Baltimore Orioles: Who is this Jarrod Dyson of the Royals?


Oct 10, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) tags out Kansas City Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson (1) in the seventh inning in game one of the 2014 ALCS playoff at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

This is my fourth full season of writing about the Baltimore Orioles pretty much every day. And since the Orioles are in the American League East, whereas the Royals are in the Central Division, it is true that they only end up playing six or seven games against each other in a season.

It is not like I’ve never before heard of the mouth with the body attached named Jarrod Dyson, but a word search reveals that I’ve never written anything about him.

But his comment about not expecting to come back to Baltimore for possible sixth or seventh games – and then adding that he didn’t think the Orioles expected to either – has become what Steve Melewski of MASN termed today “the American League Championship Series story that won’t die.”

Really, I like the spunk. I’m not honestly critical of it. We’d love it if Jonathan Schoop or Steve Pearce said such a thing with the situation reversed. And frankly, if I had made to the Bigs, I’d say worse things than that … and I’m a professional talker. Really. Check out my bio if you don’t believe me. Every Sunday when I get done talking, it takes eight people to collect all the money!

But I digress. Just in the event that, like me, you are oddly not conversant off the top of your head with Jarred Dyson’s extraordinary career and stellar numbers, let’s study them together for just a moment.

Dyson is currently 30 years old and is from Mississippi. He was drafted by the Royals in the 50th round of the 2006 Amateur Draft from Southwest Mississippi Community College. Yep – the 50th round! So I guess if you are a 50th round draft pick, and you make it to the big leagues, maybe you feel a little bit indestructible.

This season is the fifth in which Dyson has played at least some time for the Royals, though it is the first that he spent no time with their AAA affiliate. He appeared in 120 games this year with 290 plate appearances, though he had 330 plate appearances in only 102 games in 2012.

Dyson’s career batting average is .256 with a comparatively good OBP of .323.  Both in MLB and the minors, he has been good at getting on base and displaying speed.

Here is an impressive statistic: he has stolen a base in 39% of the occasions where he has reached base in the major leagues. He has 100 stolen bases over the past three years. For example, if Nick Markakis stole a base in 39% of the occasions when he reached base this year, the number would be 103 in total.

However, to be honest, this does not factor in the number of times in his career where he was put into the game as a pinch runner. For example, that happened 18 times this year; so the comparison is not apples to apples, but was fun nonetheless, and the basic point stands.

So he can run. His 36 steals were third in the AL this year.  And if you want to be a Twitter follower, he can be found at @MrZoombiya – get it?… he zooms by ya!  I think he’s proud of his speed.

But in 17 career games against the Baltimore Orioles (including this playoff), he has attempted five stolen bases and only been successful twice. No wonder he’s angry!

Game 3

So, no game on Monday as expected with the heavy rains, with hopes for the weather to sufficiently clear for Tuesday evening.

The Baltimore Orioles really, really need a win. Kansas City is a hot team. Going back to include the final eight games from the end of the regular season, the Royals have won 14 of their last 16 games played.

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Over the course of the regular season, the Royals had winning streaks of five, five, eight, and 10 games. But they also had losing streaks of four games on four occasions, and a streak of five losses in a row. So they can turn hot and cold on a dime.

Conversely, the Orioles had winning streaks of only five and six games; and the O’s only twice lost four games consecutively. They were a much more consistent team.

If the Orioles can somehow get a win in this game three, and then follow it with an early lead in the fourth game, perhaps the momentum could see a sea change in a short time.