Dyson's OF arm remains underrated, efficient

Mariners center fielder provides crucial assist in Tuesday's win

Dyson's OF arm remains underrated, efficient

ARLINGTON -- Jarrod Dyson is known for his speed on the basepaths and ability to cover ground in center field, where he's been one of the Majors' top defenders in recent years. But his arm? That weapon was put on display, as well, with a huge throw in Tuesday's 8-7 win over the Rangers and another in Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the Rangers..

Dyson nailed speedster Delino DeShields trying to go from first to third on a base hit by Nomar Mazara with a pin-point laser that ended the Rangers' threat in the eighth and preserved a critical win for a team trying to force its way into the American League Wild Card race.

He followed that up by throwing out Shin-Soo Choo trying to advance to second on a flyout to deep center by Elvis Andrus in the first inning of Wednesday's series finale.

The two outfield assists give Dyson 10 on the season, moving him past Melky Cabrera and Billy Hamilton for the Major League lead, but this is nothing new for the 5-foot-10, 160-pounder. Dyson had a career-high 11 outfield assists last year for the Royals and has 46 assists over his eight years in the Majors.

Dyson's double play

Yet opposing baserunners keep challenging him, while his arm remains an underrated part of his game.

"I don't know. It might be the small frame, man," Dyson said. "I'm just going to come up and try and make plays. That's what I'm out there to do. Anytime I can save a pitcher from throwing an extra pitch, I'm all for it."

Dyson has a relatively strong arm, though his quickness to the ball and accuracy appear to be equally important. Per Statcast™, his throw on Tuesday was 87.6 mph, his 12th-hardest of the season. His high this year is 92.1 mph, and his "max-effort" average of 89.5 mph doesn't rank among the league leaders.

But some of the outfield velocity depends on how much a player is able to set up and get behind the throw, whereas plays like Tuesday's are impressive because of the athleticism and quick release required on a ball that dropped just in front of Dyson.

When he has time to set, Dyson does have the ability to rank among the game's stronger arms and he had 10 throws last year harder than 92.1 mph, topped by a 98.0 mph effort.

"Dyson gets rid of it really quickly," said third baseman Kyle Seager, who took Tuesday's throw and applied an excellent tag to complete the play. "And he's got a lot on it. He gets a lot more on it than I thought. I got accustomed to seeing Leonys [Martin] and anybody compared to that doesn't look like much. But Dyson gets rid of it really, really quick, and he's really accurate. And he gets a lot more on it than people think."

Dyson puts a lot of emphasis on that part of his game.

"I take a lot of pride in it," he said. "Every time we come to a new field, I come out and make throws to second base. I do that every series."

"I remember when we played Kansas City last year," Mariners manager Scott Servais said, "and Rusty Kuntz, who is their outfield guy, was out early in Seattle when I was running steps and I was wondering, 'Who is the guy out there taking balls off the wall and working on his throwing?'

"It was Dyson. That was before I knew him. He's worked at it a long time. It's good he gets results, and people are starting to notice."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.