2019 stats: 452 PA, .230/.313/.320, 69 wRC+, 1.3 fWAR (-9.5 offense +7.8 defense)
2019 salary: $ 3.75 Million
2020 status: Free Agent
Introduction: Five things to know about Dyson.
Dyson runs fast! In 2015 his sprint speed was in the top 2% of the Majors. His 250 career stolen-bases ranked 10th among active players. From 2010 through 2019, Dyson was the best baserunner in the Majors.
“…Jarrod Dyson, who was worth 39.8 runs on the base paths for the decade. That’s particularly impressive, considering he averaged only 86 games per season over that time. Dyson also led the majors in stolen-base percentage (min: 150 attempts in the 2010s) at 85.0%.” — Jim McLennan article.
Dyson loves playing baseball. From 2012 to 2017, his 11.6 fWAR ranked 43rd among all big-league outfielders, two spots ahead of multiple Gold Glove-winner Ender Inciarte (source).
“I don’t get into baseball like that [WAR statistics]. I just love playing it.” — Jarrod Dyson
Dyson keeps tuning-up his game. In the 2018 off-season, Dyson reduced his leg kick and cut down his swing, and kept the barrel of his bat in the zone longer. He worked on his own and with hitting coach Darnell Coles. In 2019, his hitting improved.
“I’m a hot rod. You can basically say that. I’m one of them expensive cars you’ve got to keep tuning up every now and again. It’s a lot of force that goes through this body.” — Jarrod Dyson
Dyson’s life story shows that unlikely success can happen. In 2006, the Royals drafted Dyson in the 50th round (pick number 1475). It is remarkable that a 50th round pick plays in the Majors.
“Young people make mistakes. Life is about growth, and [Jarrod Dyson’s] story is about an overlooked, tiny baseball player who had to overcome both his own low profile and his own poor decisions,” wrote Zach Buchanan.
Dyson was injured in July 2018 and missed the second half of the season. His rehab was successful.
2019 Review: Five ways Dyson added value to the D-backs.
His speed has made him an above-average defender in the outfielder. He mostly played in center field (74% of his innings). His 4 double-plays turned as a center fielder ranked 4th in the NL. His outfielder jump ranked in the top 8%. His outs-above-average ranked in the top 27%.
Dyson had three defensive gems competing for the 2019 Snake Pit Play of the Year in the outfield category. They gathered 30%, 14%, and 9% of the votes. Although Locastro’s stellar play won first place, Dyson’s top play was awesome; He robbed Dodger Pederson of a homer on 6 June. Jarrod Dyson and Tim Locastro collided above the yellow top of the outfield wall and Dyson made the catch. Dyson’s spectacular plays can be seen in this article.
His speed made him an above-average baserunner. His 30 stolen bases in 2019 ranked 4th in the NL (as did his 88.24% success rate in stealing bases.) His extra-bases-taken-on-singles was 58%. His scores-after-on-base was 41%.
His hitting improved. His off-season changes improved his hitting, especially April and June with sOPS+ of 143 and 87 respectively. Unhappily, he slumped in the last month. “…he hit only .106 (9-for-79) after August 24, costing him 56 points off his season OPS to that point.” — Jim McLennan. What was the reason for the slump? Was it because an age-related decline? Or was it because his 50-batted-ball average launch angle stayed (for an extended period) above the average in the Majors? Perhaps his swing needs to be re-tuned.
He was an extraordinarily positive influence on the clubhouse.
- “I think he would have been a calming personality and somebody who would have stabilized things [in September 2018].” — Torey Lovullo
- “Every team has a guy in the baseball community that’s the trash talker, who keeps it loose, and that’s Dys. It’s entertaining. I feel like I’m laughing every time he’s opening his mouth.” — Jake Lamb
- “As long as my teammates appreciate the things I do out there, that’s all that matters to me.” — Jarrod Dyson
He had the “right stuff”.
- “I’m enjoying having him around. He’s a pretty dynamic player and he can do special things at special times.” — Torey Lovullo
- “Either side of it, whether he’s starting or not starting, he’s always prepared. I think that experience and that know-how can really get him through key situations.” — Torey Lovullo
- “I feel like I’m a game-changer. Whether it’s on defense or offense, I’ll change the game if I’m out there.” — Jarrod Dyson
2020 Commentary: Which team will sign Dyson?
At age 35, Jarrod Dyson’s career is not over! Some team will sign him. Possibilities follow:
D-backs. In 2019, Dyson added value to the D-backs off-the-bench, and remarkably he added value while on-the-bench. The D-backs could sign him because of his positional flexibility and because he could platoon in center field to keep Ketel Marte healthy.
Orioles. “This is the second straight offseason in which Dyson has been on the Orioles’ radar, as Kubatko notes that general manager Dan Duquette discussed Dyson with Kansas City before the Royals traded him to the Mariners last winter,” wrote Connor Byrne in January 2018.
Royals, Indians, Athletics, and Rockies. “The Orioles, Royals, Indians, Athletics, and Rockies did not end up with any free agents from this list [of the top 50 Free Agents]. Certainly they might be in play on some of the more affordable names [such as Jarrod Dyson],” wrote Tim Dierkes on November 5, 2019.