The Minnesota Twins will need the lineup to start producing runs if they have any chance of staying in the playoff hunt.
One player who is playing far below expectations for the Minnesota Twins is Brian Dozier. The power-hitting second baseman is a notoriously slow starter so this should come as no surprise. However, his struggles have reached new levels during the early parts of this season.
A look at the good
It hasn’t been all bad for Dozier. This will be brief, but we’ll look at things before he started struggling. There was a point early this season that fans thought maybe Dozier was finally going to start a season well.
Dozier hit .307 with four home runs and 10 runs batted in through his first 17 games this season. He struck out 12 times but also was able to draw eight walks and his on-base percentage sat at a solid .373. Things were looking good as Dozier was hitting well while Eddie Rosario was struggling early. However, things did not stay this way for Dozier and from that point on he hasn’t looked the same.
When things fell apart
Over the next 50 games, Dozier has done almost nothing. He has hit .191 with only six home runs and 19 runs batted in. Dozier’s on-base percentage dropped all the way down .272 while striking out 43 times.
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Dozier has now found himself sliding down in the Minnesota Twins batting order. His performance at the plate could leave him on the bench following the return of Jorge Polanco. That happens in early July, so Dozier needs to kick things into gear.
Reason for hope
Outside of Joe Mauer, Dozier has been the most consistent player for the Twins. Over the last three seasons, his numbers speak for themselves. Dozier launched 104 long balls en route to hitting a modest .258 during that span.
Dozier was able to draw 200 walks as well while having a .335 on-base percentage. He strikes out a lot, but not more than any other power hitter in MLB. The thing that stands out the most about Dozier is his durability. He has played in 150 or more games in each of the past four seasons and is on pace for that again this season.
Minnesota will need Dozier to turn things around in order to continue to compete in the AL Central. This definitely doesn’t hurt Minnesota’s chances of re-signing Dozier during this offseason. However, if the Twins continue to struggle, Dozier could find himself wearing a different uniform long before then.