Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dyson's Goals

"I would at least say 50 (steals). I got 30 last year and my numbers weren't even close to what I just said (.280 batting average, over .350 OBP). I just want to do whatever it takes to help this team win." -Jarrod Dyson
At first glance, it seems as though these goals might be a bit reaching for Jarrod Dyson. After all, in 102 games last season Dyson hit just .260/.328/.322 with 30 steals. Of course, as of now Dyson might have difficulty finding the field enough to compile 50 stolen bases. In fact, when I was talking about Dyson's goals with fellow Royal Revival blogger Paden Bennett, he commented that Dyson should be starting over Jeff Francoeur.

Personally, I think the best situation for Dyson and the Royals would be a Dyson-Francoeur platoon in 2013. Dyson's goals might seem a bit reaching at first glance, but last season against righties Dyson managed to hit .275/.340/.349. On a personal level, Dyson's best shot to achieve his personal goals would likely come as a member of a platoon where his poor performance against lefties wouldn't factor in as much to his overall line.

The steals will be harder to get as a part of a platoon, but starting against righties 110-120 times, plus the opportunity to pinch run in every other close game should afford Dyson plenty of opportunities. Of course, as we know, over his career Jeff Francoeur is much better against lefties than he is right handers. Here is a quick look for what the production might look like for a Dyson-Frenchy platoon.

In order to arrive at these numbers I took the 2012 splits versus right handers for Dyson and the career numbers versus left handers for Francoeur and then condensed them into a 650 plate appearance sample. I then weighted Dyson's numbers at .7 and Francoeur's at .3 because I felt as though this would be a similar ratio to how often the Royals face right handed versus left handed pitchers.

Here is the line that the Royals could expect barring no improvement from either Dyson or Francoeur's 2012 performance: .260/.323/.361. This would equate to an OPS .034 points than Dyson in 2012 and .019 points higher than Francoeur's.

It should be noted, that despite a career long history of quality performance against southpaws, 2012 Jeff Fancoeur actually only recorded an OPS of .695 against them. For his career, Francoeur boasts a .820 OPS against pitches coming from the opposite side of the rubber. If you conduct this same exercise, but with career splits adjusted for 650 plate appearances and then weighted, a Dyson-Francoeur platoon would post a line of .270/.329/.390, good for a .719 OPS.

I'm not expecting the Royals to take such an approach. Also, the best case is that Francoeur can find his 2011 form and Dyson is a fourth outfielder/pinch runner. However, injuries happens so my guess is that Dyson will get plenty of playing time. My stance on Dyson remains the same. He is a very valuable piece as a fourth outfielder, and might even be a second division regular. If Frenchy struggles out of the gate, a platoon should be in order until another option can be found.

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