Out of necessity, Chris Dickerson is still hanging around the Indians locker room, although his playing time has been cut slightly since Tyler Holt was called up. And while he got off to a nice start (.407/.467/.667 through his first 10 games), Dickerson’s has been flailing away at the plate ever since.
The issue with Dickerson is that he simply can’t make contact, and it’s an issue that has plagued him throughout his entire career.
Over the course of the season, Dickerson has whiffed on 37 percent of his swings, the seventh highest rate in the majors.
|1. Jordan Danks (CWS)||112||59.6%|
|2. Chris Dickerson (CLE)||124||56.5%|
|3. Charlie Culberson (COL)||246||56.5%|
The overall stats are concerning, but when focusing specifically on off-speed pitches, the real issue emerges.
On changeups, curves and sliders, Dickerson whiffs on over 56.5 percent of his swings. The next worst Cleveland batter: Ryan Raburn at 43 percent. Even Carlos Santana, who struggles with the slow stuff at times, only swings and misses on 33 percent of the offspeed pitches he sees.
To get a better visual on why pitchers are so easily dismissing Dickerson, take a look at a heat map of his contact rate against offspeed pitches.
On offspeed pitchers down and outside, Dickerson has an astonishing 87.5 whiff rate this season (14 whiffs on 16 swings).
It’s safe to assume the Dickerson era won’t last much longer (through season’s end at worst), so there’s no point in worrying about how to fix his issues. But it’s worth pointing out the flaws that have bounced him through six organizations over the past five seasons, just in case you had any illusions of developing him into a fourth outfielder in the future.
(and yes, that’s Dickerson sitting on Matt Leinart’s lap in the picture.)