Jarrod Dyson is headed to Mariners after the Royals traded him this week. Now in Seattle, he may have more fantasy value than people think.
The Mariners were busy this past week, essentially replacing Seth Smith and Nathan Karns with Yovani Gallardo and Jarrod Dyson. Out of all those players moved, Dyson has the most fantasy value out of the bunch.
With Kansas City, Dyson was a platoon piece who would come in and play excellent defense, while being a force on the basepaths. Now in Seattle, he will bring that same skill set, but may finally get a chance at regular playing time.
The way the Mariners’ outfield is now constructed, Dyson will join Leonys Martin, and Mitch Haniger as the probable starting three. Seattle lacks any other OF that can bring the game altering type of talent that Dyson has. He also happens to be coming off his best offensive season as a pro, posting a .278/1 HR/25 RBI/30 SB/.728 OPS line.
He also notched a career-high 83 H, 14 2B, and eight 3B. He maintained a 20% LD rate, but the key to his success was his 56% Med contact rate. Dyson simply made better contact last season, and the results showed that.
While his stat line clearly lacks anything outside of speed, his SB output is what fantasy owners need to be aware of. Last season, HR totals were up across the league at a staggering rate. There were 111 players that had at least 20 HR last season, while only 28 players notched at least 20 SB.
Since 2012, Dyson stole 156 bags while only being caught 28 times. Even though he will be 32-years-old next season, he still remains one of the best speedsters in the game. Speed is now a heavily coveted asset, and Dyson consistently brings that, therefore he now becomes an interesting fantasy pick.
The one area that Dyson has always struggled with is hitting LHP. Even though he had great success against them last season, .379 AVG over only 34 PA, he is only a career .231 hitter versus them. Versus RHP, he is a career .266 hitter, so there is some room for concern in the AVG department.
But in 2016, Dyson was able to post an 11.6% K rate and 7.7 BB%, both encouraging marks. He even had a career high 88% contact rate last season as well, so if he can simply just sustain those rates over the course of a full season he will be fine.
It remains to be seen where he will hit the Mariners lineup, but they have enough firepower he should post decent counting stats. But, if he could keep his OBP up in the .330s and secure the leadoff spot, his counting stats could skyrocket.
With speed down so much across baseball, Dyson all of a sudden looks like an OF4 or OF5 pick. One way or another, he should be selected in drafts this spring. Based on their offseason moves, Seattle will be more aggressive on the basepaths in 2017. Look for Dyson to post something around a .260/1 HR/35 RBI/40 SB type of line.