It’s only about mid-May, so it’s still early — very early — but as it stands, no one in the league is manning the position better than Minnesota’s lead-off man.
Let’s check the list of usual suspects of junior circuit second sackers, shall we?
Typically, Dustin Pedroia or Robinson Cano would be voted in to start the Midsummer Classic, with Ian Kinsler on the roster. Of course, we all know it’s a popularity contest, but now that Cano won’t benefit from a legion of Yankees-crazed balloters, perhaps a breakdown of on-the-field performance is in order.
Granted, Dozier still strikes out too much and is only batting .236, but through May 10, Dozier has a better on-base percentage (.363) than all three of the aforementioned trio of All-Star AL second baseman.
Dozier has fewer hits (33) than all three, but has outscored them all and with nine homers out of the top spot in the Twins’ order, he has bested Kinsler by seven and Pedroia and Cano by eight. Only Cano has driven in more runs than Dozier (19 to 17), but he also bats in a run-producing spot in Seattle’s order. Dozier has not only gotten on base far more frequently, he has swiped 11 bags while on said base paths, while the nearest of those three competitors has only four (Kinsler), and when it comes to OPS, Dozier’s .806 surpasses Pedroia (.746), Kinsler (.740) and Cano (.726).
But what of the leather, you ask?
Dozier has committed three errors (the same as Cano), but has helped turn 23 double plays, better than Kinsler’s 20 and only slightly behind Cano’s 25 and Pedroia’s 24. And finally, Dozier’s range factor per nine sits at a solid 4.96, while Pedroia (4.49), Kinsler (4.27) and Cano (4.11) all trail the Mississippi native.
Look, if you were starting a team today and needed to take a second baseman, it’s not lost on me that you would take Pedroia, Cano and Kinsler long before you even thought about Dozier, and again, we’ve got a long way to go before they play the All-Star Game at Target Field, but I’m simply asking you to do something fairly simple:
When you sit down to¬†make your selections¬†on your computer or pad or phone or grab a ballot at the ballpark, take into consideration what is actually happening on the field before you cast your vote for the American League at second base.
Because if you’re asking me, Dozier should¬†not only be¬†playing a home game, he should be starting.