#21 Jarrod Dyson
Acquired: Drafted in the 50th Round of the 2006 Amateur Draft
From: MComb, MS
Jarrod Dyson makes this countdown not because of his upside, but because of his floor. Dyson a couple of plus plus tools, both of which are thanks to his blazing speed. Dyson may not be the fastest player in the organization at the moment, but Dyson could be the fastest player on any Major League roster.
Dyson has a developed skill on the bases and unlike Joey Gathright he has learned to use his speed to steal bases. He gets great reads, fantastic jumps, and there aren't many catchers in the league that have a chance at throwing him out at second base. The Royals call him their "offensive closer" because if they need a run to win the game and he is on first with no outs, you can bet he's going to score.
Thanks to his speed, Dyson is also a fantastic center fielder, but again unlike Joey Gathright, Dyson knows how to use his speed. He takes awesome routes and has his name in the Royals record books for most putouts by an outfielder in a single game. If Dyson was given an entire season in center it would be interesting to see what kind of putout numbers that he could put up. Much like Alcides Escobar, he wouldn't have to hit much to have a positive value.
Dyson is likely better suited as a fourth outfielder, where he can be used as a spot starter, defensive replacement, and pinch runner. With his plus speed and defense he could be extremely valuable in this role. Right now the Royals have Mitch Maier under contract in 2012. Maier is out of options, so he is likely the only player on the Royals depth chart that Dyson would have to pass to earn a roster spot.
My hope is that October 3, Jarrod Dyson is standing on first with no outs in the bottom of the 9th. Jose Valverde is on the mound and if Dyson scores the Royals win the division. With everyone in the park knowing a steal is on the way, Dyson takes second anyway. The next at bat Dyson takes third on a grounder to second, and then scores on a sacrifice fly. Although, I'll admit I'd settle for a division title in any form.
"That's what speed do."