatively unnoticed out of high school and after his first season at Blinn. But with a dedicated work ethic and a busy offseason spent working on mechanics heading into his sophomore season, he quickly caught the attention of MLB scouts.
That work paid off when prior to the season Dickey was named the No. 1 overall junior college prospect in the nation by Perfect Game USA, a national scouting organization.
“He’s a very humble, driven, self-motivated guy,” McIntyre said. “He was never satisfied where he was and always wanted to get better.”
It’s that kind of mindset that McIntyre attributes to Dickey going from a no-name pitcher to being drafted as one of the top 125 players in the nation.
This season, Dickey tossed 85 1-3 innings and carried a staff-best 2.74 ERA. He struck out 100 batters and averaged 10.6 strikeouts per game. Against Navarro on Feb. 8, Dickey recorded a season-high 15 strikeouts. On the season he had three double-digit strikeout games and seven games with at least eight or more strikeouts.
“I wouldn’t count against seeing him pitch one day in the Major Leagues,” McIntyre said.
The Blinn baseball team is coming off its sixth NJCAA World Series appearance this season, where the team finished fifth in the nation with wins over Cochise (Ariz.) College and No. 1-ranked Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) Community College. The Bucs also advanced to the World Series in 1962, ’63, ’64, ’65, ’68 and ’92.