Dozier struggling, Fuld streaking as Twins head to Denver


The Twins are just three games away from the symbolic halfway point of the Major League Baseball season. The team is seeing one of its top hitters struggling, while seeing other players, like center fielder Sam Fuld, pick it up on the offensive end.

Second baseman Brian Dozier hit 11 home runs in the first two months of the season, but has cooled since then, hitting only five since June 1. Dozier still leads the American League with 65 runs scored, however.

Parker Hageman of the Star Tribune's Twins Centric Blog writes that Dozier's struggles can be attributed to hitting fastballs thrown high in the strike zone. Hageman said that Dozier has struggled with those pitches since June 6 and needs to start capitalizing on those high fastballs for the sake of the Twins offense.

Dozier also agrees that hitting fastballs is a key to having success at the plate.

"You don't succeed at this level by hitting breaking balls," Dozier told Sports on Earth last month. "You succeed by not missing fastballs. And that's what I had to really come to terms with. Instead of trying to hit the hanger, you stick to your plan. Those guys are good on the mound, but they're not superhuman. They make mistakes."

Fuld has been a bright spot for the Twins sputtering offense. Since July 1, Fuld is batting .452 with a .528 on-base percentage, which is the best of any centerfielder in Major League Baseball. He has gotten extensive playing time due to the injury to Danny Santana and the struggles of Aaron Hicks.

The Twins offense could get a boost from heading to Colorado this weekend. The Rockies pitching staff has the worst team ERA of any team in the National League. Coors Field, the Rockies ballpark, is also more favorable to hitters than pitchers, according to Baseball-Reference.

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