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2019 Phillies in review: Corey Dickerson

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A really useful player may rank as Matt Klentak’s second best trade

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The numbers

(w/ Phillies) .293/.307/.573. 137 PA, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 24.1 K%, 2.2 BB%, 0.4 fWAR

The good

Dickerson was a shining light in the offensive blackness that was the Phillies’ offense in the summer. When Dickerson was acquired, it was seen as something of a desperation, yet needed, move. Andrew McCutchen was hurt, Odubel Herrera was suspended and no one outside of Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto could be counted on for consistent offensive production. Especially in the outfield, where the team was running out Nick Williams, Adam Haseley and Roman Quinn daily to try and generate some kind of spark. Well, once Dickerson did arrive with the team, he hit. And he kept hitting until he broke his foot and ended his season. He hit so well that there has been some talk about bringing him back for the 2020 season, and that makes some sense.

From his first game with the Phillies on August 4th to his finally being put on the injured list on September 17th, Dickerson led the team with 34 RBI and was third with 8 home runs. He was exactly what the team needed when they acquired him. It had been a rough offensive season, one that led to the dismissal of a hitting coach, but Dickerson came in and did exactly what was expected of him when the trade was made.

The bad

If the was anything to quibble with, his lack of patience hurt him. Among all players in baseball with at least 130 plate appearances during Dickerson’s time with the Phillies, that 2.2 BB% would 4th worst among 148 eligible players. It didn’t hurt him too much as far as adding offensive value since he hit for power and drove in runs, but it should make the team pause a bit if they were to consider making him a part of the future.

You could also point to his defense as being subpar and if you go by the advanced numbers, it clearly is. He won a Gold Glove with Pittsburgh in 2017, but that the only season in which he posted a positive amount of defensive WAR according to Fangraphs. It’s not Pat Burrell-bad, but over a full season, it would be a hindrance.

The future

Well, now what do the Phillies do?

You can make a serious argument for the team to re-sign Dickerson and it would make sense. McCutchen is coming back from a major operation and might not be full-go once the season begins. Dickerson was an offensive force for the team and they might look fondly on what someone has done for them in the past and reward that. Let’s look at how that’s going for the Eag— oh. Sorry.

The fact is that they already have someone who can do Dickerson’s job (decent offense, bad glove) for a few weeks if McCutchen needs it in the form of Jay Bruce. Since he’s also a left handed hitter like Dickerson and he’s already under contract, the team will more than likely move on for Dickerson. That might not be the most equal comparison (I also would rather have Corey), but that’s the reality facing the team. Even with the 26th roster spot, keeping Dickerson and Bruce would just feel redundant. He’ll get a nice multi-year deal from someone in free agency and give them good production for the contract. It was nice, Corey. Good luck to you and yours.