Corey Dickerson providing solid middle of the order bat in early going

There’s been a lot of talk through the first nine games about the Pittsburgh Pirates lineup having more length.

That’s very true and this Pirates team will hit this year.

There’s no doubting that, but a lot of that length that Clint Hurdle refers to points to Corey Dickerson.

We all know what to expect out of Josh Harrison at the top of the order and if Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco produce the way many hope they can, then the top of the order looks very good.

Josh Bell will hopefully build off his rookie campaign and be a run producer in the cleanup spot building off a very solid rookie season.

But Dickerson in the five hole?

He can make everything work.

Dickerson’s bat gives Bell some protection and it also allows Francisco Cervelli to bat sixth and Colin Moran seventh.

We know what to expect out of Jordy Mercer in the eighth spot.

If Dickerson hits like he has been, that’s a very solid and “long” one through eight.

It also allows Hurdle the ability to rotate left and right handed hitters throughout the lineup to make it tough for teams to matchup late in games.

As for Dickerson though, everyone was hoping the Pirates would get the guy that was an All-Star in the first half of 2017.

So far so good.

After a 1-for-13 start through the first three games of the season, Dickers has responded.

It’s not like Dickerson was flailing at pitches and striking out a lot the first three games, he only struck out once. He was making some good contact, just hitting the ball right at people.

Since those first three games, Dickerson has gone 9-for-20 in his next five games, including six extra base hits.

In the Reds series alone, six of Dickerson’s seven knocks were for extra bases, including four doubles, a triple and a homer.

The extra base hits are huge. If the Pirates have a guy like Dickerson hitting in the five-hole behind Bell that can be an extra-base hit machine, it makes this lineup potentially very good.

The guys at the top of the order have to do their job and the guys in the middle of the order need to take care of business when there are RBI opportunities.

Dickerson drove in six run during the four-game series vs. the Reds.

His defense, which many questioned also hasn’t been bad.

Dickerson averaged 4.0 misplays per 100 attempts last season which was the worst among any left fielder in baseball.

He can make a lot of things happen with his bat. It’s been a nice start to the season for Dickerson in terrible baseball conditions.

I don’t want to make too much of a big deal over this, but through nine games, the Bucs have averaged 6.44 runs per game, which is the second highest total in all of baseball behind the Atlanta Braves. Last season they scored 4.12 per game.

A big reason for the early spike can be attributed to the hot starts for Polanco and Marte, but also for Dickerson.

He  hit at least 24 home runs in three of the past four seasons and had a career line of .280/.325/.504 before this seasons trade that brought him to Pittsburgh.

It’s early so let’s not hand him the MVP just yet, but hopefully Dickerson can keep things up once the weather warms up.

If he does, this Pirates lineup could score quite a few runs this season.

Matt Shetler

Matt is a life long Pirates fan with both a newspaper and radio background. Before coming to Pirates Breakdown he was most recently the co-owner and lead columnist for Pittsburgh Sporting News. He has been a credentialed writer for all four major sports and also has written for plenty of other sports and fantasy sports websites.