Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre created a slight stir this winter when he said Jarrod Dyson reminded him a bit of former Indians center fielder Kenny Lofton.
Lofton, who spent 10 seasons with Cleveland and also played seven more seasons with 10 other teams, had 622 career stolen bases. He led the league in stolen bases five consecutive years and finished with 2,428 career hits.
Dyson heard the Lofton comparison and said at last month’s FanFest: “That’s the goal, man. I’m trying to get there. I’ve got some work to put in. Hopefully, it pays off in the end.”
In parts of three seasons with the Royals, Dyson has hit .247 with 50 stolen bases in 146 games. However, his on-base percentage has gone up each year from .286 to .308 to .328 last season. He stole 30 bases a year ago.
Lefebvre had said that Lofton was a disruptive force on the basepaths and believed Dyson could do the same.
“I think I do that a lot, cause havoc,” Dyson said. “I’ve just got to put my game in there and get on. I’ve just got to bring my A game. If I bring my A game, I’m on base. If I hit .280 and my on-base percentage is over .350, then that’s a good year.”
So, what’s a reasonable goal for stolen bases this season?
“I would at least say 50,” Dyson said. “I got 30 last year and my numbers weren’t even close to what I just said. I just want to do whatever it takes to help this team win.”
Dyson’s most stolen bases in a season came in 2009 when he swiped 46 while splitting time between Class A Burlington and Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
Last season, Angels' rookie Mike Trout led the AL with 49 stolen bases. Dyson finished ninth.