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What will Jarrod Dyson's role be in 2016?

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From 2012-2015, Dyson has dazzled us with his 38 DRS and 126 stolen bases.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A popular topic of debate among the fan base the last few years is if Jarrod Dyson should be an everyday player. "We think it’s time for Dyson to get an opportunity to play a lot more," Dayton Moore said inside his suite at the Winter Meetings. I believe it was posturing by Moore, but I am  perfectly fine with giving his unheralded veteran outfielder a vote of confidence.

At the time I considered it a possibility that Dyson could back his way into a bigger role if free agency went awry, but at best as a strong-side of a platoon guy. Ned Yost does not have a history of utilizing platoon, so in hindsight that logic was even unsound.  Free agency was a raging success, in large part by bringing back the face of the franchise Alex Gordon to man left field for another four years. This leaves just one outfield spot open, and even less certainty now of Dyson carving out a regular role.

In 2012, Dyson’s first season as a fixture to their 25-man roster, he amassed 330 PA, the most in his career thus far. After rookie Lorenzo Cain was placed on the disabled list, the club wanted to see what they had in the former 50th round draft choice, with uninspiring options like Mitch Maier, David Lough, and Jason Bourgeois in the fold.  Dyson became a semi-regular in late April, finishing the season with a line of .260/.328/.322.

#

Name

G

PA

HR

R

RBI

SB

BB%

K%

ISO

BABIP

AVG

OBP

SLG

wOBA

wRC+

BsR

Off

Def

WAR

1

Lorenzo Cain

61

244

7

27

31

10

6.1 %

23.0 %

.153

.319

.266

.316

.419

.318

99

0.8

0.5

7.4

1.7

2

Jarrod Dyson

102

330

0

52

9

30

9.1 %

17.0 %

.062

.318

.260

.328

.322

.291

80

6.9

-0.9

3.0

1.4

3

David Lough

20

65

0

9

2

1

6.2 %

13.8 %

.068

.275

.237

.292

.305

.266

63

-0.1

-2.9

2.1

0.1

4

Mitch Maier

32

74

2

8

7

2

10.8 %

32.4 %

.141

.231

.172

.260

.313

.256

56

1.2

-2.6

-2.2

-0.2

5

Jason Bourgeois

30

66

0

10

5

5

6.1 %

6.1 %

.065

.276

.258

.303

.323

.278

71

-1.2

-3.4

-3.4

-0.5

Dyson didn't convince the organization of being worthy of an every day gig after his 80 wRC+ campaign of extra duty.  Cain had a much better pedigree and a leg up on the center field job for the foreseeable future.

From 2013-2015 the Mississippi-native was an invaluable fourth outfielder, averaging +2.5 WAR. The once-raw speedster continued to improve in every facet of the game, most noticeably his route-running. In that three year span his wRC+ spiked to 88 as well, slapping the ball into the gaps more often for extra base hits.

It’s been a mixed camp among the fan base in how he’d most properly be utilized in 2016. Some like his speed off the bench in a very limited role, while others favor the potential of a +3 WAR starter.  The consensus seem to meet somewhere in the middle, opting for  300-400 PA, riding the pine against left-handed pitching.

Career Splits:

Season

Handedness

BB%

K%

BB/K

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

ISO

BABIP

wRC

wRAA

wOBA

wRC+

Total

vs L as L

9.1 %

21.0 %

0.43

.211

.288

.249

.536

.038

.273

14

-13.0

.246

50

Total

vs R as L

8.1 %

17.6 %

0.46

.266

.329

.367

.696

.101

.324

103

-3.9

.308

93

Total

vs L

9.1 %

21.0 %

0.43

.211

.288

.249

.536

.038

.273

14

-13.0

.246

50

Total

vs R

8.1 %

17.6 %

0.46

.266

.329

.367

.696

.101

.324

103

-3.9

.308

93

How the Royals decide to divvy up playing time in right field is to be determined, but we can be certain Dyson will once again be a key contributor to the defending champs.