Jarrod Dyson in a lot of ways, should be the prototypical Royals player. He's fast, is a tremendous baserunner, and covers a lot of ground in the outfield. He can also get on base at a pretty good rate, so despite having any kind of power, he's a sneaky valuable player.
He has provided his value mostly in a reserve role, as a fourth outfielder, defensive replacement, and pinch-runner. There has been some discussion as to whether Dyson could blossom in a starting role, but the Royals seem content leaving him in bench role, perhaps concerned he could be exposed in a starting position.
Dyson has his best rWAR season last year, fueled mostly by an outstanding defensive season. Dyson first came up a bit raw defensively, using his speed to overcome misreads on fly balls. However he has turned himself into an elite defender, finishing 22nd in all of baseball in dWAR, despite only playing 691 innings in the field, about half that of regular starting outfielders.
Dyson has seen declining walk rates each of the last two seasons, and he posted the worst ISO season of his career. He had a career high .269 batting average, but also had an above-average batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .330, suggesting his bat could decline next season. Still, Dyson's speed can turn seeming ground ball outs into hits, he was 24th in baseball last year in infield hit percentage.
|Career per 162 games||.256||.323||.335||2||27||3.4|
Basestealing is still Jarrod Dyson's bread-and-butter, with Dyson posting a career high 36 steals rate, while still keeping his success rate north of 80%. Over the last three seasons, Dyson is seventh in all of baseball with 100 steals, and he has been caught just 18 times, for an 84.7% success rate. Dyson is a threat on the bases even when not stealing, as he was 28th in baseball in baserunning runs, despite being a part-time player.
The Royals insist that Dyson won't come off the bench as a defensive replacement for Alex Rios the way he did for Nori Aoki, despite troubling defensive numbers from Alex Rios the past few seasons. With three established everyday outfielders, Dyson's role this year is a bit less clear than last year. It will be up to manager Ned Yost to make sure that a valuable player is not left to rot on the bench.
What do you expect out of Jarrod Dyson in 2015?