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For Better Or Worse: Brian Dozier

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2012 Recap
There are two things you wonít find in Minnesota: A liquor store that will sell you booze on Sundays and consistency at the shortstop position.

The Twins were hoping that the latter problem would be solved by Brian Dozier. Dozier, a shortstop drafted by the organization (another rarity), was given the opportunity a month into the season to claim the role as his own. Alas, he did not.

Dozierís stock shot up in the spring when the 26-year-old earned the praise of coaches and media members based on his performance in Florida. Sent to Rochester to begin the year, overall suckitude by the affiliateís parent team incited his May call up. In his first 10 games, he provided false hope by hitting .286/.318/.476 with two home runs. Once scouting reports spread his numbers dropped faster than fanís interest in the team. He got extremely pull-happy. His plate discipline disappeared. His frustrations at the plate seemed to lead to defensive miscues. Demoted in August, Dozier returned to Rochester and continued where he left off with the Twins.

Why Heíll Be Worse In 2013

After a fast start, opponents quickly exploited his holes in his swing and his numbers dropped. His plate discipline swiftly eroded as teamís started to attack the outer-half of the zone and he managed to walk in under 5% of his plate appearances. To make matters worse, after being sent down to Rochester in August to work on this, he walked just twice in his final 76 PAs (2%). It was like his soul was crushed. While his minor league track record is decent enough, it is possible that teams have figured out his number and will play him like a fiddle (see: Valencia, Danny) until the team is forced to admit he is not capable of being an everyday player.

Why Heíll Be Better In 2013
As mentioned above, heís put up decent enough numbers in the minors and, in most cases, hiccups are to be expected as a player ascends to the next level. The struggles in 2012 could simply be part of a playerís natural learning curve. Plus, heís reunited with his former minor league hitting coach Tom Brunansky, who has been credited with improving his approach while with New Britain. Together the pair may be able to help make the necessary adjustments to adapt to the competition.

What will it be? A continuation of his 2012 season or will the 27-year-old finally emerge as a starter in this lineup? Click on this link to see our official thread AND take the survey. Then leave us a comment saying why.

Read from our past For Better Or Worse series: Joe Mauer.
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