When the Phillies acquired Corey Dickerson in July from the Pirates, they did so hoping he’d be their offensive boost for a playoff run. Although the team struggled around him and fell short of those expectations, Dickerson was stellar, and the Marlins have agreed to sign him to a two-year deal in hopes he provides more of the same.
Dickerson has been one of the most underrated, developing (even though he’s 30) outfielders in the game. For the Fish, he was an affordable must-get piece that clearly serves as an upgrade over their internal 2020 outfield options.
Wondering why? Take a look at these six stats.
1) He destroys right-handers: Search for the best hitters against righties in 2019 and you’ll find Corey Dickerson. He hit for a .313 average, along with 24 doubles, nine home runs, 44 RBIs, and recorded a .942 OPS that ranks 14th among men with 200 plate appearances, minimum.
When the left fielder faced right-handed pitchers, his production was good for a 136 wRC+ and a 146 OPS+. Those numbers contrast the ones he put against lefties: 96 wRC+ and 100 OPS+. Despite that, he still was productive when at a platoon disadvantage (.271/.290/.492 in 62 PA).
2) Comfortable at his new home: Dickerson has been pretty effective when playing in Marlins Park. With 159 regular season games tentatively scheduled there during the life of Dickerson’s contract—the Marlins are losing three home games in April 2020 because of the Puerto Rico Series—it’s nice to know that he won’t be fazed by the building’s pitcher-friendly reputation.
Since 2015, Corey’s collected 22 hits in 60 at-bats, good for a .367 average. He hasn’t hit any home runs, but registered nine doubles plus 12 runs driven in across 16 games.
3) He’s a consistent hitter: In baseball, as in all aspects of life, consistency is always a key, and Dickerson knows that. Since 2014, he has finished every season but one with an OPS of at least .800, including three above .860. This is also reflected in his wRC+. Dickerson has posted at least a 115 wRC+ in every season but one since 2014 (100 represents league average).
Barring any injury that makes him lose a huge portion of time, Dickerson should stay productive.
4) C-l-u-t-c-h: You’re gonna like this. Without saying much, just take a glimpse at these clutch stats from the newest Marlin in 2019:
5) Nobody does it like him: Corey Dickerson used the opposite field on 36.7% of his batted balls last season, a number that ranked first in the majors among hitters with 200 PA minimum, tied only with the Twins’ Luis Arráez.
That’s an approach he should keep at the plate—he hit .440 (33-for-75) in those situations, according to Baseball Savant. The unpredictability of Dickerson’s batted ball direction makes him difficult for opposing fielders to adjust to.
6) Cruel to neighbors: It’s important to play well against division rivals, who you will be facing more frequently than any other teams every season.
Dickerson is good in that too! Just check these Baseball-Reference splits from his 2019 campaign:
|New York Mets||27||26||1||10||3||0||0||6||1||7||.385||.407||.500||.907|
The most encouraging part about the Dickerson signing is he has not stopped improving as a hitter. He’s been striking out at a lower rate while showing steady numbers in AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS year after year. If the Mississippi native can stay healthy, he should be a force in Don Mattingly’s lineup throughout the 2020 season.