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The Twins need more Brian Doziers

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Brian Dozier wasn't a high draft choice. He had a breakout minor league season in 2011 and became a prospect for the Twins mostly because of the dearth of talent at shortstop, which was then his position. Dozier was then assigned to Rochester and got a promotion to the Twins after a hot start in Triple A. Brian's rookie season was by most measures disappointing and ended with a demotion back to Rochester without a September recall.

2013 looked to be a year of decision for Dozier. He was moved to second base and given the inside track to win a starting position there for the Twins, which he did. After a slow start, Dozier hit well starting in mid-May and throughout the season he was a standout defensively at his new position.

After watching Dozier for the better part of part of two seasons, I have become a big fan. As mentioned, with the position switch, Dozier has become a truly excellent defender, making web gem plays along with always being heads up on the field. He has developed surprising power, hitting 18 homers last year and already stroking 8 long balls this season. He has moved almost full-time to the leadoff spot and has shown far better plate discipline, ranking among the league's leaders in walks and he has scored runs--his 29 rank tops in all of MLB. Brian leads the club with nine stolen bases (3rd in the AL), but more than that he seems to have taken great strides in base running, aggressively taking extra bases, but not often getting caught.

Dozier's game is not without flaws--he hit below .250 last year and is below that mark this year, he strikes out a lot. His season so far has some statistical oddities--he only has one extra base hit besides his home runs and all of his long balls are solos. Dozier only has 12 RBI despite the 8 homers.

Brian Dozier is one of very few Twins players that is above average as a hitter, fielder and base runner. It seems that he doesn't go a game without doing something good at the plate, making an outstanding defensive play or showing good base running skills. The Twins need more players who can win a game with their legs, their glove, or their bat. And he's got really good hair!
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  1. zchrz's Avatar
    Dozier has solidified himself as a really good piece for this team. After growing up a shortstop and transitioning his defense at 2nd is excellent and seems to be getting better. After some struggles initially at the mlb level, he really bought into and implemented Bruno's power/patience approach and has flourished at it better than anyone else on the roster. Even his base running is at an all time high aggressivly taking extra bases and stealing with a high sucess rate.

    It will be interesting to see where he ends up hitting in the long run, the power seems a bit wasted at the top of the order but the patient approach, obp, and his running game all play well lead off. I also wonder if the power isn't boosted a lot by the leadoff spot because pitchers have to pitch to him, lower in the order and 2-5 isn't coming up behind him.

    He isn't really an ideal 2 hitter because he does strikeout and doesn't have great bat control to consistently move runners over or hit and run. He isn't really a high enough average threat or rbi guy to be 3-5. His obp is kinda wasted 6-9. So I think lead off really is the ideal spot but I could see him ending up at 2 or 6 eventually as well.
    Updated 05-04-2014 at 08:21 AM by diehardtwinsfan
  2. jokin's Avatar
    The guy is gamer and an igniter. He appears to be leading by example and perhaps vocally, as well. Regarding his baserunning and baseball instincits, yesterday, on Hardy's low throw that got through the backup Birds 1st baseman, Dozier had less than a split second to see where the ball was and the backup fielders were, and make a decision on whether or not to take the extra base, when running it back in slow mo, you can see he processed the information in a flash and made it safely to second with just enough margin.

    On a good team he probably should be batting 6th, it's a shame that all of his HRs are of the solo variety- that's a function of Hicks and Florimon batting in front him at epically futile rates, but there's no doubt in my mind, he's still hands-down the MVP of the team thus far, and he's the leadoff guy until Buxton can ensconce him self for good.

    Now we've got another guy, in the OF this time, who also doesn't take being a major leaguer for granted in Sam Fuld, he obviously is no Dozier talent-wise, but now having 2 heady guys on the field willing to lay it all out might become contagious- maybe more guys would be willing to explore finding ways to win ballgames.

    Dozier is a true "Brian Baseball"- Twins-variation- and not the likes of those poser-types we used to be ashamed were on the roster- Lil' Nicky please stand up- Dozier is the real deal. Great post Stringer!
  3. TKGuy's Avatar
    I think I've seen enough based upon his fielding and hitting that the right side of the infield is set for a while. I would think about trying to sign him to a longer term deal. He is part of the future with Rosario being part of the future OF
  4. tarheeltwinsfan's Avatar
    Dozier is a class guy, having gone on a Christian mission trip. He is they type of player I want my grandson to look up to.
  5. Sconnie's Avatar
    Agreed, great post stringer. He's a second basemen, and a dang good one. I know SS has been a dearth, but Dozier is a strength at 2b at a position that had been every bit the black hole that SS has been for Twins.

    Also so agreed, the Twins do need more "heady" players who field their position well AND hit well. High batting average is only one part of the equation, and being a good hitter can be done with high slugging and obp.
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