Kansas City Royals: 3 most surprising players of 2019
Hunter Dozier finally came into his own in 2019, and he solidified his spot in the Kansas City Royals lineup moving forward.
Watching Hunter Dozier begin to mash baseballs in 2019 was a wonderful sight to see. Not only did he maintain a respectable .279 batting average he also crushed nearly everything he got his bat on. His soft hit rate was under 14 percent, which is basically the same percentage as Jorge Soler.
Dozier hit 26 home runs in 2019. That is more home runs than he ever hit at any level. And just to show how athletic the 6’4 third baseman is, he also managed to hit 10 triples. Dozier lowered his strikeout rate to 25 percent and raised his walk rate up to over 9%.
The best news about Hunter Dozier is that he actually first began to barrel up balls more often the year before, in 2018. His hard-hit percentage this season of 45% is almost identical to his number in 2018. That would seem to suggest that 2019 wasn’t just a lucky season for Hunter.
Dozier has some aspects of his game he can improve on. I would like to see his walk rate get up over 10%. He has shown the ability to take walks throughout his minor league career and this would not make his On Base Percentage as reliant on maintaining a high batting average.
Hunter also struggled at times, defensively, at third base. However, this was the first season he played more than 37 games at the position in the major leagues. And he has also shown a willingness to move around and play either first base or even a corner outfield spot, if necessary.
His overall athletic skill and his ability to barrel up baseballs should make Hunter Dozier a key player over the next few years. His willingness to be a team player should enable the franchise to bring in the best players possible and move Dozier to wherever the team needs him.