Speed in baseball is a under-appreciated talent especially on the Mariners for the last several years. The previous GM focused so much on power that he forgot what an important skill can be. By collecting lumbering power hitters the Mariners sacrificed runs. Fast players are able take an extra base and they can score when other slower players would be stuck on second or third.
The Mariners new GM, Jerry Dipoto, has recognized how valuable speed can be. He has filled the Mariners roster with athletic players. The whole outfield can fly. For me this has made the Mariners offense fun to watch again. They are getting on base (9th highest OBP in MLB) and scoring runs (10th most runs in MLB). Of all the new guys, outfielder Jarrod Dyson has been my favorite to watch. His defining characteristic, and why I love watching him, is he super fast speed. He is like ridiculous, blink and you'll miss him fast.
Whenever Dyson gets on base it is almost a guarantee he is going to steal second base. His walks and singles are as good as doubles. There is always a threat he might steal third base, something not many guys attempt anymore. As proof consider this, he already has 12 stolen bases, which is on pace for 45 by the end of the year. In 2016 the Mariners team leader, Leonys Martin, had 24 over the whole year. Also Dyson has only been caught stealing twice. That is an 86% success rate for stolen bases, which is good.
Dyson's speed has also helped the Mariners by letting him score frequently. Despite having only 28 hits, 12 walks, and 8 HBP, Dyson has already scored 24 runs. That means he is scoring a run half the time he reaches base. For comparison's sake, the highest rate in the league is Trea Turner at 62.1%. Jarrod Dyson is ranked 14th of all eligible players for his run scoring percentage. That is almost entirely because of his speed.
As already alluded to, the problem with Dyson is he held back by his poor hitting skill. He is only batting .217 this year with an OBP of .318. In his seven year career he is only a .256 hitter. When you consider how fast he reaches first base, that average is low. Dyson doesn't make good quality contact frequently enough (only 17.8% of his hits are line drives) and he doesn't have any power (only 9 career home runs). I wish there was a way to improve Dyson's skills with the bat because once he doesn't get on base he is electric.
Dyson's speed is a huge offensive asset for the Mariners. He is able to turn single into extra base hits by outrunning throws and stealing bases. He is able to score runs on other players hits when most players would still be stuck on base. His speed is fun to watch and makes the game exciting. However, it would be even better if he could just get on base more often. His poor hitting prevents him from being great.