Coming into the 2017 Major League Baseball season, many people saw the Tampa Bay Rays as a team to watch, but who would be their leadoff hitter?
Logan Forsythe was seen as the man for the Rays at the top of the order, until he was traded to the Dodgers in the offseason for pitching prospect Jose De Leon.
After the trade, many people expected someone like Kevin Kiermaier to be the Rays’ new leadoff hitter, given his speed. Kiermaier, who hit .246 last season, was not on manager Kevin Cash’s mind when he was writing down the new Rays leadoff hitter on the lineup card on opening day.
Instead, Cash wrote out the name Dickerson on the #1 slot in the lineup.
Dickerson, who hit .245 with a .293 on base percentage last season, was a bit of a surprise to many when they saw his name at the top of the order on opening day.
May I also add, Dickerson did not steal one base last season, like many typical leadoff hitters do.
SO WHAT HAS DICKERSON DONE THIS SEASON?
Not many knew what to expect out of Dickerson with his new role, but he has come out scorching! Dickerson is currently leading the American League in hits with 94, which is also second in the MLB, only behind Charlie Blackmon, who has 96. Dickerson is also third in the AL in batting average at a .326 clip.
I should also add that Mr. Dickerson’s slugging percentage is also fourth in the AL at .583.
Wins Above Replacement, also known as WAR, is an up-and-coming statistic, measuring a player’s contribution to his team offensively, defensively and also on the basepaths. With that in mind, Dickerson is 8th in the American League in WAR.
Dickerson has jumped a whopping 81 points in his batting average since last season. So how is he doing with the All-Star voting? Very surprisingly, Corey Dickerson is not even in the top 15 in American League outfielder votes! So where are all of his votes going?
Ask the .221 hitting Abraham Almonte, who is ninth in American League outfield vote-getters with 202,999 votes, which is impressive for someone who is not even an everyday player! Other players such as Jose Bautista, who is tenth in voting, is sporting a .243 batting average.
Dickerson is hitting 99 points higher than Joey Bats! This could also lead to many opinions on why the All-Star Game voting needs to be fixed!
Many have brought up the idea of completely wiping out the fan voting, putting the managers and players in charge. I am not a big fan of that idea, mainly because that would drive many fans away from the game. Instead, why not place limits on how many players per team you can vote for.
I think that would be the most effective option, while also keeping the fans involved.
Now, the voting isn’t as controversial as it once was, with two deserving outfielders currently at the top of the voting, Mike Trout and Aaron Judge, who have both been spectacular this season.
But if Corey Dickerson can keep these video game numbers up for the next month and a half, why shouldn’t he be in the American Leagues’ starting lineup in Miami?