Corey Dickerson - 2019 breakout candidate?

Corey Dickerson was no doubt a positive story for the 2018 season. We know his story as it has been described Ad nauseam -He was picked up for basically a sunk cost of Daniel Hudson and a low level flier in Tristan Gray, thought to be a bat only OF who the league would expose with increased usage of high fastballs.

So what was the result? Gold glove defense (!!!!) in LF, and dropped his K% from his previous 3 year average of 24% to 15% (!!!!!!). This has to be the 90th percentile outcome for Corey right and effectively maxing out his production, right? Or does it?

Corey isn't a statcast darling with eye popping exit velocity, nor is he an ideal candiate for launch angle and swing plane adjustments. But an area he can improve upon (and greatly) is to stop being such a great bad ball hitter. The problem is he has such great hand eye coordination and bat control. In otherwords - Corey Dickerson likes to swing.

Pop Quiz, who was the league leader among qualified batters last year in the percentage of pitches he swung at? Corey Dickerson. Corey Dickerson made contact with ~74% of the pitches he swung at OUTSIDE of the strike zone. That goes to show his great hand eye coordination. The problem with that though, is that he swung the 3rd most of all qualified batters last year at pitches outside the zone at 45%, rivaling Javier Baez. He also swung at 80% of pitches INSIDE the strike zone overall (also good for third in the league).

If 'Big Swinging' Corey Dickerson can stop being such a bad ball hitter by swinging less, resulting in contact with less bad pitches overall, I think you could see his slugging increase even more and improve upon his 3 win season this year. If that happens, while maintaining the improvements he made in his K% and defense last year, Pittsburgh has a new star.

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