Is Corey Dickerson the Rockies MVP?

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It feels like we are playing catch-up with Corey Dickerson in terms of well-deserved hype.

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I know that the young outfielder had his share of buzz while he shot through the Colorado Rockies’ minor league system, but not nearly on the level of guys like Nolan Arenado or even Wilin Rosario. Arenado is the best example, of course, as fans spent a solid three years wondering when he would arrive and if he was the next great member of the Rockies.

In the meantime, Dickerson arrived last summer to the tune of “all this guy does is hit,” but not with the noise of those other guys. It turns out that all he does is hit, and so he has become one of the top stories of the 2014 season for this franchise.

The Emergence of Corey Dickerson. The rising star of Corey Dickerson. Those were just two of a number of articles written about Dickerson this summer, both on this site and various others. Now comes a column from Will Leitch of Sports on Earth, in which he picks Dickerson as the Rockies MVP for the 2014 season:

"Dickerson was never one of the Rockies’ can’t-miss prospects, but as Rockies blog Rockies Zingers put it, Dickerson is “kind of like that girl you were always really good friends with until, one day, you realize you’re in love.” (Or boy.) Dickerson has simply hit at every level he’s been at, and this year, he was the only Rockie to both smack the ball and stay healthy all season. He still needs to prove he can hit lefties, but when people are suddenly to talk about whether or not Carlos Gonzalez is expendable, it’s fair to say you had a breakthrough season."

First, let’s lay out some of Dickerson’s gaudy numbers: .312/.364/.567 with 24 home runs, 76 RBI, and a 140 wRC+ in 131 games. He is a 2.6 fWAR player, with his “meh” defense  in the outfield surely playing in a role in that number.

So…is Dickerson actually the MVP for the Rockies? Here are some thoughts to mull over:

1. No, because Troy Tulowitzki

Look… *ducks* …seriously…*ducks* … c’mon guys, just let me finish… *bobs and weaves*…

Tulowitzki leads the team in fWAR (5.1), wRC+ (171, an absurd number), and even though he played only 91 games, he is second to only Dickerson in home runs (21). Tulo had a chance to be historically good this season, so you could argue he was still the MVP even though his season ended early due to a hip injury. But really, a guy who played 91 games cannot be MVP, so…

2. No, because Nolan Arenado was just a teeny bit better

Arenado is slashing .287/.328/.500 this season with 18 home runs and 61 RBI. Those numbers fall short of Dickerson, acknowledging the fact that the Rockies’ third baseman has played 20 fewer games (111) due to injuries of his own.

Still, he ends up with a higher fWAR, 3.1, thanks to the fact that he is elite defensively. And when we say elite, we mean elite…

So you could argue that Arenado inches out Dickerson for team MVP, but that might overvalue his defense slightly, something that has been a point of contention in the larger conversation about WAR in recent weeks. Which brings us to our answer…

3. Yes, Corey Dickerson is the Rockies’ MVP

His offense has been so dynamic that he beats out guys who played more games and also enjoyed stellar seasons, guys like Justin Morneau and Charlie Blackmon.

Dickerson might not just be the best hitter on the Rockies, he might be one of the best hitters in baseball right now. It would be a tight race, with Arenado offering the “better all around player” argument, but Dickerson would ultimately win the award in 2014.