Sometimes, all a player needs is a little spark.
And for Minnesota Twins‘ Brian Dozier, who’d been scuffling for much of the season, one little home run in a 2-for-3 performance on June 16 might have been all the change he needed.
Sure, it started off as just a innocent solo shot, but the second baseman liked it so much that he thought ‘d do it again two games later … and then for two consecutive games after that. The four homers in five games not only provided the Twins with an unexpected dose of power from the 26-year-old, but it also opened the floodgates for a season turnaround from the disappoint .592 OPS he carried into the beginning of that run.
Yes, Dozier has only hit one home run since that point to move his season total to eight, but as his current .700 OPS will tell you, it’s been quite a ride getting there.
Prior to his 0-for-4 performance in a losing effort for the Twins against the Toronto Blue Jays, the infielder had hit in all six games he’d played in July, with a home run and three doubles in that span contributing to a strong .310/.394/.517 triple slash through 29 at-bats on the month.
More impressive than his hot bat, however, is how it’s seeming changed his plate discipline around completed, with a very strong 1.50 BB/K this month thus far following a 1.07 from June — a stark comparison from the 0.14 he posted back in May. With walks in 10 of the 20 games he’s played in since June 16, his 14 walks in that stretch are considerably more than the nine he had through 40 games in April and May combined.
And not only has Dozier seemingly found the kick start he needed to turn his season around, the Twins have always wasted little time in using him as the defacto spark plug for the team atop the lineup, a role he struggled in earlier in the season when he was a lesser hitter. Having hit in a table-setting position at leadoff or second for six games in a row, Dozier looks to be finally starting to settle into a niche for the Twins.
Considering that he’s at that age-26 juncture where it’s make-or-break for most prospects as far as their futures go, it could not have come at a better time.