Derek Jeter is a household name in Major League Baseball. He's already considered one of the greatest Yankees of all-time, and his No. 2 will surely someday be retired by the Bronx Bombers.
Jeter was Twins second baseman Brian Dozier's childhood idol. When Jeter praised Dozier during a series at Yankee Stadium earlier this season, Dozier was stunned.
"We talked for a while," Dozier described his meeting with Jeter, as reported by the Pioneer Press. "We were joking around about some stuff out there, and then all of a sudden, he says, 'Doz, keep doing what you're doing. It's pretty impressive.'
"To have a guy that I think is the best player ever and I grew up wanting to be like, for him to tell me, 'That's pretty impressive,' was pretty cool. Nothing to do with me. Just to hear that from him, I enjoyed that."
Dozier may not be at Jeter's level, but he's having one heck of a season – even with a .232 batting average.
Dozier's actually been good enough this season to garner some serious All-Star attention. Will he play in the All-Star Game July 15 at Target Field? If Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was deciding, Dozier would be on the American League roster.
Second base actually is quite crowded. Dozier’s offensive numbers aren’t as good as Kinsler’s, but I’m throwing Twins fans a bone. The good people of Minnesota can also thank me for excluding Big Papi, who got released by the Twins in 2002 and has tortured them ever since.
Rosenthal picked Dozier as the primary backup to Mariners stud Robinson Cano.
Dozier is a solid defensive player, but his offensive production through the first half of the season has been outstanding, and unexpected. He has 15 home runs, 38 RBIs, 15 stolen bases, 12 doubles, 51 walks and a Major League-leading 60 runs scored.
Compared to other American League two-baggers, Dozier is first in homers, fourth in RBIs, second in stolen bases, first in walks, and fourth in on-base percentage (.346).
Dozier will soon find out if he's an All-Star. Fan voting ends today at 11:59 p.m. ET.
The Twins, by the way, on Friday will honor Jeter by presenting him a gift before the Twins and Yankees play at Target Field. Jeter is on a bit of a goodbye tour in his final season.