Hunter Dozier is another KC Royals player who made changes to his game.
In July, things looked bleak for Hunter Dozier, who Kansas City signed before the season to a four-year, $25 million contract. His .174/ .242/.344 midseason slash line, .220 BABIP, and -2.1 WAR certainly reflected his struggles.
But whatever those number made Royals fans think of Dozier’s contract, and whether or not they believe the lucrative deal should have been made, his better second half numbers deserve a close look.
After the All-Star Break, Dozier posted a .261 batting average and .333 BABIP, hit eight home runs, and drove in 28 runs in 71 games. His strikeout rate decreased from 29.6% to 27.1% and his wRC+ increased from 56 to 109.
Overall, Dozier’s season slash line of .216/.285/.394 with a .680 OPS may cause Kansas City fans to doubt he will live up to his new contract. But keep in mind his first half troubles stemmed at least in part from an injury.
Dozier candidly admitted he’d played through a lingering thumb injury he didn’t fully recover from until July; to his credit, he recognized his mistake. Considering his second half stats, fans should wait to see how Dozier performs next season before making any further assessments on whether his play merits his contract.
Revisiting our midseason underperformers list proves Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier, and the KC pitching staff all made significant improvements in the second half of the 2021 season.