Spring Training is about to get into full swing when position players report on Saturday. As hard as it is to believe Brian Dozier is still with the Twins, so the question now becomes how will he follow up his historic 2016?
Dozier blasted 42 homers last season – the most by any Twins player since Harmon Killebrew slugged 49 in 1969. But not only did he post his best power numbers he also set career-bests in batting average (.268), RBIs (99) and hits (165).
Does that mean Dozier can't repeat those numbers again in 2017? No, but it would seem unlikely.
Fangraphs took a look at Dozier's power potential through a combination of scientific and mathematic metrics. They found that while Dozier was above average in some significant areas, he was below average in others.
"If Dozier stays healthy all through 2017, expect him to be a 30-homer guy rather than a 40-homer one," they stated.
That might be ok with the Twins, especially if he continues to hit around .270 with more than 30 doubles, like he has posted in four straight seasons, and continues to score more than 100 runs.
However, it's hard to completely rule out a repeat, for the same reason it happened last year. When Dozier gets hot, he homers almost as frequently as anyone in the game.
1500 ESPN's Derek Wetmore notes that Dozier was plagued by significant slumps during the second half of both the 2014 and 2015 seasons – yet finished with 23 and 28 home runs respectively.
Then last year, Dozier had just seven home runs on June 18, the day before his bat started heating up. He homered 35 more times the rest of the way – including 13 home runs in August alone.
So anything is possible.