Minnesota’s Brian Dozier joined some very select company with a home run Monday night.
The Twins’ slugger became the first American League second baseman to hit 40 homers in a season, surpassing the old record of 39 by Alfonso Soriano in 2002. That blast leaves Dozier three short of the Davey Johnson’s record 43 for the position.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) September 13, 2016
In his fifth season, the Mississippi native is enjoying a statistical renaissance, hitting for better average (.280), slugging percentage (.577) and production (94 RBI) than any year in his career. Dozier already has 79 extra base hits, surpassing his 2015 total by eight. He’s also pretty adept in the field, logging a .989 fielding percentage.
But, is he among the best of the recent past? Not quite yet, but in due time.
The second base position is often overlooked as an offensive position, but key to infield defence.
Here are the 15 best offensive and defensive second basemen of the last 30 years.
We would have ranked Altuve higher, if he didn’t have such a small sample size. However, Altuve is on the rise and tracking to a Hall of Fame career. The four-time all-star already has over 1,000 hits and is on pace to win a second AL batting title in the past three seasons. The diminutive Venezualan hit .341 in 2014 and led the loop in hits (225) and stolen bases (56). He hit .313 in 2015 and again was tops in hits with 200 and stolen bases at 38. This season, to date, Altuve has an AL-best 192 hits and .337 average, as well as career highs in homers (23), RBI (93) and OPS (.941). Defensively, he and shortstop Carlos Correa form one of the more formidable middle infield tandems. Altuve has made but five errors on 522 chances for a .990 fielding percentage, which is second only to Robinson Cano.