Corey Dickerson: Discount All-Star
One of the bigger players to join the Marlins this off-season was free agent outfielder, Corey Dickerson. After joining the team on a two-year, $17.5 million dollar deal, he is expected to be a key piece in the everyday lineup. With almost 3,000 MLB plate appearances, Dickerson owns a career .286 batting average and .832 OPS. Many teams should be eager to sign a player of this caliber, so why he is so undervalued?
By the Numbers:
Although he has been in the league for seven years, he has only played in 140 games or more twice. While some of this is due to injury, Dickerson was also viewed as a platoon bat in the beginning. The MLB has shifted to more of a match up based performance instead of the traditional starting nine. Even though Dickerson does perform better against righties, he has shown that he is still plenty viable to be an everyday starter with a .272 career average against southpaws.
Dickerson also shows flashes of power, having averaged 33 doubles over the past four seasons. The home run numbers are a little sporadic, but he is still plenty capable of driving in runs, and avoiding high strikeout rates.
So, if it’s not his hitting, is it his defense? While in the beginning of his career he was a defensive liability, that is no longer the case now. Having won a Gold Glove in 2018, Dickerson makes up his lack of speed through route efficiency and arm strength. Dickerson made just one error in 2018 and only two in 2019. Although he may not make every spectacular play, he can be counted on to make very few mistakes. Playing in a bigger ballpark such as Miami should help him just as it did in PNC park with Pittsburgh. There is a lot of room to roam, so getting good reads and jumps is critical.
One worrying stat about his defense is that after recording seven outfield assists in 2018, he failed to record one in 2019. If this trend continues into the 2020 season and beyond, Dickerson will lose some of his defensive value. While some believe that last season may have be a fluke, it’ll be an interesting factor to pay attention to.
While some still may have questions about Dickerson. He is a primary left fielder, a position that lacks depth around the MLB outside of the likes of Tommy Pham, Juan Soto and Michael Brantley. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but Dickerson could be a part of many competitive lineups on a very team friendly deal. A yearly salary of $8.5 million is not much when comparing it to the likes of most free agent outfielders. For perspective, Ian Desmond, Josh Reddick and Wil Myers will all make more than $13 million next season. It is unclear how Dickerson fell to a team viewed by many as a non-contender. But the Marlins must be happy to add a strong lefty bat without a high price tag.
Dickerson has made it very clear that he enjoys being with his new organization and likes the direction the Marlins are going. Keep an eye on him this season to have another quiet yet productive year at the plate while mentoring a young Marlins team.
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