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Thread: Dozier now and beyond

  1. #1
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Dozier now and beyond

    Dozier had a nice game on Thursday and followed it up with an 0-fer yesterday. His offensive numbers are: .240 BA, .604 OPS, 5 HR and 9 SB. Defensively, he leads the AL in errors despite not making his big-league debut until mid-May. To summarize, his performance has been pretty poor.

    We all know, however, that this season is about 2013 and beyond. While there are mixed signals, I think Dozier's future is pretty bright. First and foremost, I don't think Dozier's defense is as bad as his error total. He has shown at least average range, good instincts and enough arm to be an above-average ML shortstop. The errors seem to have been in clusters, and while you can't ignore them, they may be explained by rookie inconsistency and taking offensive struggles out on the field.

    I don't know if Dozier will develop offensively to be above average. One thing he did at the minor league level that has not carried over to his Twins' tenure is draw walks, which really has driven down his OBP and OPS. Perhaps experience and knowing his role here will help him to be more patient and selective. It appears that Dozier can/will provide a little sock, at least more than Carroll/Casilla and while he isn't a terror on the bases, he is capable of stealing 15-20. I think that for the balance of the season and next year, Dozier will provide more offense by being more patient and that his defense will straighten out. A lineup with Dozier hitting near the bottom can produce enough wins to contend.

  2. #2
    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    I had Dozier in my top 10 coming into the season and feel good about that. My thought all along was that if he could post a .650 OPS this year, that would be a nice start. I think his upside is to have a season or two in which his OPS is closer to .750, maybe .780. Unfortunately, some writers and the Twins manager talked him up like he was the next Derek Jeter, and that wasn't fair.

    The key, offensively, will be the walk/strikeout rate, and I'm not worried about that because he's always been good at that. If he can hit .270/.330/.400, that's about what I expect. All Star? No. Solid starter? Sure.

    As for the defense, he'll be fine.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    I tend to agree with Seth on Dozier. He actually has moved thru the Twins system pretty quickly and although he isn't that young, he may of benefited from a little more time at AAA. In any case, he appears to have the tools to play major league SS, and he seems to be improving at the bat and in the field as time goes on.

    Many people are a little too impatient with young players. Bartlett certainly struggled in his first go round with the Twins. I can remember when writers and others were suggesting that Gagne be moved to 3rd because of his defense and to take advantage of his "bat".

    While, it takes a little time to be sure of what you have with young players when they first reach the majors, I believe that Dozier is at least a medium term answer at short. There are 2 or 3 guys in A ball or below who could potentially move Dozier off of short. But at least for a few years, I think Dozier will work just fine.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    He probably can do a bit better, but I doubt he'll ever be above-average. This is a guy who barely hit in college- before they reigned in the metal bats. So just to get to where he is now required a massive amount of improvement from ages 22-25. Dozier has done well to get the most out of his limited tools but there might not be much more he can do.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator MVP Riverbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post

    As for the defense, he'll be fine.
    I'm not worried about him at the plate. He's been OK.

    Defense... He's been a concern. His range seems OK and he moves well. Yet... He's been a little stone handed at times and his arm inconsistent. I hope you right Seth. I'll keep watching and waiting.

  6. #6
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    I don't think we expected Jeter. I hoped for Jason Bartlett.

    Bartlett's rookie slash line was 241/316/335 with an OPS+ of 73.

    Brian Dozier 249/271/333 OPS+ of 65 with a few months to play.

    They were both 25 in their rookie seasons. It is not unreasonable that Dozier could follow his path. The difference is the walk rate which his minor league performance suggests he should be able to improve.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post

    The key, offensively, will be the walk/strikeout rate, and I'm not worried about that because he's always been good at that. If he can hit .270/.330/.400, that's about what I expect. All Star? No. Solid starter? Sure.

    As for the defense, he'll be fine.
    I agree with Seth--I think Dozier will be a solid MLB player--better D than Christian Guzman--maybe less offense. Good enough to play on a contending Twins team in 2014.

  8. #8
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    We can all hope for Dozier. But (and I hate to say that) at age 25 he is behind where Casilla were at age 25 (on the other hand, Dozier is still only a couple years removed from the foil bat, and Latin American players do not use that). Hopefully, if he get consistent playing time (unlike Casilla did) he will improve; just hope that Gardy and Co do not give up on him like they did with Casilla... I like his pop, I like his gutty play. He's got to work on making solid contact with the ball and being more selective at the plate. Not sure I mind the errors this much because those are mostly from trying to do too much. He will learn his limits on the field as he plays more... Still too early to tell, but he earned the right to play the rest of the season. On the other hand, with Carroll, Nishioka, Escobar, Florimon as competition for 2012, 2013 and 2014 and more serious competition from players like Danny Santana, Beresford, Goodrum, Grimes, Michael etc in 2014+, nobody can be sure what is going to happen.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer J-Dog Dungan's Avatar
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    With the higher-ceiling players down in the Minors, he might become a Casilla-type sub player when they reach the Bigs, but for now, I like him better at short than Plouffe last year (god that was awful).

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    He's had his ups and downs, but I'm confident that Dozier can develop into a solid MLB shortstop. The rest of the lineup is strong enough that we don't necessarily need a ton of production from him to win. And yes, the error count is high, but it often is for rookie shortstops. I expect he'll learn from those mistakes and get better. He's also made some outstanding plays in the field.

    In any case, I hope the whining over the JJ Hardy trade can stop. I'd much rather be looking forward to Dozier develop than be committed to another 2 years and $15 million of Hardy with the way he's produced this year.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
    just hope that Gardy and Co do not give up on him like they did with Casilla.
    ---You've got to be kidding me. Gardy and Co "gave up" on Casilla? Really? The guy has been given multiple chances to establish himself as a regular, and he's failed at every one of them. How many more does he need?

    Giving up is what the Twins did with Luke Hughes, and though you spent considerable time railing on them about it when it happened, I think his post-Twins career (demoted twice and released in a span of about 9 weeks) has validated that decision.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer crarko's Avatar
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    I'm hoping Dozier could reach a level near Greg Gagne; that would be perfect for this team. Hard to tell if his defense can ever reach that point.

  13. #13
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    Look, I don't love Gardy in many ways as a manager (though he certainly has some strengths), but there is no way you can argue the Twins ever gave up on Casilla. He has had a lot of ABs and plenty of time in the field.
    Lighten up Francis....

  14. #14
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    "Giving up on Casilla"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    Look, I don't love Gardy in many ways as a manager (though he certainly has some strengths), but there is no way you can argue the Twins ever gave up on Casilla. He has had a lot of ABs and plenty of time in the field.
    I'm probably one of the bigger Casilla rubes on this site. As a matter of fact, my screen name at Twinkietown is "Alexi Casilla All-Star" and I can't say that Gardenhire and the Twins staff has given up on Alexi. I would like to see the Twins play Casilla before Carroll (last night notwithstanding) because he's ten years younger and he provides plus defense and plus speed.

  15. #15
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
    ---You've got to be kidding me. Gardy and Co "gave up" on Casilla? Really? The guy has been given multiple chances to establish himself as a regular, and he's failed at every one of them. How many more does he need?
    That's a different argument, but I guess some of us define "failure" and "chances given" different that others...
    Here are Casilla's seasons with the Twins:

    Age 23 season: 91 OPS+ almost full time (437 PAs - his record high - 2008)
    Age 24 season: 45 OPS+ (256 PAs - not consistent playing time; manager's choice)
    Age 25 season: 100 OPS+ (170 PAs - not consistent playing time because of injuries)
    Age 26 season: 91 OPS+ (365 PAs - not consistent playing time; injuries)

    Age 27 season: 55 OPS+ (234 PA - not consistent playing time; manager's choice)

    So, other than this season and his age 24 season where he underperformed, I would say OPS+ of 91 and 100 is pretty darn good for a middle infielder. (As a reference point, Nick Punto's career OPS+ is 75, and that includes his 125 last season with St. Louis; Dozier's OPS+ is 65 now and Carroll's 72.) So, I don't think that he underperformed other than that one season (his age 24) which apparently forever blemished him in the eyes of many... And he is a streaky hitter and he needs to play to hit. This is obvious this season. When he has 4-5 games in a row he hits... And we are talking about a guy who once stole 50 and another season 49 in the minors; and at age 24 (when he was sent down to Rochester, he put a .340/.379/.449 line. In AAA. as a 24 year old. He was much more of a prospect than Dozier was. Really.

    I guess we can disagree on whether he was given a chance or not or whether he performed or not...

    Compare his treatment to that of Butera, let's say...
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by one_eyed_jack View Post
    He's had his ups and downs, but I'm confident that Dozier can develop into a solid MLB shortstop. The rest of the lineup is strong enough that we don't necessarily need a ton of production from him to win. And yes, the error count is high, but it often is for rookie shortstops. I expect he'll learn from those mistakes and get better. He's also made some outstanding plays in the field.

    In any case, I hope the whining over the JJ Hardy trade can stop. I'd much rather be looking forward to Dozier develop than be committed to another 2 years and $15 million of Hardy with the way he's produced this year.
    If you want to celebrate Twins bare-bones budget cutting and pulling for raw rookies who give a good effort, then I'm right with you on Dozier. I actually like his grit, enthusiasm and occasional sparkling plays at SS. I thoroughly enjoyed his 9th inning Fenway bomb on Thursday night. But with the "New Era" Twins and TF, the means by which that they were supposed to be competitive with the premier teams, sitting through years of the exact opposite in production numbers at SS is unacceptable. Even more unfortuantely, Dozier's upside appears to be vastly limited in comparison to Hardy. When Hardy was aged 24/25 he was hitting ~25 HRS with an .820 OPS and an OPS+ of 115 (Dozier currently has a .604 OPS and an OPS+ of 65). He also carried a double-digit UZR versus Dozier's SSS on defense, but still concerningly negative UZR.

    Hardy is still a premier defensive SS in an admittedly very down year offensively. Even with that being said, Hardy ranks 2nd in SS HRs with 15 and a good portion of his poor production numbers can be ascribed to bad luck- he carries a league worst for SS BABIP of .235. If and when that number returns to more historical norms, Hardy's contract is well-justified (he's actually currently ahead of pace in earning his $7.14M this year as he is currently nearly valued close to $6M with still two months left in the season- Dozier's current value is nearly -$1M.

  17. #17
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    I see Dozier as a guy that has all the tools of a solid MLB SS. I don't think he will ever be an all-start, but able to post a 700 OPS and play solid defense. Going forward I think he is the type of guy that you want around. He wont ever require a huge contract and will take 3-4 year deal in his prime. I don't see any of the prospects knocking him out of the MI for the next 2+ years.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Double-A BrentMpls's Avatar
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    Doesn't feel a whole lot different than Nishi

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentMpls View Post
    Doesn't feel a whole lot different than Nishi
    To you, maybe. To me, Dozier actually looks like playing MLB baseball isn't like learning a second language, as in Nishi's case. Though he may miss Ryo Shinkawa around the clubhouse for some comic relief, I bet Gardy sleeps a whole lot better each night knowing Nishi is 1000 miles away from Target Field.

  20. #20
    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentMpls View Post
    Doesn't feel a whole lot different than Nishi
    I disagree. Besides Nishioka's lack of arm strength, I felt like he was as fundamentally unsound as any player I ever saw play for the Twins. Nishioka couldn't (can't) run and has no discernible power.

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