On the surface, it appears Corey Dickerson figured out how to hit lefties, as he sported a higher OPS in 2017 when batting without the platoon advantage. However, it takes about 1,000 plate appearances for a lefty swinger against southpaws before he owns the split. Including last season, Dickerson isn't even halfway to that threshold, so assuming he continues to hit left-handers is risky. That said, Dickerson's gains were in average as he hit just three of his 27 homers with a lefty on the hill. Dickerson remains what he was heading into last season -- a power bat with batting average dependent on BABIP (mid-70s contact rate). His success against lefties will likely afford him a chance to play close to every day with Pittsburgh following a February trade, but he could platoon if those gains don't hold. Despite hitting high in the order, Dickerson's run production is likely to fall short of other similar hitters, as the Pirates' offense does not project to be especially prolific with Andrew McCutchen gone.
Dickerson, who made his spring debut Saturday, went 0-for-2 and batted second against Philadelphia, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. He's expected to start in spacious left field at PNC Park and hit at or near the top of the lineup. "There could be opportunities there (batting leadoff), but it's too early for me to commit to one spot," manager Clint Hurdle said. "I just like the fact that he's moved around and he's open-minded. Once we get him in a spot we'd probably like to leave him in a spot, not to continue to moving him." The masher will be counted upon to help replace the offensive void left behind by the recently traded Andrew McCutchen. Dickerson's ability to play an adequate left field remains his biggest question mark.
Dickerson was traded to the Pirates in exchange for Daniel Hudson, Tristan Gray and cash considerations Thursday. A trade was expected after Dickerson was designated for assignment by the Rays, and that expectation has indeed become reality. The 28-year-old produced a solid .282 batting average last season to go with 27 home runs, but he struggled down the stretch and batted just .241 in the second half. That said, Dickerson looks like the favorite to open the season as Pittsburgh's starting left fielder even with his struggles at the tail-end of last season, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.. With the Pirates selling off some of their top assets (such as Andrew McCutchen), Dickerson will likely get a prime spot in the heart of their batting order.
Dickerson was designated for assignment by the Rays on Saturday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. This is somewhat surprising, as Dickerson is coming off an All-Star campaign and recently agreed to a one-year, $5.95 million contract with the Rays, avoiding arbitration. The 28-year-old did hit just .232/.273/.397 over the final three months of the season, though he still finished the year with a respectable .282/.325/.490 line and 27 homers in 150 games. Dickerson should draw plenty of interest on waivers.
Dickerson agreed to a one-year, $5.95 million deal with the Rays on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports. This marked the second year as an arbitration-eligible player for Dickerson, who received a $2.925 million raise from last offseason. During the 2017 campaign, the outfielder slashed .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs and 62 RBI in 150 games. For fantasy purposes, Dickerson remains a cheap power bat, but with the shortcomings of the Rays' offense, RBI and runs may be hard to provide.
Dickerson went 3-for-4 in Sunday's season-ending 6-0 win over the Orioles. Dickerson wrapped up the season the way he started it, as Sunday's multi-hit effort was his third straight and fifth in the final seven contests. The slugger slashed .414/.414/.552 and posted a .413 wOBA over the 29 plate appearances he logged over the latter span and he established a new career high in home runs (27) and extra-base hits (64) this season, despite a lackluster second half during which he slashed just .241/.282/.408.