Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier shocked the baseball world with his monster home run total last season. This season, he is surprising them with a different stat, stolen bases.
Brian Dozier is currently on pace to steal 60+ bases in 2017. (Wait…what?) Your eyes are not deceiving you. The 29-year-old Dozier has obviously made it a point to be a menace on the base paths this season.
Coming into Friday night’s game, Dozier has five stolen bases in his first 13 games. (Oh yeah, he hasn’t been caught stealing either.) He’s moving early and often, with three of his five steals coming in the first two innings of a game.
All five of Dozier’s thefts have been of him taking second base. He has been driven in to score a run on two of the five and the Twins have been victorious in three of the four games in which he’s stolen a bag.
Here are the current leaders in the MLB for stolen bases:
Billy Hamilton – 7
Jose Altuve – 6
Jose Peraza – 6
Brian Dozier – 5
Eduardo Nunez – 5
Lorenzo Cain – 5
Raul Mondesi – 5
Brett Gardner – 5
The aggressive running is surprising, as Dozier is known more for his power than for his speed.
Dozier hasn’t just been stealing bases off of catchers who aren’t that great of defenders either.
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Three of his stolen bases came against Salvador Perez, who according to Fox Sports, had the highest caught stealing percentage in 2016. Last year Perez threw out 37 of 77 runners attempting to steal a base for an MLB leading caught stealing percentage of .481. The guy who finished second in caught stealing percentage last year? James McCann with a caught stealing percentage of .450. (Dozier stole one of him too this year.)
For reference, here are Dozier’s stolen base totals for his previous five MLB seasons:
Year: SB (Games)
2017: 5 (13)
2016: 18 (155)
2015: 12 (157)
2014: 21 (156)
2013: 14 (147)
2012: 9 (84)
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Who knows if Dozier will continue to stay aggressive on the base paths, but if he continues at his current pace, he’ll set a career high in stolen bases by the All-Star break. Also, at his current pace, he’d be within reach of the Minnesota Twins’ single season record of 62 that Chuck Knoblauch set in 1997.