It is really exhilarating to add a hitter like Corey Dickerson. He's 26 years young with a sweet swing and seemingly effortless power to all fields. Dickerson's are few and far between.
So, of course, it's time to make a ridiculously unfair comparison to the best young hitters in each league: Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.
We are comparing the three outfielders starting from Dickerson's first season: 2013 to present.
Is it fair that Dickerson's short rookie season is starting the comparison vs Trout's 3rd pro season and Harper's 2nd pro season on? Not really, but this is already a bit of a far fetched starting premise and we're doing this for fun, so let's push on and see what the numbers tell us.
Let's start with those strikeouts.
Strikeouts are very important for pitchers, but tend to be a bit overstated when it comes to batters. K's or a weak pop-up are going to end in almost the exact same result most of the time: an out. For me, it is much more interesting to see what you do with the contact that you make.
So, when Corey makes contact, the ball is absolutely pounded. To throw another unreal young mashing hitter into the fray: Giancarlo Stanton's career LD% is 18.8%, to go with a ridiculous 42% Hard contact percentage and 25.9% HR/FB.
Perhaps as important is that Corey Dickerson has also been right in line with Trout and Harper with how much contact he has been able to make.
Dickerson seems quite similar to Bryce Harper in that he's heading to the plate ready to swing and swing often. Trout tends to be more selective, both inside and out of the zone. Aggressiveness at the plate is one of the big differences between the three young sluggers.
Dickerson seems to swing at more pitches out of the strike zone, but is able to cover a lot of the plate and still make contact off the plate.
Here's some video evidence of Dickerson's impressive plate coverage ability (and his potential fall back as a Cricket player):
On the topic of swings, let's take a look at each hitter's HR swing.
Mike Trout has a beautiful compact swing, very little movement pre-pitch, with just a small leg lift.
Harper also has a very smooth, small leg kick and plant, before driving the bat through the zone. Not a ton of movement pre-pitch.
Dickerson's swing has more movement than the other two sluggers. Big leg kick before planting. Even with more movement, Dickerson has shown an ability to avoid pulling off everything and drive the ball to all fields.
And let's not forget everyone's favorite Dickerson GIF thus far:
Now, I am certainly not trying to say Corey Dickerson is the next Trout or Harper. Trout plays with a elite level glove and amazing discipline and batting eye at the plate. Harper has stupid power and is starting to draw walks at an almost Bonds-ian level. They are two of the very best for a good reason.
Dickerson certainly has some avenues to improve (his BB% is very low, and much lower than both Harper and Trout), and the questions of how he will do in life after Coors will certainly not go away until he proves it on the field. However, our newest Ray has put up strikingly similar (and in some ways better) numbers in some very encouraging areas.
There are some real, truly exciting reasons to be hyped Rays fans.