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Will Dozier Maintain His Value?

Posted by jorgenswest , 31 December 2016 · 951 views

One of the questions the Twins must be asking is whether Brian Dozier will retain his value.

We have seen his streakiness in season, but season to season he has been pretty reliable. I do wonder if hitters with his characteristics (pull hitters, fly ball hitters, relatively high ISO, right handed) tend to be more streaky within season. On the other hand, slash stats don't stabilize short of a full season and really aren't very meaningful in splits. We shouldn't expect them to be reliable by the month or half season.

I looked for a comp group with a similar age 26-29 seasons centered on Dozier while trending up at age 29.

Searching for right handed hitters with a similar OPS+ and ISO, I found 30 hitters since 1991 with a 4 year OPS+ of 115 and ISO of .215 (Dozier is 114/.208). There were 31 in the age 29 group with an OPS+ of 139 and ISO of .251 (Dozier was 136/.278)

The overlap group includes

Andruw Jones
Brian Dozier
Chris Carter
Corey Hart
Dan Uggla
Dean Palmer
Ian Kinsler
Kevin Youkilis
Mike Lowell
Pat Burrell
Paul Konerko
Rich Aurilia
Todd Frazier
Troy Glaus
Vinny Castilla
Yoenis Cespedes

Chris Carter is the same age as Dozier. Carter and Jones aren't great positional fits in opposite directions. My interest is whether Dozier will continue to hit though.

This group of healthy regulars maintained their heath for the most part ages 30 and 31. Only Hart lost a season (31) due to injury. Six of the twelve age 30 seasons made the all star team. The median OPS+ was 127. A drop from the age 29 season but better than the career number. It isn't surprising that it was a drop from age 29 since I looked for players that trended up. That group did not regress very much. Only one player Glaus did not play a full season at age 30 but even he had 456 plate appearances. Jones and Kinsler had an OPS+ below 100 and only Jones had a bad season at the plate.

There was a drop at age 31. Jones and Hart were injured. The median OPS+ was 107.5 (without Hart). This group is dropping off. Dozier is probably not a good extension candidate. The discussion needs to be centered around dealing him now, dealing him later or keeping him through age 31.

I do wonder if this type of hitter declines earlier than typical but I don't expect that decline to begin next year. Holding onto Dozier for a year seems a reasonable gamble. The Twins don't need to trade him for fear that he will fall apart next year. It could happen. It could also happen that the players they get in return fall apart. That is why they must get more than one significant prospect or wait until they see that offer.




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TheLeviathan
Jan 01 2017 11:15 AM

He doesn't need to "fall apart" to lose value.

 

He just has to do all of these things that are guaranteed to happen:

 

1) Age

2) Have less team control

3) Not have a career year

 

It's not "if" Dozier will lose value, the only questions are really how quickly he'll lose value and how much he'll lose.

    • Cory Engelhardt, theBOMisthebomb and ewen21 like this
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jorgenswest
Jan 01 2017 06:53 PM
I don't think teams are valuing Dozier at his 2016 performance level this winter. They would be foolish to do so. I think they seem him with an OPS in the higher 700s. I think he will perform in that range next year.
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TheLeviathan
Jan 01 2017 07:54 PM

Even if you don't think they buy his performance, he still loses value by the first two points.  In fact, those become even more important if you don't think 2016's surge did anything for him.

Leviathan, your three points are iron clad. Without any emotional attachment those three facts cannot be altered. On top of that, Twins fans need to also think about what do with Dozier after the 2018 season if we do hold him. Do we sign a 32 year old to a multi year deal? And what about Polanco? Isn't he better suited for second? We will have Gordon up eventually.

I think there is an emotional attachment to Dozier. This is streaky player who never played in a big game in is major league career and yet some people want to say "face of the franchise"???

I'd much rather have a young nucleus like we did in the early 2000s. A team identity, rather than labeling one guy the face. We could probably fortify what already have by dealing Dozier. It is not that complicated.
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Buddy Holly
Jan 02 2017 12:07 PM

I will agree with you on the 3 points.Twins fans always over value their players. Dozier has more value for the Twins than he has for anyone else. Teams want younger players with less financial obligation. The Twins will not get fair trade value for him in the present market. Their are to many good players at 2nd in the league. Quality dept in the infield for the Twins is a bigger concern in my estimation than a trade. Pitching with holes in the infield just shifts the problems. Dozier will probably get you 1 pitching prospect in 2018 at the trade deadline, same as you will get today. 

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theBOMisthebomb
Jan 02 2017 08:08 PM
I see it as a can't lose for the Twins. Either we deal Dozier for some prospects to build for the future or two more years of his bat and hair. Agreed that he will probably lose value, although who's to say there won't be new teams interested at the trade deadline in July?

Who's trade rumor do you want to believe? DeLeon straight up? If that is the offer, Dozier will have value later. The couldn't agree on a 3 or 4th piece rumor?Dozier will lose value due to contract. The contracts given out this winter do not show age is a limiting factor in contracts or consideration of a player.

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jorgenswest
Jan 06 2017 08:34 PM
I was interested in whether most similar players continued to hit well. They did. I don't think he has the value of a 40+ HR hitter today and I don't believe that will be his value in the summer.

According to the market his value appears to be a Jose De Leon. The chances are reasonable that his value remains at that level into July. It is a risk. He could be injured. Fly ball/pull hitters tend to fluctuate more in the small sample of a partial season.

If the Twins are trying to squeeze out a few moderate prospects, it might not be worth it. They should take De Leon. If they are trying to get a second top prospect and can't this winter, it is possible the demand will be greater in July.