Hunter Dozier is sleeper All-Star OF pick for KC Royals

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The talent pool of outfielders in the American League is deep, but this KC Royals player might be able to make the All-Star team regardless.

With names like Mike Trout, George Springer, Austin Meadows and KC Royals’ own Whit Merrifield, it will take a good start to the year to be an outfield All-Star in the AL.  Hunter Dozier is more than up to the challenge though.

The 2019 season should have erased any doubt as to whether Dozier can handle big league pitching.  He raked with 26 homers, 29 doubles and led the majors with 10 triples.  His OPS+ of 125 and offensive WAR of 3.6 exceeded the expectations surrounding him heading into the season.

Although right field will be a change, he is not a complete stranger to the position.  He started 24 games there in the majors and committed no errors in 58 chances.  Although only one assist to date has been recorded, as he plays full-time in that role he will get a better feel for throwing ahead to bases.

He also played in right in 38 games in the minors with a fielding average of .980.  Considering the major league average for that position last year was .965, he should be an upgrade with his glove in that role.

He was adapting to the role very well and felt comfortable just before spring training was shut down.

"“It’s definitely different, but like I told them and I’m telling everyone — whatever they want me to do, whatever they need me to do, I’m more than happy to do it. So right now it looks like they need me in the outfield. I’m enjoying it out there. It is different, but I am liking it out there.” – Hunter Dozier"

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It will still be his offensive firepower that carries Dozier to an All-Star nomination, but at least his glovework will not hinder his chances.  Maybe we will even get the treat of seeing him and Merrifield playing for the American League as some of its best players together.