Jarrod Dyson has played in 30 games this season for the Kansas City Royals. Since Lorenzo Cain went down with a leg injury, Dyson has basically been the everyday guy patrolling center field. He's definitely had his ups and downs. In his first stint as starter, his range allowed him to get to balls that other center fielders couldn't dream of reaching. In that same time he couldn't get those balls into the webbing and failed to convert the plays into outs. It was easy to cast blame on the former 50th rounder for several losses, despite that being unfair.
Dyson also started out pretty bad at the plate. Clearly, he was out matched by Major League pitching. Then from 5/1-5/15, Dyson hit .327/.419/.385 and some were wondering if Lorenzo Cain would ever get his opportunity in the Kansas City outfield. Since May 15, Dyson has hit just .167/.217/.214.
The defense has improved for Dyson, although he isn't wowing on the eye test, and he still possesses a negative UZR. (I know it's early and an incredibly small sample for such data.) Here we are on June 1, and according to Fangraphs, Dyson is a "replacement player."
As of this moment Dyson is the mysterious player that all other players are judged against. He doesn't hurt the team, but he certainly isn't helping its cause. It's believed that a team full of replacement players would win approximately 35-45 games. Dyson is currently the equivalent of the caliber of player that could be picked up off waivers or a AAA roster at any point in time.
There are a ton of players currently playing in baseball that have negative fWAR values. In fact two of those have played center field this season for the Kansas City Royals. In his short time as the everyday guy, Dyson hasn't established himself as the man for the future. However, I have to appreciate his play. He hasn't solidified the center field position, but he has provided the Royals with a reliable option that they can pencil into the lineup day in and day out, at least for the time being.
As has always been thought, moving forward Dyson can still prove to be a very valuable piece as a fourth outfielder. If one day the Royals are in a race and an outfielder falls to injury down the stretch, Kansas City could do much worse than giving Jarrod Dyson everyday at bats. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jarrod Dyson: replacement player.