Hunter Dozier has been a bright spot for the Kansas City Royals this year but he’s going through a pretty bad slump lately.
Slumps are unfortunately part of this game that I love so much and every player goes through them at some point during the season. In fact, the entire season is essentially a rollercoaster with extreme highs and basement-dwelling lows. That’s exactly the case right now for Hunter Dozier. The 28-year old has been one of the few bright spots for the Kansas City Royals on an otherwise lackluster roster.
It’s kind of unfortunate that it has taken Dozier so long to blossom, given his age and the state of the organization. That’s not to say he can’t be a valuable piece when this team is competitive again, you just have to hope that’s not 5+ years away or it might be too late. Both he and Jorge Soler have emerged as solid building blocks for this team in the 2019 season. Soler, 27, is experiencing tremendous success this year simply because he’s managed to stay healthy.
Dozier is under team control through the 2023 season and has locked down the third base position for the future. Cheslor Cuthbert was given all the opportunities in the world to do so, but the offense just hasn’t been there for him. And despite it being just his sophomore season in the big leagues, Dozier has displayed tremendous patience at the plate taking walks at nearly a 10 percent clip.
Entering Saturday, he had a slash line of 0.280/0.351/0.530 with 26 home runs and 83 RBI’s but has been in a bad funk as of late. In his last 7 games, he has a miserable 0.138 batting average with 11 strikeouts in 29 at-bats.
Taking a closer look at his numbers, it would appear that he has been a bit unlucky for balls hit in play. With a season 0.335 BABIP, Dozier has a 0.222 BABIP in the last 7 games. It certainly doesn’t help that he’s striking out in close to 38 percent of his at-bats.
Dozier went through a pretty bad stretch back in July, as shown in the figure above. From July 4 to July 14, he batted just 0.148, 30 percent strikeout rate, and a matching 0.222 BABIP. With a 50 percent hard-hit rate, it’s unfortunate that did not turn into results but he’s demonstrated that his slumps don’t usually last too long.
Generally, the batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage follow the same pattern, but Dozier saw spikes in his slugging percentage in both May and August thanks in large part to a combined 9 and 8 doubles/triples, respectively.
With just over a week remaining in the 2019 season, look for Dozier to finish on a strong note, especially with he and Soler still looking to make history for the franchise.