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Don't Forget About Corey Dickerson

As we head down the stretch of the 2019 fantasy baseball season, it's easy for certain performances to get overlooked. Owners in the bottom portion of the standings tend to tune out and many players' minds begin to wander to football with the season underway.

This may explain why new Phillies outfielder Corey Dickerson can't seem to crack the 40% ownership rate in fantasy leagues.

Those of us that want to take home some championship hardware need to take a second look at the new leadoff hitter in Philadelphia.

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Starting Over in Philly

Since a trade deadline deal that sent the 30-year-old outfielder across Pennsylvania from the Pirates to the Phillies, Dickerson is batting .295 with 16 of his 33 hits going for extra bases. Most importantly, he seems to have filled a void at the leadoff position for the Phillies that has been inconsistent since Andrew McCutchen went on the injured list in early June with a torn ACL.

Dickerson has battled several injuries himself over the past couple of seasons so it's easy to forget he hit 24 and 27 home runs with the Rays in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Four games into this season, he went on the 60-day injured list with a right posterior shoulder strain and was only able to play 27 games in the first half. He seemed to be dealing with lingering effects upon return from that injury and his numbers suffered.

Now that he's healthy, Dickerson has been on a tear in the second half slashing .322/.362/.586. His .322 batting average is 18th in the Majors since the All-Star break and though it comes with a .362 BABIP, his career mark is .331 so it's not that far out of the ordinary. Additionally, Dickerson has improved his batted ball data from his injury-riddled first half by elevating the ball more after hitting an astronomical 44.3 percent of his batted balls on the ground before the break.

He upped his hard-hit rate from 31.4 to 39.8 percent while hitting more line drives and fly balls. Dickerson raised his line drive rate six percent and his fly ball rate 12 percent from the first half to the second while sporting the highest average launch angle since his 2016 season according to Statcast. More fly balls and line drives have helped Dickerson put up an elite .947 OPS compared to a .799 OPS in the first half. Those numbers plus a very good 18.4 percent strikeout rate suggest everything Dickerson is doing is sustainable for the last month of the season and fantasy owners should take notice.

Looking at the numbers from this season is obviously a smaller sample size but Dickerson is still a career .286 hitter with a career slugging percentage over .500 who has batted leadoff in seven of his last eight starts. He hits for average and power and should score a ton of runs rest of season batting in front of Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto atop a potent Philadelphia lineup. If you're chasing points in a roto league or need a bat during the fantasy playoffs now is the time to take advantage of other owners tuning out while Dickerson was on the IL and pick him up for the stretch run.

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