July 19, 2016

Jarrod Dyson did it

by Daniel Conmy

That's right. Jarrod Dyson, outfielder for the Kansas City Royals hit a home run. Not just any home run though. This one was of the four RBI category. Yes, we are talking about the grand slam or, if Papa Johns had it their way, the Papa Slam®. The incessant advertising seen on MLB Network is not the prime focus. Instead we will focus the improbable, and almost impossible stroke from Dyson. 

Before we break down the grand slam in all of its glory, let's look at the Dyson. Dyson is one of very few players that was drafted in the 50th round and made it to the big leagues. In fact, he is the only player other than Travis Tartamella to play in the big leagues from the 50th round of the 2006 draft. Tartamella only played in three games, so it's somewhat a wash to note he made it to the big leagues. What I am saying is that no one really comes out of the later rounds, except for Hall of Famer Mike Piazza in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft among very few others. We are talking about people that do not have long storied careers, but Dyson has made it and continues to stick around in his seventh season. What's his trick? Well, Dyson is incredibly fast and was used as a fourth outfielder for most of his years in the Major Leagues. This year, Dyson has been employed in the outfield more often playing in 63 games. And yesterday we witnessed this:

Your eyes are not deceiving you, that is five foot 10 inch 165 lbs Jarrod Dyson hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning in a one-run game. Yes, even your wildest fantasies cannot predict such an outcome, just look at Salvador Perez. Perez cannot contain his excitement in full catcher gear. I don't blame him given the sheer improbability of this hit. This is something he will be telling his kids about. 

Per Statcast, Dyson hit that ball 100 mph at a launch angle of 30 degrees and it traveled a distance of 384 ft. The best launch angles to hit a home run are 25-30 degrees. The crazy thing? This is Dyson's seventh home run of his whole career. In 1388 plate appearances (PA), Dyson has muscled up seven times. That's roughly a home run every 198 PA. To give you some perspective, Barry Bonds hit a home run every 16.5 times he stepped up to the plate. 

This also was in a game where Corey Kluber shut the Royals down for seven innings. Then the Royals jumped on the bullpen for a seven run eighth inning that was capped off by this rare launch off the bat from Dyson. While predicting baseball is becoming more precise, it is always enjoyable to see something unpredictable happen. I think we all look forward to Dyson stepping up to the plate 198 PA from now to give us another home run.

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