It might be a crazy thought, but why can’t Brian Dozier become the A.L. MVP? Obviously, he plays on a terrible Minnesota Twins club, although that shouldn’t sway voters. And while it likely won’t happen, it’s something to give thought to.
Dozier has been on an absolute tear this season, putting up the best numbers of his MLB tenure. The second baseman has hit over 40 home runs for the first time in his career, setting a record for most home runs by a second baseman in a single season. Also, Dozier will also reach the 100 RBI plateau.
The first half of Dozier’s season was quite modest. He only hit .246 with 14 HR’s and 43 RBI’s. Dozier caught fire after the All-Star break, hitting .322 with 27 HR’s and 55 RBI’s. It’s been one of the greatest second-half turnarounds of recent memory, and it’s set up Dozier well for a possible MVP.
While it would be nice to see Dozier get some MVP love, it’s probably not going to happen. As mentioned before, the Twins are in the last place in their division. You can pretty much eliminate him from contention, but you shouldn’t dismiss him entirely.
It just seems nobody is even giving him a chance to be named MVP. Dozier is hitting .280 on the year to go along with his 41 home runs. He’s also been able to contribute double-digit stolen bases. It’s understandable if players like Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, and Jose Altuve are the top three in voting, but at least give Dozier some credit.
On the season, he’s going to be one of a select few to hit the 40 HR mark in the American League. Edwin Encarnacion, Mark Trumbo, and Khris Davis are joining him in that club, and of three it’s Dozier who has the highest batting average. Of course, it’s not the end all be all, but it’s got to carry some weight.
Thankfully for Minnesota, Dozier can continue to put up massive numbers for them. The Twins signed Dozier to a contract extension in March of 2015, keeping him in Minnesota through the 2018 season. However, the Twins aren’t going to be contenders for quite some time, leaving the door open for a possible Dozier trade.
It seems he’s letting his best years pass him by in Minnesota. Minnesota has taken serious steps back in their progression. The future does look promising with Jose Berios, Byron Buxton, and Miguel Sano, but how long will it take for that talent to reach its peak? And will Dozier be able to contribute when it does?
Regardless of where Dozier ends up in the next few years, he’s made himself into the top offensive second baseman in baseball. If the Twins were a contending team, you could consider Dozier an MVP candidate. Only 29-years-old, Brian Dozier is still in the prime of his career. This gives Minnesota some time to assemble a winning roster and build around him.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on Twitter @dgentleman9288