Kansas City Royals: Hunter Dozier having a breakout year

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The former 8th overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft is having a breakout year for the Kansas City Royals. Is Hunter Dozier the real deal?

It took longer than expected for Kansas City Royals 2013 8th overall pick to make his way to the big leagues, but he’s finally seeing all the hard work pay off in the 2019 season. Hunter Dozier, 27, has been one of the few bright spots for the Royals in an otherwise lousy season.

The Stephen F. Austin State University product was held in high regard coming out of the 2013 MLB Draft. Obviously, the Royals selected him in the 1st round and for good reason. The Wichita Falls, Texas native slashed 0.396/0.482/0.755 with 25 doubles, 17 home runs and 52 RBI’s in his final year on campus.

He made his major league debut as a September callup in the 2016 season and hit 0.211 in 21 plate appearances. Pretty small sample size to go off of and he didn’t see the big leagues again until 2018. Last season, Dozier, slashed 0.229/0.278/0.395 with 19 doubles, 11 home runs, and 34 RBI’s in 102 games (80 wRC+).

However, this season he’s finally tapping into that potential that made the Royals grab him so early in the 2013 draft. Through 106 games, Dozier is slashing 0.286/0.363/0.552 with 23 doubles, 22 home runs and 70 RBI’s (135 wRC+).

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Scoring has been bleak as of late for this Royals team, but he provided the lone RBI on Friday night’s game against the Indians and came off a triple in the top of the 6th inning. He’s been extremely underrated in an otherwise lousy roster with a lot of holes but he’s definitely a piece worth keeping around.

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He’s primarily been a pull hitter but has displayed the ability to hit to all parts of the field. With the struggles of that Ryan O’Hearn has had at the plate (0.168/0.256/0.548), the Royals may need to consider making Dozier the full-time 1B in the future. He’s already 27 and when some of the outfield prospects start making their way to the big leagues, they will need a place to play while extending Dozier’s career. Third base could also be a permanent solution as well.