The 2021 campaign has been a tough one for SF Giants outfielder Alex Dickerson and his roster spot may be in jeopardy if his bat does not turn the corner. The Giants have continued to use the 31-year-old as a cleanup hitter, but that is proving to be a soft spot in the lineup.
SF Giants: Is Alex Dickerson’s roster spot in danger?
On the year, Dickerson has registered a .226/.297/.405 line (92 OPS+) with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 183 plate appearances. This comes with a 7.1 percent walk rate against a 23.5 percent strikeout rate. The left-handed hitter has usually been more patient at the plate but he has struggled to control the strike zone in 2021.
The Giants typically use Dickerson against right-handed pitching as that is a role he has thrived in since joining the organization in 2019. However, he has struggled to the tune of a .696 OPS in 168 plate appearances against righties this season.
On top of this, there are not necessarily any encouraging trends with his batted ball data that would suggest that he is on the verge of turning his season around. While his barrel rate remains above 10 percent, which is a solid mark, his 87.4-MPH average exit velocity is the second-lowest mark of his career.
It is fair to note that Dickerson struggled at the beginning of the 2020 season as well. In his first 30 games, he slashed .221/.299/.395 with four home runs and 14 RBI. However, he was consistently making better contact that year before breaking out, so it seemed like only a matter of time.
This year, it does not have that same feeling. He is not driving the ball with as much regularity as he did last season. His defense generally grades as well below-average, so his primary role is to hit and he has not done nearly enough of that yet.
With the trade deadline just three weeks away, his continued struggles might make the Giants survey the market for an upgrade. Furthermore, the lineup from the left side is going getting another bat soon when Brandon Belt returns. This would likely push LaMonte Wade Jr., who has played a lot of first base recently, back to his natural position in the outfield.
He would be joined by Steven Duggar and Mike Yastrzemski as left-handed-hitting outfielders, so a roster crunch is seemingly coming. And, Dickerson has not performed well enough in his role to justify giving him at-bats over any of the other three outfielders just mentioned. Decisions will need to be made.