Corey Dickerson’s first season as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates is in the books and it was a successful one
When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for reliever Daniel Hudson and infield Tristan Gray they appeared to be getting a steal. Dickerson was coming off a 2.6 fWAR season, while Hudson was one of the worst relievers in the National League in 2017 and Gray was a lowly thought of prospect.
Upon arriving in Pittsburgh, Dickerson would prove that the trade was indeed a steal for the Pirates. Despite having strong overall numbers in 2018, it did not come without struggles for Dickerson. But, to his credit, he overcame these struggles and finished the season on a high note.
Dickerson’s final stat sheet for the 2018 season is a good looking one. He slashed .300/.330/.474, his wOBA was .341, and his wRC+ was 115. While his wOBA and wRC+ were the same as they were in 2017, his on-base percentage improved as did his defense. Dickerson finished the season with a 2.7 fWAR. However, if not for a disabled list stint in late July he would have been a 3+ WAR player.
The aforementioned disabled list stint for Dickerson lasted from July 29th, with the move being retroactive to July 25th, through August 4th. Prior to going on the DL Dickerson was as hot as any hitter in the National League. When he returned though, he would enter a massive slump.
During the month of August, Dickerson wound up slashing .211/.223/.244 with a .204 wOBA, 24 wRC+, and an ugly 23.4% strikeout rate. Considering Dickerson had a poor second half in 2017, seeing him struggled post-injury was concerning. Could the poor second halves be a forming trend for Dickerson? Well, in September, he put a lot of these worries to rest.
In the month of September Dickerson slashed .324/.361/.559 to go with a .385 wOBA and a wRC+ of 145. His strikeout rate also dropped by over five points from 23.4% in August to 18.1% in September. Also, his extra-base hit rate spiked from 3.2% in August to 15.9% in September.
The Pittsburgh Pirates appear to have many of the pieces needed to compete in 2019 in place. A big part of this puzzle is Corey Dickerson. If the Bucs are going to make the postseason in 2019 they need a strong season out of Dickerson, which made seeing him finish the season on a high note such a positive for the Pirates.