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Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:47 AM
One of my favorite annual threads on the site. Let’s stay updated on ex-Twins in the news... This is a start of a list, and feel free to...
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Joe West wins lawsuit against Lo Duca

Other Baseball Today, 09:06 AM
https://www.msn.com/...artan-dhp-feeds   I was a bit surprised he won this but good for him, I guess.
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Twins Moving Up Power Rankings (Week of April 11)

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:38 AM
MLB.com published their updated power rankings Sunday. The moved the Twins up from sixth to fourth. The Athletic (subscription required)...
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The 5 Rule Draft

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:08 AM
This year's Rule 5 draft we lost Akil Baddo and Tyler Wells. So I thought I'd check to see how they were doing. 1st I checked on Baddo, h...
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New Target field policy...no bags of any kind

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:00 AM
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Do the Twins Already Have the Next Brian Dozier?

Brian Dozier was a late round draft pick that took time to develop through the Twins farm system. Minnesota might have another player in their organization that can follow Dozier’s path as a late bloomer.
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Dozier’s Path to Late Bloomer
Minnesota took Brian Dozier in the eighth round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of the University of Southern Mississippi. With his college experience, he only spent parts of four seasons in the minors. He showed very little power throughout the early professional career as he never hit double digit home runs in the minors. In fact, his highest OPS in any minor league season was .890 when he spent part of the season as an older player in the Florida State League.

He wouldn’t debut until his age-25 season and his first full season was a year later (2013). Twins fans are well aware of what Dozier was able to accomplish in his time at the big-league level. He clubbed 18 or more home runs from 2013-2017 including 42 home runs in 2016 and 34 home runs in 2017. His 42 home runs are an AL record for home runs by a primary second baseman in a single season.

Dozier was clearly a late bloomer, but the Twins were able to allow him to develop because the team was in the midst of multiple losing seasons. Now the Twins have a variety of options around the infield which might be blocking the next Brian Dozier from emerging.

The Next Brian Dozier
Nick Gordon wasn’t exactly a late round pick or a player with college experience, but he’s at the point in his career where it might be a surprise if he makes a significant contribution at the big-league level. Gordon has seemed to be on the fringes of the 40-man roster for multiple seasons. There must be a reason the front office has kept him around.

Last year, Gordon went through a life changing experience as he was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19. He’s a young, health athlete and the virus still took its toll on him. Now he will enter the 2021 season with something to prove to himself and the Twins organization. Minnesota is easing Gordon into the new season, but it doesn’t mean he won’t get the chance to contribute.

In 2019, he played 70 games at Triple-A where he was nearly four years younger than the average age of the competition at that level. Even in a small sample size, he was able to post some impressive numbers. He hit .298/.342/.459 (.801) with 36 extra-base hits. Out of his 87 hits, a third of them were doubles which is impressive when all put 24 of his at-bats came against older pitching.

Gordon should spend the year in St. Paul and his continued inclusion on the 40-man roster means he has a chance to make his big-league debut during the 2021 campaign. Unfortunately, he is behind multiple players on the depth chart and the Twins aren’t in the same place they were when Dozier made his debut.

Also, it’s tough to know what Gordon will look like as the season begins with no game action last season and his extended COVID battle. Injuries can happen to any player and Gordon will need to be ready to take advantage of the opportunity if it is presented to him.

Do you think Gordon can be a late bloomer like Dozier? Will he be given the opportunity? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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37 Comments

I get where you are coming from but I don't see him ever having Doziers power. So while I could see him having a productive career, with Polanco and Arraez in front of him the odds are really against him.If he profiled better at short then maybe he might stand a chance, but second appears to be his home.

 

I mean Gordon is Arraez without the great plate discipline and a little more speed.Both are dinkers and dunkers for the most part taking decent at bats but power is not a big part of their game.Don't get me wrong I am still a fan of Gordon and he might still have a utility role but the 40 man is going to get crowded soon and the Twins are going to have to decide between, Polanco, Arraez and Gordon and I think Gordon loses.They will need to add Lewis to the 40 man next year so something has got to give and I think it will be Nick Gordon.

 

I like him but there appear to better players in front of him and behind him.Maybe he can show out this year and make me look bad, but as always he has a tough hill to climb.

    • DocBauer and Doctor Gast like this
The Dozier comp is weird. Nick can handle short and provide other benefits to the team. I personally think he is a sleeper for this team.
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JoshDungan1
Mar 01 2021 11:10 PM

 

I get where you are coming from but I don't see him ever having Doziers power. So while I could see him having a productive career, with Polanco and Arraez in front of him the odds are really against him.If he profiled better at short then maybe he might stand a chance, but second appears to be his home.

 

We do remember when not even Dozier had Dozier's power, right?

    • Twins33, Dman and bighat like this
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RochesterDave
Mar 01 2021 11:10 PM
After watching Nick Gordon for dozens of games here in Rochester, NY with the Red Wings, he was probably the most disappointing high profile Twins prospect during the affiliation. He rarely drove the ball or got a clutch hit, and my nickname for him was “ ol whitepants” as he rarely dove for a ground ball or slid into a base - thus muddying up or grass staining his uni. He doesn’t have the at-bat skills of Arraez or even the shortstop skills of Polanco. The comp to Dozier just seems like a long reach. He has been burdened with injuries and of course unfortunately Covid , but I just don’t think he’’s on the Twins 40 man much longer. He’s at best part of a trade package come July.
    • birdwatcher, Twins33, James Rivah Twins Fan and 5 others like this
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ScrapTheNickname
Mar 02 2021 12:28 AM

I think the whole thing with Dozier was that he came out of nowhere to become a very good major league player. The comparison with Gordon is odd in that Gordon is a #1 pick with a pedigree who was expected to star years ago but hasn't. The next Dozier will be someone like Arraez who wasn't predicted to become who he has become. Who is that player? I don't know.

    • mikelink45, DocBauer, CUtomorrownight and 1 other like this
I think Blankenhorn might be a closer bet then Gordon! Gordon is just another 1st round pick who never developed. A light hitter without the ability to grind out at bats and doesn’t play elite defense at a premium position.
    • birdwatcher, Danchat, Major League Ready and 3 others like this
His brother had elite speed which added a dimension to his game that Nick doesn’t have and now that the elite speed is gone he is a rotational player at this point.
Gordon has battled health issues aside from COVID in recent years. Classifying him as a perfectly healthy individual because he’s an athlete isn’t completely true. As with nearly every case of COVID severely impacting a non-elderly person, there is an underlying condition.
    • heresthething and IAMNFan like this

I'm not interested in the next Brian Dozier. Show me the next Mike Trout on the roster.

    • h2oface, TopGunn#22 and kwazie71 like this

If anyone can to it, he can. He's the Man!

 

    • Seth Stohs and wabene like this
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Doctor Gast
Mar 02 2021 05:57 AM
The big difference between Dozier and Gordon is heart, Dozier had it but Gordon doesn't. Gordon has the pedigree but he'll never be a Dozier. When Dozier found his nook at 2B, he ran with it. Gordon had difficulty adjusting to every level. One day Gordon can be an average MLB player but he'll never be another Dozier. Excuse me but that's my personal observation.
    • rdehring, IAMNFan and chinmusic like this

Gordon has been plagued with bad luck throughout much of his career and I feel he will be left on the outside looking in for the Twins, and not receive a MLB call from them.He will either be traded or waivered.

He has not shown anything at any level and unlike Dozier he has a full and really good roster ahead of him.I think he is a trade throw in.  

 

We do remember when not even Dozier had Dozier's power, right?

 

Totally agree but Nick's body just hasn't developed much at all and with the build he has power won't come easy.I know he has been trying but it hasn't translated yet.I think when the Twins picked him they thought his body would develop more than it has to be honest.

I hope Gordon can unlock the missing piece or two that's holding him back from success. Limited sample size is always the risk for a fan watching a prospect at a game or two, but I never saw anything much from him at the plate against AAA opposition, and on defense he's one of those players who "makes the tough play look difficult."

    • birdwatcher, ScrapTheNickname, Dman and 1 other like this

 

I'm not interested in the next Brian Dozier. Show me the next Mike Trout on the roster.

 

I don't understand this mentality. Trout is a generational player, an MVP candidate every year. He's put up 6 seasons that were worthy of winning and almost certainly lost out because his teams haven't been very good, even though he's been the best player in the game. You seem to be suggesting that if the Twins don't find the next Mike Trout, they're a failure. You realize that makes a failure every year out of basically every team in baseball? A Mike Trout doesn't come along every few years, finding one in all of MLB happens more like once in 20 years.

 

"meh, who cares about finding an all-star...if they don't turn up a first-ballot Hall of Famer, a perennial MVP candidate, someone who is trying to be the second coming of Willie Mays...screw 'em."

 

If your standard is, "first-ballot Hall of Famer"...expect to be disappointed A LOT.

    • raindog, bighat and rdehring like this
He's the man in his squad apparently, unfortunately that squad isn't the Twins. To be the man on the Twins takes a singular focus ala Mr Cruz, Mr Maeda, Mr Rogers etc.

I started reading the article assuming that you were writing about Blankenhorn. Was shocked to see you were actually writing about Gordon.

 

Question, if Dozier who was selected in the eighth round of the draft is a late round pick, what is someone taken in the 20's or later?

    • Danchat and Dman like this

I had high hopes for Gordon when drafted.He was drafted high and scouts were expecting him to fill out and have speed similar to his brother but more power.Between injuries and long slumps he never showed big jumps, and other guys passed him by.I think he will contribute at the MLB level if not here somewhere.  

 

I doubt he will have Dozier type path, but I bet he has a few good years still. Just do not expect he will be around for a decade or more. 

 

I started reading the article assuming that you were writing about Blankenhorn. Was shocked to see you were actually writing about Gordon.

 

Question, if Dozier who was selected in the eighth round of the draft is a late round pick, what is someone taken in the 20's or later?

 

Yeah I think your comp of Blankehorn makes more sense.Taken in the third round and someone with HR potential, pretty much double digit HR's since 2016.Still would be hard to beat some of Bryans best years for HR total but certainly a guy with the potential to be Dozier like IMO.

 

There is a lot of competition for the Utility role on this team.Personally right now I would choose Blankehorn over Gorden but have to admit Gordon had a better OPS in AAA than Blankenhorn had at AA in 2019.The sample size isn't the same though as Nick hasn't played a full season in MiLB in three years I believe.So that is an issue as well.Nick needs a really good year to establish that he can first play a full year and second produce at an above rate to regain his prospect status and chances to be a MLB player.

    • rdehring likes this
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twinstalker
Mar 02 2021 09:08 AM

Gordon will get a cup of coffee or two.

Got to see it to believe it

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ScrapTheNickname
Mar 02 2021 10:15 AM

Hindsight and all that, but Trea Turner and Matt Chapman were taken after Gordon in the draft that year.

    • h2oface and Longdistancetwins like this

This wasn't the direction I expected the article to go reading the headline... It was set up on a tee to talk about Rooker. Debuted at 25, potential first full season at 26, already showing power. Next time! 

    • ashbury, ScrapTheNickname and gagu like this

I see Nick replacing the role Ehire Adrianza had with the team.Maybe not to start the year but by the end of it.Although it seems like in the past our front office would rather pick up guys off waivers for bench roles from other teams then fill from within when a need arises.


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