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2020 Marlins Season Review: Corey Dickerson

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Even though Dickerson had his ups, the 31-year-old outfielder failed to impress in his first year as a Marlin. He now has a second chance.

National League Division Series Game 3: Atlanta Braves v. Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Starghill/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Corey Dickerson was one of the Marlins’ additions before the 2020 season. In fact, he signed the biggest contract given by the Fish since new ownership took control of the team (2 yrs/$17.5M). Did Dickerson live up to the hype in the first campaign of his multi-year contract? Let’s evaluate his numbers...

Dickerson’s MLB career stats | Baseball-Reference

Among the different free-agent options for the outfield, the Marlins chose Dickerson over the likes of Kole Calhoun and Yasiel Puig, inking him to a two-year contract on January 7. He had thrived with the bat in 2019 between the Pirates and the Phillies—.906 OPS, 42 XBH, 59 RBI in 78 games. He was ready to become one of the biggest threats in the Marlins offensive order.

In his first four games of the 2020 regular season, he was exactly that. Two doubles and one home run were among his first at-bats as a Marlin. But then it all fell apart for Dickerson, who was 7-for-40 with no extra-base hits and only one RBI in 11 games from August 5-19. During that stretch, in which the Fish lost five of those matchups, he slashed a poor .175/.267/.175.

At the end of August, Dickerson was hitting for a .242 average and a .704 OPS while appearing most of the time in the heart of the lineup. Luckily, he put things together and he claimed his best form back during the last month of the shortened season.

Across 21 games between September 4-23, Dickerson was good for a .316/.357/.494 slash line with a .851 OPS. That’s the kind of production the Marlins envisioned when they handed him his contract. Besides those averages, thanks to being 25-for-79 in that span, Corey also recorded three doubles, one triple, and three four-baggers, along with seven runs batted in and 13 scored runs.

For some reason, Dickerson registered a career-worst 85.7 average exit velocity, one of the reasons for his .283 BABIP. But in a season as bizarre as this one, there understandably were things that can go bad with preparation, timing, and rhythm, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.

Additional Stats

  • Dickerson wasn’t that good against offspeed stuff in 2020. The prior year, for example, he hit for a .298 batting average and a .553 slugging against those kinds of deliveries. This time his BA was a low .128, roughly the same as his slugging percentage (.149).
  • The 31-year-old veteran was at his best when batting fourth: .343/.378/.543 (37 plate appearances).
  • He struggled with runners in scoring position: .186/.286/.186 across 49 total trips to the plate with no extra-base hits.

High Point: Hitting a go-ahead three-run home run against the Cubs in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series, on September 30.


2021 Outlook

Dickerson will enter the last season of his contract ($9.5M salary) with the challenge of making up for his down year in 2020, especially with what one can assume will be a better Marlins team surrounding him.

He will have to work even harder to raise his exit velocity and fix his mechanics to stop hitting so many ground balls (52.2% in 2020) and rediscover his line drive stroke (20.8% of batted balls this year, but 31.9% in 2019). That way Dickerson will have a better chance of consistently producing extra-base hits like we’re used to seeing him do.

Look, the Marlins NEED Dickerson’s bat and he knows that. I think it’s more than fair to expect a better performance from Corey in 2021. I’m sure he’s better than his 2020 version and his seven-year major league career numbers say so. It’s time for him to prove it.

Poll

Will Corey Dickerson finish the 2021 season with the Marlins?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Yes
    (18 votes)
  • 50%
    No—traded before then
    (19 votes)
  • 2%
    No—released before then
    (1 vote)
38 votes total Vote Now