2016 was a dismal year for the Twins, but a bright spot was second baseman Brian Dozier. He hit 42 home runs, putting himself at least somewhat in the chase to break Harmon Killebrew’s single season team record of 49. Dozier also posted career-best numbers in almost every offensive category.
At this point in 2017, Dozier has hit 8 dongs [Editor’s Note: Okay, of course he hit another one right after this was written, so he actually has 9 dongs. Back off me!]. He has played approximately 1⁄3 of his typical games per season, so it is a good time to look at where he could end up this year.
The Twins second baseman can be easily projected to play between 150 and 160 games in 2017. In the three previous years, he has played in 156, 157, and 155 games. For my analysis here, I will use 155 games as the number, evenly split between halves of the season. With these numbers and Dozier’s current pace, he would hit an estimated 25 home runs. While that is well under last year’s number, it is an improvement on pre-season projections: ZIPS estimated him at 20 dongs, and Steamer estimated him at 18.
Dozier is a streaky hitter, and in 2016 he had better second-half numbers, so he could easily best 25 home runs, too.
In order to do so, however, Dozier would need to pick up the pace significantly. Last year he averaged 0.27 home runs per game played. This year, he is currently averaging 0.16 per game. To match 42 home runs, he would need to average 0.32 per game for the rest of the season. In real numbers, that means over the course of 2016, Dozier hit a home run just over one time per 4 games, and so far this year he has hit one approximately every 12 games. Stepping up to 1 per 3 games would end with him matching last season’s total. Its a tall order, but it is possible.
In the first half of 2016, Dozier only hit 14 long-balls in 83 games. That works out to 0.17 per game, or approximately the same pace he is currently on in 2017. He hit more first-half dongs than that in 2015 and 2014.
In the second half of 2016, though, Dozier made 28 baseballs leave the field of play in only 72 games, which is a rate of 0.39 home runs per game. If he matches that pace from today forward, he would end the season with a record-tying 49 home runs.
More realistically, if Dozier finishes the first half at his current pace, he would go into the All-Star break with 12 home runs. Then, if he matches last year’s pace from that point forward, he would finish the year at the exact same number of home runs: 42. If he can bring that rate up to only 0.25 for the second half, while not being near last year, it would still mean a total of 32 home runs on the season. That is a valuable number out of any position, but especially second base.
So there’s still hope for Dozier yet.
Will Brian Dozier hit more than 30 home runs in 2017?
This poll is closed
Yes, he will hit more than 30, because he’s awesome!
He will hit exactly 30 home runs.
No, he will hit fewer than 30.
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