In Dyson's first two months here, I thought "Well, that's one more part-time hero who died in the sun of overexposure." He hit an empty .229 in April and his .203 in May was not empty, but it was ummm .203. A two hundred hitting Jarrod Dyson is not what we signed up for, even if he did have a couple homers that month. Even worse, he looked like he couldn't hit much - getting behind in counts, failing to punish pitchers when he did get ahead, and so forth.
Not that it made him a bad player. Even at a 70 OPS, let's say, Jarrod Dyson can definitely help a team. ... more in a role, but ....
Suddenly here in June, Dyson has started swinging the bat. We don't mean that metaphorically; his EYE ratio has gone down, to 1:8, and he's started slashing the ball around the park. He was batting .375/.412/.594 before Wednesday's game, and in that game he zipped two singles out into the CF grass.
A 1:8 ratio isn't Dyson's future, but he's started attacking the baseball and the EYE will fall back in line. They said the swing fix was to "keep the bat in the zone longer." That doesn't mean swing the bat slower, of course :- ) it means get the launch path onto the plane of the pitched baseball. This is exactly what it looks like Dyson is doing now, and he's ripping line drives with confidence. (If you want sabr co-witness, he has a 31% line drive rate the last two weeks. Lots of balls pulled, lots of MED and HARD hit balls.)
His OPS+ for the year is right at 90, his historical norm. And Fangraphs has him for 1.8 WAR in 223 at-bats, which projects to a good 4.5 WAR, full season. Hey man when you are 50% of Mike Trout you have hit the Big Time. You're in the top 20 players in the league. (We've got Maniger back to go with our Big Four and now here's Dyson as 4+ WAR player number six?!)
They've got him for +8 runs saved defensively, or +20 full season, and for +6 runs created on the bases or +15 full season. If there's any player in the league you would pay for 2-3 wins on legs alone, this is the guy.
So, yeah, we seem to be getting the Dyson we paid for! Yeah baby! He's both functional and decorative. That is, he's helping the club and a whale of a lot of fun to watch also. And Bill James had an old-style Players Handbook quote on him yesterday:
Do you think Jarrod Dyson has been undervalued throughout his career?
His win shares per plate appearance look like a clear starter. I know there's some pinch running/defensive substitutions in there, but this year as starter looks about the same. I get that Cain was in center, and the Royals won the Series and you can't argue with that.
Asked by: nhirschey
He has been, yes. He was a "surprise" player. When he came up he was just supposed to be a fast guy who could pinch run and play defense, not a major league hitter. When he started hitting it took people several years to realize. . .oh, he really CAN hit some. He has been a under the radar guy.
Christian Vazquez is kind of like that, in a way. I'm convinced, anyway, that he's a better hitter than we thought he was. He's developed that way, like Xander and Jeter, to let the ball travel deep and hit it to the opposite field.