Not to long ago, former Southern Miss baseball player Brian Dozier was hitting base hits and home runs at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss. Now, the Minnesota Twins second baseman will participate in the 20th annual Gillete Home Run Derby next Monday, as a part of the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star events.
Currently, Dozier leads the Twins in home runs with 16, which is tied for 12th in the American League. He also leads the league in runs with 61, fifth in walks with 51 and eighth in stolen bases with 15.
After last night’s game against Seattle, the Tupelo, Miss., native has played in 87 games, posting a .232 average, 12 doubles and 40 RBIs.
Although not a regular home baseball game for Dozier, he will get the opportunity to hit home runs in front of home fans.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Dozer in an article by Mike Berardino. “It’s something you always watch as a kid growing up and to have the opportunity to do it, especially at Target Field in front of our home fans, should be a lot of fun.”
Not to mention, nine of his 16 home runs have came at Target Field.
Dozier will be one of four players to represent the American League in the event. The other players include American League captain and Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista, defending Home Run Derby champion and Oakland A’s Yeonis Cespedes and Adam Jones from the Baltimore Orioles.
National League participants include Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins, Yaisel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds to cap off the list.
From 2006 to 2009, Dozier played in a total of 224 games, earned 185 runs, 307 hits, 16 home runs and 152 RBIs. Five years later, he will play in his first home run derby at any level, which includes the minor leagues and college.
The Gillete Home Run Derby will begin at 7 p.m. central time from Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., and televised by ESPN.