Kansas City Royals: Jarrod Dyson And His Golden Ticket

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Jul 9, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson (1) throws to first base for a double play after making a catch against the outfield fence in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Gordon‘s devastating groin injury has given Kansas City Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson the biggest opportunity of his career. With Gordon expected to miss eight weeks, KC’s fourth outfielder now has a protracted chance to show he can be an everyday player.

It’s an amazing turn of events for a guy like Jarrod Dyson.

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The slow-developing Dyson has taken the long road to the major leagues. As a 50th round draft pick from Southwest Mississippi Community College in 2006, the 30-year-old Jarrod Dyson is a guy that scouts believed to be nothing more than than minor league filler.

Jarrod Dyson was drafted because of one tool: speed.

Dyson had game-changing wheels that could make him a terror on the basepaths and give him the potential to develop jaw-dropping range. But at 5’9″ 160 pounds, Jarrod Dyson had no power potential. And his bat was so raw no one believed it would develop enough to let him advance to the high minors, much less the major-leagues.

Yet, by age 30 (he turns 31 on August 15), Dyson has become an impact bench player for the KC Royals.

Jarrod Dyson also possess breath-taking defensive range. That’s just not about speed. He combines an outstanding ability to read balls off the bat with the plus plus wheels to run them down. The result is a guy that has a career 20.4 Ultimate Zone Rating/150 (meaning he saves 20.4 runs more than the average major league centerfielder over 150 games).

That’s just ridiculous.

What’s more, Dyson possesses a surprisingly strong arm that allows him to play in any outfield position. He’s saved 2.8 runs over his career vs. the average outfielder due to his throwing ability.

Dr. Zoom showed off that arm just moments after trainers carted four-time Gold Glove winner Alex Gordon off the field. With starter Jeremy Guthrie having given up two runs to fall behind 3-2 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night, he still faced a bases-loaded situation in the 4th inning with no outs. This dire threat, combined with the pall that hung over Kauffman Stadium after Alex Gordon crumpled to the warning track, left pretty much everyone certain that the game was about to get out of hand.

Not only did it seem as if the game was about to go down the drain, but it felt like the entire 2015 season could go along with it.

Things looked so bleak, I Tweeted this:

Next: Jarrod Dyson's Clutch Play Fires Up An Entire City