#31 Jarrod Dyson
Drafted: 50th Round, Pick #1,475 of 2006 Rule IV Draft
College: Southwest Mississippi JC
ETA: Late 2010
You can't talk about Jarrod Dyson's game without beginning with his plus plus speed which Baseball America deemed the best in the entire system going into the 2010 season. Dyson's game totally revolves around this asset much like Joey Gathright. Dyson uses this speed to try to drag bunt or slap the ball to the left side of the infield, hoping that his legs can get him to first. The problem for Dyson is that his hitting numbers have been less than desirable and his on base skills haven't been good enough for him to become a truly quality prospect. The other factor that limits his prospect potential is his age, Dyson is already twenty-five years old.
Dyson was a 50th round draft choice so the odds have been against him since he began his professional career. Simply by being mentioned on this list he has surpassed expectations, but I am going to make a bold prediction that at some point in the 2010 season we will see Dyson in Kansas City. Here is why. First, Dyson was given an opportunity to compete in the Arizona Fall League this season due to an injury to David Lough and Dyson made the most of it. In 71 at bats he posted a slash of .310/.364/.408 slash line. This brings me to my second point, with his strong performance in the league the Royals felt the need to protect him from the rule 5 draft where another team could have picked him up for a mere 50K. Because Dyson is already on the 40-man roster it puts him in position to receive a call up to the big club if a need arises and he is performing well in triple A.
I think that Dyson may start the season in double A to hone his skills a bit, but given his age and his slow minor league progress due to injuries I think he will be in triple A by the end of May. If he can post decent numbers there I would expect to see Dyson in Kansas City as a September call-up. With his speed Dyson could find a role on a team as a defensive replacement and pinch runner. But if Dyson can developing his hitting to a near average level, then he may one day be given the opportunity to be an everyday centerfielder. Either way Dyson can't afford anymore injuries and he has to improve upon his hitting abilities this season. If he doesn't a career as a minor league free journeyman and roster filler could be his fate.