Why Pirates for Dyson? ‘Ain’t too much out there’

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jarrod Dyson may be taking over for Starling Marte in center field, but during his introduction Thursday, he said he is not looking to be Marte.

"I just look at it like I've just got to come here and make (my) presence known," Dyson told reporters. "Marte did a great job over here with this club. I'm not saying I'm trying to piggy-back off what he did. I'm just trying to go out there and do what I can do to help this ball club."

While Dyson can't hit like Marte, he has been one of the game's best base runners and defensive outfielders for years, and was arguably better at those aspects of his game than the five-tooled Marte. Dyson swiped 30 bags on 34 attempts with the Diamondbacks in 2019 and had 13 defensive runs saved.

He leads all active players in stolen-base percentage and has accumulated the fourth most outfield defensive-runs saved in baseball since his first full season in 2012. Or as he put it when asked to describe himself:

"I create havoc on the base paths, defense. Just a playmaker."

Jarrod Dyson: Base paths havoc creator. Playmaker. Blunt speaker.

Dyson gave genuine answers while fielding questions throughout his 10 minute availability. Perhaps a bit too genuine for his own good.

"Ain’t too much out there right now," he said when asked why he chose to come to the Pirates. "You would love to explore, but at the same time, you've got to take what you can, take the good with the bad and roll with it. Make the most of it."

Derek Shelton spoke before Dyson was introduced. He complimented his skill set and base running ability and said, "It's going to be nice to have him in camp."

"Really good teammate," Shelton said of Dyson. "Anybody that you talk to that's been around him or played with him [says] he's a quality individual. That's something that we're looking for."

Most of the Pirates' acquisitions have been rooted in improving the defense, including signing catcher Luke Maile while putting Jacob Stallings in line to be the starting catcher.

"It was conscious -- not just in acquisition, but just generally -- [we were] looking to improve defensively as a team," Ben Cherington said. "... Hopefully the additions help in some way."

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