Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dozier's Dazzling Numbers For Twins

If you've been reading Off The Baggy at all this season, there's been no one I've been more all over the place on than Brian Dozier. From wondering if he's selling out too much, or becoming defiant in his approach during his down swing, to marveling at his uptick, his season has been a roller coaster ride. Since May 25 however, he's turned it on, and the results have been incredible.

At this point, you know what Brian Dozier is. He's a pull hitter, although doing so less often than in 2015 (just 54.9% of the time this season). He hits most of his homers to left field, and he's an adequate defender. This season, more of Dozier's fly balls are leaving the yard (15.8% HR/FB ratio) and he's hitting 32.9% of balls he puts in play with hard contact.

Let's end the statistical analysis there though and look at the ridiculousness of the numbers he's provided us in 2016.

In 2012, Dozier burst onto the scene during spring training. Many wanted him to come north with the club as the starting shortstop. He ended up being promoted in May and owned a career worst .603 OPS while playing a very poor defensive shortstop. Since transitioning to second base, Dozier has gone from non-prospect to relative national name.

Over the course of his career, Dozier has amassed 14.0 fWAR, which is already 25th best in Minnesota Twins history. Among franchise second basemen, only Rod Carew and Chuck Knoblauch have a higher total than Brian. Really, what fuels his rise though, has been the power numbers.

This season, Dozier has set a new career high in longballs for the Twins with 29 (excluding his wiped out shot in the Twins suspended game). Over the course of Major League Baseball's entire history, only 39 times has a second basemen hit that many. He becomes just the 18th second basemen in big league history to reach that plateau.

As things stand currently, Dozier is on pace to set career highs in multiple different categories. His batting average of .268 is well above his career mark of .245, and his .877 OPS is over 100 points better than his previous career best of .762 set in 2014. He's already tripled five times this season, another career high, and his 87 strikeouts have him on pace to post a career low by a longshot.

Considering the power output, Dozier also compare favorably across all of baseball position-wide. His ISO of .268 is easily the best mark of his career, and currently puts him 12th in the big leagues during 2016. That mark is higher than that of names such as Nelson Cruz, Giancarlo Stanton, Manny Machado, and Mike Trout.

Thus far, the Twins have played 125 games, meaning they've got 37 left to go. Calculating off of his current pace, Dozier would end the season with 38 homers. That would be the 9th highest single season total in Twins franchise history, and the highest by a player not named Harmon Killebrew. 38 homers would tie for the 7th most in major league history during a single season by a second basemen.

To summarize, Brian Dozier went from a fun spring training story, to a failed shortstop, to an incredibly polarizing second basemen. He's now one of the game's most legitimate middle infield power hitters, and the Twins are season production at levels they've never before experienced. To put it bluntly, Brian Dozier is a lot of fun.

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