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Article: Postseason Review: Brian Dozier

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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 01:23 PM

In my book, Brian Dozier was the Twins best position player in 2013. He had a better year in 2014 and again, I think he was the best everyday player on the team. Dozier is a study in contrasts--he isn't a big guy, but has led the team in home runs the last two years. He is a converted shortstop who has become very comfortable as a second baseman. Most guys his size are told to "use the whole field", but he is perhaps the most pronounced pull hitter on the team, certainly among the right-handed hitters.In 2014, Dozier had an up and down season. He started slowly, lifted his average through June and then tailed off. Dozier hit a bunch of homers early and continued hitting an occasional long ball until the All-Star break. The power tailed off from there and he was stuck on 20 homers for a long time. He finished with 23 long balls and 21 steals, one of only a handful of Twins to ever reach 20 in both categories.

One improvement Brian made throughout the season was his ability to take a free pass. He had 89 walks (3rd in the AL) and was hit by nine pitches giving him 98 passes to first base. Despite having nearly the same batting average as in 2013, he increased his OBP by 33 points to .345. Dozier scored 112 runs (second in the AL), the most by a Twin this century. He drove in 71 runs despite hitting first or second almost exclusively.

Dozier's defense was highly appreciated by TD regulars in 2013 and there was carryover into 2014. He did make more than his share of web gems, but he also committed too many errors (15). Dozier is a better than average defensive second baseman, but he sometimes needs to fight the urge to try to make the spectacular play.

While their personalities are polar opposites, Dozier reminds me of another Twins second sacker, Chuck Knoblauch. Each year Knoblauch added another facet to his game. Dozier added selectivity this year and I expect next year he'll be a better situational hitter or better bunter or perhaps win a Gold Glove. I think he has the desire to win and excel and the Twins need more of that.

Dozier has solidified his position with the Twins. If he doesn't improve at all, he still is a better than average player who can win a game with his bat, his glove and his legs. His durability, power, defense and the fact that he'll be under team control for four more years make him desirable to other teams, but I believe he has great value for a Twins team that may be on it's way up. Expect Dozier to have another solid year in 2015 and be a major contributor when the Twins are again contenders.

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#2 GoGonzoJournal

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:09 PM

I think Terry Ryan holds onto Dozier until the second or third year of arbitration and deals him around the All-Star break, regardless of where the Twins are in the standings. He'll be an OLD free agent – 30 – and in his declining years during his first big contract.

 

Polanco will be pushing for playing time by the end of next season, according to Mike Berardino, and there's plenty of middle infield depth in the organization...finally. Eddie Rosario could recover and Nick Gordon won't be a long study.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Santana continues to play CF next year to give Escobar some trade value at short until Buxton is up. If he can be what he was this year and just be an above average defender at SS (he was slightly below average this year), Esco is going to earn the Twins a mint.

 

Plouffe should be pretty good trade bait around the All-Star break next year, too, but I think he'll stick around and play LF when Sano is up, unless the Twins feel Esco can hit enough to hold down LF at lower arbitration dollars. I'd prefer to keep Esco given his proven ability to play up to six positions, albeit slightly below average, and the fact he's under team control until 2019.

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#3 SwainZag

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:19 PM

I think Terry Ryan holds onto Dozier until the second or third year of arbitration and deals him around the All-Star break, regardless of where the Twins are in the standings. He'll be an OLD free agent – 30 – and in his declining years during his first big contract.

 

Polanco will be pushing for playing time by the end of next season, according to Mike Berardino, and there's plenty of middle infield depth in the organization...finally. Eddie Rosario could recover and Nick Gordon won't be a long study.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Santana continues to play CF next year to give Escobar some trade value at short until Buxton is up. If he can be what he was this year and just be an above average defender at SS (he was slightly below average this year), Esco is going to earn the Twins a mint.

 

Plouffe should be pretty good trade bait around the All-Star break next year, too, but I think he'll stick around and play LF when Sano is up, unless the Twins feel Esco can hit enough to hold down LF at lower arbitration dollars. I'd prefer to keep Esco given his proven ability to play up to six positions, albeit slightly below average, and the fact he's under team control until 2019.

 

I'm hoping he gets a 4 year deal and they buy out his arbitration to be honest with ya.  It would sign him through his 31 year old year, wouldn't have to deal with arbitration and would probably make for just as good trade chip down the road.

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#4 Halsey Hall

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:36 PM

Knoblauch and Dozier polar opposites?That thought I don't understand.But Dozier does bring back memories of Knobby. 

 

It wassurprising the number of runs he scored this season, his OBP had a lot to do with that.But I'd really like him to hit for a higher average, and it should be easy for him to do.I just couldn't understand him trying to pull the ball on all those outer half pitches.If he'd just take those pitches to the right of center anywhere, he'd raise his average while most likely getting to see more meat pitches to drive.He could become an elite hitter using the whole field.Lots of room for improvement there. 

 

 

I enjoy his defense.He's got his own style, but seems to lose concentration for time to time.Still, fun to watch. 

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#5 SwainZag

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:39 PM

Knoblauch and Dozier polar opposites?That thought I don't understand.But Dozier does bring back memories of Knobby. 

 

It wassurprising the number of runs he scored this season, his OBP had a lot to do with that.But I'd really like him to hit for a higher average, and it should be easy for him to do.I just couldn't understand him trying to pull the ball on all those outer half pitches.If he'd just take those pitches to the right of center anywhere, he'd raise his average while most likely getting to see more meat pitches to drive.He could become an elite hitter using the whole field.Lots of room for improvement there. 

 

 

I enjoy his defense.He's got his own style, but seems to lose concentration for time to time.Still, fun to watch. 

 

This was written pretty early last season but I a really good read on Dozier's elite base running skills:

 

http://www.fangraphs...o-brian-dozier/

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#6 stringer bell

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 03:49 PM

Halsey, I said that Dozier's personality is the polar opposite of Knoblauch.Away from the field, Dozier reminds me of Cuddy, while Knoblauch was driven and intense all the time.On the field, Dozier is pretty intense and seems determined to get better and make the most of his abilities, which summarizes Knoblauch's time with the Twins. 


#7 D. Hocking

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:12 PM

Halsey, I said that Dozier's personality is the polar opposite of Knoblauch.Away from the field, Dozier reminds me of Cuddy, while Knoblauch was driven and intense all the time.On the field, Dozier is pretty intense and seems determined to get better and make the most of his abilities, which summarizes Knoblauch's time with the Twins. 

There have been a couple of interviews where if I did not hear who they were interviewing I would have thought it was an old clip of Cuddy. I am not sure where I stand on the importance of a club house leader, but I have heard Gardy say Dozier will get on people in the locker room.  If a club house voice is important, in addition to his solid defense, his personality and growing experience could be an asset in the club house.  Plus, there is the hair. 


#8 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:57 PM

I think he gets a long term deal this offseason.He's got 4 more years of team control, so I'd expect a 5 or 6 year deal.I think he's traded if Polanco or Rosario force the issue.


#9 h2oface

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 07:39 PM

OBP is always good. But......... the only time a walk drives is a run is if the bases are loaded.  I too hope Dozier figures out how to hit for at least a .260-.270 average.  I would take that and the same OBP and less walks any day of the the week.  That would give Dozier more RBI and less personal LOBs and the Twins sure could use a higher average as a team with RISP.  I like teams that we know and love and not a lot of strangers.  That is what the trends have been - to have a team of strangers.  I hope Dozier sticks and keeps improving.




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