We have reached the halfway point to the Major League Baseball season, and it has already been a memorable one.
And while many players have stood out with their individual efforts to help put their teams in contention, there are two from the McComb area who are part of that group.
Jarrod Dyson and Corey Dickerson have shone at times helping their respective teams find success.
Dyson has had a strong year thus far for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 34-year-old outfielder has a .257 average with five home runs and 18 RBIs. But what stands out the most about Dyson is his speed and his base-running ability.
He currently leads the National League in stolen bases with 20, one more than reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers. He is also third in the MLB in the category, behind Kansas City’s Adalberto Mondesi (28) and Seattle’s Mallex Smith (23).
But what stands out the most about that stat is Dyson has only had 226 at-bats compared to 290 for Smith, 304 for Yelich and 317 for Mondesi. Not bad for a guy who batted cleanup when playing for Southwest Mississippi Community College.
Dyson’s Diamondbacks have also had to deal with the MLB-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. And even though they have only won 4-of-12 games against the Dodgers, the Diamondbacks have still had a strong first half of the season with a 46-45 record and are currently in contention for the second wild card slot in the National League.
It’s been a bit of a different story for Dickerson and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 30-year-old outfielder has dealt with a shoulder injury for most of the first half of the season, but has shown flashes when he has taken the field.
Dickerson has only appeared in 28 of Pittsburgh’s 89 contests but has 24 hits, two home runs and 18 RBIs, including the game-winner Wednesday in a 6-5 home win over the Chicago Cubs.
And with teammates like All-Star Josh Bell and Melky Cabrera, Dickerson — like Dyson — is not relied upon heavily to be a power hitter.
The All-Star break also comes at a convenient time for Dickerson, who sat out of Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Brewers with a groin injury. Dickerson injured the groin during Saturday’s game and he told Pittsburgh media that he doesn’t think that the injury is too serious.
Now he has a few days off to try and rest. However, he and the Pirates will have their work cut out for them as they will begin the second half of the season on the road with a pair of three-game series against the NL Central Division-leading Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals.
And while there have been a number of professional athletes who have called Pike County home, Dyson and Dickerson have certainly done their part in helping put the county on the map. Now the question remains if they will continue to get better and become household names across the MLB landscape the same way that they are back here at home.