Gleeman: Another day to admire Brian Dozier

From SABR member Aaron Gleeman at Baseball Prospectus on September 13, 2016:

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about Brian Dozier, detailing his rise from marginal, light-hitting shortstop prospect to slugging second baseman. At the time he had 30 home runs, which led all major-league middle infielders. Since then he’s hit 10 more homers in just 18 games, giving him an incredible 34 homers in 93 games since June 1 and a total of 40 homers on the year. No. 40—a high, inside fastball yanked out to left field off Tigers left-hander Daniel Norris last night—was a prototypical Dozier homer.

Not only does Dozier still lead all major-league middle infielders in homers, he’s second among all major leaguers, period—one behind Mark Trumbo with 41. With three weeks still remaining in the season he already holds the American League record for homers by a second baseman, passing Alfonso Soriano, who had 39 in 2002 and 38 in 2003. Three second basemen in National League history have reached 40 homers, so Dozier joins this exclusive club:

  • 43 – Davey Johnson, 1973
  • 42 – Rogers Hornsby, 1922
  • 40 – Ryne Sandberg, 1990
  • 40 – Brian Dozier, 2016

Hornsby and Sandberg are Hall of Famers, but Johnson is better known as a manager. He was a good player, making four All-Star teams in 13 seasons, but his 1973 sticks out from his overall resume like few other career-years in baseball history. That season Johnson hit .270/.370/.546 with 43 homers for a Braves team that was 76-85 despite Johnson, Darrell Evans, and Hank Aaron all smacking 40-plus homers. Johnson never reached 20 homers or an .800 OPS before or after that season, slugging .390 the next year.

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Originally published: September 13, 2016. Last Updated: September 13, 2016.