New center fielder Jarrod Dyson will be a huge defensive upgrade over long time Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte in 2020.
COVID-19 permitting, the Pittsburgh Pirates will kick off their abbreviated 60-game 2020 season on July 24 at Busch Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals. In this game, Jarrod Dyson will be manning center field for the Pirates in the first game of his Pirate career.
When Dyson trots out to center field in Busch Stadium on July 24, he will be replacing long time Pittsburgh Pirates fan favorite Starling Marte. The former National League All-Star and multiple time Gold Glove Award winner had been a member of the Pirates since July 2012, and the team’s starting center fielder the past two seasons.
While Marte is one of the best players in franchise history, he had his shortcomings as a defender in center field. While Dyson is nowhere near the hitter Marte is, he will be a huge defensive upgrade in center field for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020.
In his career in center field, Marte owns a -9 Defensive Runs Saved, despite a +12 Outs Above Average. In 2019, Marte owned a -9 DRS and just a +2 OAA.
As for Dyson, his career numbers are far superior to this. Dyson has been responsible for +44 DRS in center field in hsi career, and +15 OAA. This includes a +6 DRS and a +3 OAA during the 2019 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This came while playing his home games in a very challenging center field in Chase Field to boot.
While Dyson is not the overall player that Marte is, as evident by Marte’s average 3.0 fWAR per season and Dyson’s 1.4, he is the far superior defender. Since the Pirates’ best opportunity to compete in 2020 will require an emphasis on run prevention, this move toward center field defense will be a beneficial one of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The only question is rather or not Dyson will still be the team’s starting center fielder following the August 31 trade deadline? We will have to wait and see.