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The Twins middle infield of the future opens tonight

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Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch

Tonight will be the premiere in the big leagues of Twins' infielder Brian Dozier. Dozier was the Twins' 8th round draft pick in 2009 out of the University of Southern Mississippi. He signed right away so he had time to play pro ball in 2009. He quickly moved through the Twins' system, playing for both rookie level teams in 2009, both A-level teams in 2010, starting in Fort Myers in 2011 and ending up in New Britain and then in the Arizona Fall league.

He was invited in the Spring Training as a non-roster invitee this year (where he was one of the last Twins' cuts) and started the season in Rochester. He was added to the 40-man roster today. Even though he has not hit well in Rochester so far (.276/.339/.371, 199 PA) the Twins are encouraged by his 2011 New Britain (.318/.384/.502 7 HR, 22 2B, 7 3B, 351 PA) and Arizona Fall League (.296/.358/.454. 3 HR, 8 2B, 120 PA) numbers to call him up early this season. It is worth mentioning that with the Fall League, Brian Dozier has a full season in 2011, playing in 153 games and having 689 plate appearances.

He will likely replace Jamey Carroll (who will assume a utility role filling in at all infield positions but at 1B) as the starting
shortstop. He was batting at the number 2 spot in Rochester most of this season, so he might replace Carroll there also. However it is more likely that Joe Mauer will be at the number 2 spot and Dozier will slide lower in the line up.

The 25 year old Brian Dozier will team up with the 27 year old Alexi Casilla as the Twins' double play combination. Hopefully Twins' fans will look at scenes like this often this season and for many seasons to come:

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  1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
    You really like Lexi, don't you? I used to, but I just don't see it anymore. The Twins cannot wait forever for this guy and he is not playing well offensively this year.

    I hope that Mauer does move up to the 2-spot.
  2. Thrylos's Avatar
    I do like Lexi and this is a make it or break it season for him.

    He has been by far the Twins' best fielder (using a couple of different measurements - defensive runs saved above average 8 - second best Span with 5; and UZR: 5 - second best Span with 1.8) and their best base runner with 5/5 SB (vs 3/5 for Span.) Just his fielding and baserunning makes him an immediate asset as a middle infielder. He did turn the corner (Big time) with the glove.

    He just need to pick it up with the bat but a. he has always been a slow starter (career OPS in April .510) and b. has had a short leash mainly because of fielding issues, which did not allow him to get consistent playing time. Hope that his leash is longer because he really turned it around with fielding.
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