Pittsburgh Pirates LF Corey Dickerson won his first career Gold Glove award. How did that happen?
Last night, Corey Dickerson won his first Gold Glove award. Not bad for a guy who was widely thought as a “hit only” player when he came to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Dickerson may have had seven assists, but most of his defensive value came from the ground he covered, not his arm. FanGraphs lists Dickerson’s range this year being worth 6.7 runs (RngR). That’s good for 11th in baseball, including fifth among outfielders and second among left fielders.
When the Pirates acquired Dickerson, the main concern was if he could manage PNC Park’s infamous left-center notch.He ended up handling it just fine, making two outs above average (OAA) on balls he had to go back on, according to Baseball Savant. But while he was good going backwards, he was one of the best in baseball coming in on the ball. He finished tied for third among all outfielders on OAA on balls he had to come in on (8).
Dickerson’s directional OOA chart paints a clear picture. If he was coming in to catch a pop fly, it didn’t matter if he had to move to his left or right. He was consistently solid.
Part of the reason why Dickerson did so well was because of his positioning. Few left fielders played as deep as he did this season. For example, per Baseball Savant, when there was a right-handed batter up and nobody on base, Dickerson stood 311 feet away from home- the furthest among left fielders in the majors.
On average, he set up shop 301 feet away from home. Here’s how that compares to other left fielders in baseball:
Starting deeper helped Dickerson out on those deep fly balls, while his above average speed and ability to read the ball off the bat made it so he could still track down short pop-ups, too. That, alongside his work ethic and drive to get better defensively, resulted in this Gold Glove. Now he joins a very exclusive group in Pirates history:
List of Gold Glove winning #Pirates left fielders that Corey Dickerson now joins:— Jason Shetler (@Jason_Shetler) November 5, 2018
Barry Bonds, Starling Marte.....That's it
- MLBTR listed their top 50 MLB free agents with predictions this weekend. Spoiler alert: they don’t think the Pirates are going to get anyone. Grant Brisbee also jotted down 50-something names recently that is worth perusing.
- Speaking of free agency, r/baseball is trying to find out who each team’s worst free agent signing of the past 20 years is.
- And if you want my theory on why Dickerson won (or why I thought he was going to win), may I humbly suggest my TPOP post from last week.