The 2020 Marlins roster includes a lot of new faces, brought in to add depth, versatility and overall talent to a team that has been non-competitive in recent years. However, each of these players have similarities to former Marlins, making it easier to set expectations for their performance moving forward. The “Familiar Fish” article series will explore these comparisons in depth.
Corey Dickerson represents the Marlins’ biggest expenditure during the offseason, as he signed a two-year deal for $17.5 million. Miami’s front office bet on him to become their starting left fielder for the next two seasons, knowing that Dickerson might be a big contributor to its offensive order.
Over the last three years, the Mississippi native has been steady and productive enough to think he could become the fourth Marlin to reach 60 extra-base hits in a season as a left fielder.
In Marlins history, that feat has only been accomplished by Cliff Floyd (1998, 2001), Miguel Cabrera (2005), and Marcell Ozuna (2017). However, each one of them had the benefit of a “normal” MLB season, playing at least 145 games in those years. Even the best-case scenario for 2020 at this point—according to several reports—concedes that half of the schedule has been lost to COVID-19.
Regardless, the seven-year veteran would have another shot in 2021. His track record makes us think that, if everything goes well for him during a complete campaign, Dickerson could reach that mark for the Marlins.
While playing for the Tampa Bay Rays, the he recorded 63 and 64 XBH in 2016 and 2017, respectively. In both years, he hit at least 24 balls out of the park and 33 doubles. The left-handed hitter was on pace to repeat the feat last year, but he only appeared in 78 games between the Pirates and the Phillies, succeeding enough in that limited sample to secure a deal with Miami.
The 30-year-old had extra-base hits in an incredible 15.1% of his plate appearances. If you extrapolate that over his usual annual playing time, he would’ve easily crossed the 60 XBH threshold.
On the other hand, it won’t be easy for Dickerson to aim at Floyd’s record of most extra-base hits for a Marlins LF (78, in 2001).
Consider that since 1904, only 28 ballplayers have registered 78 or more playing as a left fielder, a list that includes legends such as Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski, with Floyd being the only Marlin to ever do it.
Anyways, Dickerson will have to wait. Hopefully he will get used to the Marlins uniform and perform up to his full potential in 2021, a season in which he will try to join Floyd, Cabrera, and Ozuna.