It's time to start wondering if Brian Dozier's amazing summer of 2016 was a flash in the pan or something fans just have to wait a little longer for this year.
More than halfway through this season, Dozier's projected totals are similar to his career averages, and strikingly similar to his 2015 season.
- 2015: .236/.307/.444, 28 HR, 77 RBI, 61 BB, 39 2B, 101 R
- 2016: .268/.340/.546, 42 HR, 99 RBI, 61 BB, 35 2B, 104 R
- 2017: .248/.332/.428, 25 HR, 74 RBI, 72 BB, 33 2B, 72 R (projected)
Again, maybe we just have to wait a bit longer. His numbers through June last season compared to this season are virtually identical.
- 2016: .264/.346/.478, 13 HR, 38 RBI
- 2017: .249/.334/.440, 13 HR, 35 RBI
Last season, Dozier was batting .202 with 5 homers and 17 RBI at the end of May. He finished the season with 42 homers and 99 RBI and was good enough in the month of June to get some #VoteDozier love leading up to the All-Star break.
He was top five in homers, runs, RBI, walks, slugging percentage and OPS in 2016 (among second basemen). This year, he's first in walks but doesn't rank in the top six of any other statistical category.
- 19th in batting average (.248)
- 14th in runs (37)
- 12th in hits (77)
- 8th in doubles (17)
- 6th in home runs (13)
- 9th in RBI (38)
- 7th in stolen bases (10)
- 1st in walks (37)
- 15th in on-base percentage (.332)
- 11th in slugging percentage (.428)
- 13th in OPS (.760)
Dozier was the subject of trade rumors last season and reports had the Twins and Dodgers deep in discussion about a deal, but the stare-down ended because the Twins reportedly wanted more than what the Dodgers were offering in starting pitching prospect Jose De Leon, who's battled injuries and has a 6.75 ERA with the Tampa Bay Rays' Triple-A affiliate this season.
Now, with Dozier's value down from last year at this time, the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is quickly approaching and the Twins are in the interesting position of straddling the buyer/seller line. At 43-40, the Twins are tied with the Royals and just 1.5 games behind first place Cleveland.
Dozier will be a point of interest the next three and a half weeks because he's an All-Star caliber second baseman capable of leading a team for months at a time. Will it be in Minnesota or elsewhere? Two contenders that appear to have the biggest need at second base are Milwaukee and St. Louis, although no rumors linking Dozier to them currently exist.
Dozier missed the last two games with back spasms and it's unclear if he'll be in the lineup for tonight's series finale against the Angels.