As the Minnesota Twins continue with a .500-mark season record, fans have enjoyed seeing hot contributions in the batting lineup. From versatile defenseman Chris Colabello to dependable catcher Kurt Suzuki, players in the roster have been a positive factor in one way, shape or form throughout the season.
But no one has had a season so far quite like second baseman Brian Dozier.
Sure, Suzuki has a better batting average and Colabello has more RBIs than Dozier. However, despite those facts, Dozier’s numbers are still looking very good. So good in fact, he’s got my vote as being the best player so far this season for the Twins.
Dozier was drafted by the Twins in 2009 out of the University of Southern Mississippi, but did not see Major League play until May 2012, when he was called up to replace Justin Morneau. In 2011, Dozier had received the Twins Minor League Player of the Year award.
In 163 at bats this season (the most opportunities than anyone else in the lineup), Dozier has accumulated 42 hits and an average of .258/.377/.485. In that time of work, Dozier’s hit four doubles and 25 RBI.
In addition, Dozier leads the team with 11 home runs, 30 walks, and 12 stolen bases. Catcher Josmil Pinto lands just behind Dozier in hitting long balls this season with six of his own in 103 at bat opportunities. And, shortstop Pedro Florimon comes closest to Dozier’s stolen base success with just six of his own. According to MLB.com reporter Rhett Bollinger, Dozier meets with Paul Molitor and third-base coach Joe Vavra before every game to discuss stolen base strategies.
And, just last April, Dozier broke the record for runs scored in the month when he posted 25 on April 30, a record that was held by Molitor for 18 years.
Overall, Dozier has stated that his job is to get on base, and that if he can do that and score runs, it will give the Twins the best opportunity to win games.
In his three years at the Major League level, Dozier has definitely proven his worth as a consistent starter defensively, and more importantly, offensively. Last year, Dozier led the team with 72 runs, 136 hits, four triples and 18 home runs. If that were not enough, Dozier came in second with 33 doubles (behind Mauer’s 35), 66 RBI (behind Morneau’s 74) and 14 stolen bases (behind Florimon’s 15). Dozier ended the year with a .244/.312/.414 average, and is on track to possibly posting better numbers this year.
As well as he is doing, Dozier stays humble by giving credit to other players who follow him in the lineup, players such as Mauer, Colabello, and outfielder Jason Kubel.
But much of his success must go to the simple fact that Dozier has remained as one of the most consistent players in the Twins roster. He’s aggressive at the plate as well as on the bases, and produces at a time when it is needed. Most importantly of all, Dozier has remained healthy, and is using that to as much of an advantage as he can, which he obviously has. As long as Dozier continues what he is doing and remains off the disabled list, the Twins may see a slow but steady climb to the top of the division.
Related Post: Atypical leadoff man Dozier pacing surprising offense