Here’s how I ended up coming to write this Hunter Dozier fantasy baseball sleeper post: Saw that he was a top 50 exit velocity last year and sat up in my chair like a good boy, then saw he hit 26 homers in 523 at-bats and got a little yawnstipated so I went for a walk, which turned into me grabbing a Lime scooter and I went out cruising. Just letting the wind hit my face while trying to not breathe in the pollution and ash from the California fires. Then I stopped at Danny Trejo’s taco stand and thought about how such an ugly em-effer makes such a delicious taco and thought about how I’m glad I thought that and didn’t say it out loud because he would totally beat my ass, then asked the cashier, “Does this Danny’s have grand slams?” And they looked at me like I was slow, but it might’ve been the scooter helmet I was wearing, and I convinced myself that’s exactly what it was. Then a full-on scarfing ensued as a large man in cammo, who looked like he’s done some hunting, sat across from me dozing off and I thought, “Holy crap, Hunter Dozier!” But, meh, he still only had 26 homers in 523 at-bats and–wait a second, he had ten triples? Triples mean nothing in fantasy (unless you play in one of those leagues where they mean something, but even you don’t know why you play in a league where they mean something). Who cares about triples! Or, as a person with a strong counterpoint might say, “Do we care?” I think we might. So, what can we expect from Hunter Dozier for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Everyone on the Royals is fast — better to run away when Mike Matheny is saying anything! — so maybe Merrifield or Mondesi sneezed on Hunter Dozier, but I sorted by Sprint Speed and 3rd baseman and, what do you know, you knower of not this, Dozier is the only one with real power and speed. His 28.3 Sprint Speed is better than Kris Bryant of once-had-13-steals-in-a-season fame. So, let’s just throw out there something crazy, Dozier hits 27 homers and steals 10 bags while hitting .280, who does that compare to? Hmm…? C’mon, man, I just mentioned him! He compares to Kris Bryant! Only the Kris Bryant who doesn’t have a hobbled knee and takes baby steps because he’s a baby. To go even further with this comparison that you didn’t know you needed until I started laying it on you, Kris Bryant had a 87.4 MPH exit velocity, which was good for 303rd in the major leagues, near that of Martin Maldonado and John Hicks. Mean’s while, Hunter Dozier had the 49th best, as mentioned above, and was near Eloy, Bryce and Machado. Going back to this comparison I can’t let go, Bryant’s expected batting average and slugging were .246 and .460; Dozier’s were .261 and .471. So, Dozier was faster than Bryant, better expected average and slugging and is being drafted about 100 spots after him. Let’s put a Y on that Um. Now, to get really inspirational and prolly a little too optimistic, Hunter Dozier had a 43.9% fly ball rate, and only a 15.6% HR/FB, which feels realistic for him, but if he can get that to 17-19%, he could hit 35+ homers, like, say, Nolan Arenado. I let my pants type that last sentence. For 2020, I’ll give Hunter Dozier projections of 77/29/88/.255/7 in 546 ABs with a chance for much more.