Corey Dickerson’s Value in Tampa Bay

In the aftermath of Corey Dickerson being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays last week, we have seen numerous thoughts and predictions on his future fantasy value in Tampa. The prevalent belief being that he is no longer mixed league worthy. I actually saw someone in a Facebook discussion group post a tombstone with his player card on it. Photoshop aside, it is time to examine Dickerson’s fantasy value in Tampa.

One of the biggest fears for fantasy owners is when a batter is traded from a great hitters park to a lesser location. The move from Coors Field to the Trop obviously hurts Dickerson’s value, but how much? The easy (and most popular) answer is to just look at his career home/road splits and ascertain that his new baseline will be in line with his prior career road numbers:

Corey Dickerson’s Career Home/Road Splits
Season Home / Away G AB PA HR AVG wOBA BB/K ISO HR/FB
Total Home 122 400 442 24 0.355 0.460 0.51 0.320 20.50%
Total Away 143 454 483 15 0.249 0.301 0.20 0.161 13.40%
2013-15 Total 265 854 925 39 0.299 0.377 0.32 0.235 17%

However, if you listened to episode 300 of Sleeper and the Bust, with special guest Mike Petriello, you learned that while Coors had a positive effect on players’ home numbers, it actually had a negative impact on their road numbers. So, the best way to properly value Dickerson’s future value would be to look at prior “Coors Creations” and how their numbers changed after leaving Colorado.

Let’s begin with Dexter Fowler. Many thought leaving the comfy confines of Coors Field would destroy any power numbers that he had previously. Here are his home/road splits in his final two seasons with the Rockies:

Dexter Fowler 2012-2013 Home/Road Splits
Season Home / Away G AB PA HR AVG wOBA BB/K ISO HR/FB
2012 Home 70 244 293 10 0.332 0.422 0.70 0.221 17.20%
2012 Away 65 210 237 3 0.262 0.319 0.37 0.119 6.30%
Season Home / Away G AB PA HR AVG wOBA BB/K ISO HR/FB
2013 Home 61 209 241 7 0.311 0.383 0.66 0.167 13.00%
2013 Away 58 206 251 5 0.214 0.312 0.59 0.121 9.60%

As you can see, his number have similarly large split differences inside and away from Coors during his years with the Rockies.

Now, here are his last two seasons since leaving Colorado:

Dexter Fowler 2014-2015
Season Team G AB PA HR AVG wOBA BB/K ISO HR/FB
2014 Astros 116 434 505 8 0.276 0.347 0.61 0.122 7.1%
2015 Cubs 156 569 690 17 0.25 0.333 0.55 0.161 10.6

While Fowler’s offensive numbers slipped a little overall, they did not crater to the levels of his road statistics from his Rockies days. These number are not purely anecdotal either. Matt Holliday has been fine in Busch Stadium since leaving Coors. Ellis Burks hit more home runs in San Francisco and Cleveland, in the four and a half seasons after leaving Coors, than he did in the same amount of time in Colorado. When Seth Smith departed Colorado’s hitter’s park in 2013 for the Oakland Coliseum, he hit one less home run in 93 less at bats. History shows us that leaving Coors Field does not usually crush your fantasy value.

Now that we have put the “Coors Creation” argument to bed, let’s talk about the other black marks on Dickerson’s record. He has historically struggled against left-handed pitching. However, I would argue that the sample sizes are small and his career numbers are brought down by an atrocious 2013. He has actually improved the last two seasons against left-handers.

The biggest concern for Dickerson heading into this upcoming season is health. Dickerson battled multiple injuries during the 2015 season, which ultimately derailed his season. We can speculate that the lack of return for him from the Rays may be due to the lack of confidence by Colorado in his physical health. However, I am going to assume that an organization like the Rays, having dealt with an injury riddled Desmond Jennings last season, would do their due diligence before finalizing a deal on Dickerson. Until I hear a reliable source say otherwise, I would expect Dickerson to enter 2016 healthy and looking for a turnaround.

So, how do we value Corey Dickerson for the 2015 season?

As of writing this article, Dickerson’s currently the 23rd ranked outfielder in our consensus ranks, has an average draft position of the 23rd outfielder (81.88 overall) in NFBC draft, and the 33rd ranked outfielder (97th overall) in Yahoo’s ranks with an ADP of 102.9. Our consensus ranks and NFBC’s ADP have not been updated since the trade. Yahoo’s ranks appear to be current with Dickerson’s value since the trade.

I believe that the trade to Tampa Bay will tank Dickerson’s perceived value in the fantasy industry. This will make him some sort of value coming into to drafts that occur later in the preseason. Currently, Yahoo’s rank of 33rd outfielder off the board is three spots lower than I personally have him ranked. As his average draft position begins to decline due to fears over his home ballpark, injuries, and platoon issues, savvy fantasy owners should start to take notice. If you are getting him as a third outfield in 15-team leagues or as a fourth or fifth in 12-teamers, you are getting value for his potential. I’d expect him to outperform Steamer’s expectations of home runs and a .259 average. Something more in line with 18-21 home runs with a .265-.275 avg and 3-4 stolen bases is what I would project and anything above that is pure profit.

We hoped you liked reading Corey Dickerson’s Value in Tampa Bay by Justin Mason!

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Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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Sal
Guest
Sal

So in a 14 team league, keeping him in the 15th round is a reasonable thing to do with the potential for some nice profit at that point?