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Article: Twins Daily Awards 2017: Most Valuable Player

brian dozier byron buxton ervin santana joe mauer eddie rosario
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#21 EddieMatthews

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:44 PM

I had Buxton as MVP.  IMHO, he single-handedly stopped at least a dozen pitcher meltdowns with his defense.  Add to that the impact as a hitter and as a base-runner and BB was a game changer.  The Twins record could have been 73-89 and worse than all AL teams except Chi and Det.  

 

My only issue with Dozier is that he is in the 1-hole.  He's not a lead-off guy.  He should be batting with ducks on the pond.  With his HR numbers his RBI totals should be triple digits.  The lead-off spot should be filled by management with someone who excels at getting on base.

 

Having said that, Dozier deserves credit for improved hitting, clutch hitting, leadership, and power.  This may be the last time Dozier leads the Twins in HR.  Sano, Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Escobar all have a shot at most HR.


#22 stringer bell

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:31 PM

Dozier was a pretty good leadoff guy this year. Yes, he hit 34 homers, many of them solos, but he had his top OBP and he worked the count quite well.

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#23 Parker Hageman

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:48 AM

I feel like if I would have replaced "aren't at the top of any lists" with "are average to a little bit below average," I would have saved you a lot of words.

 

 

There is a significant difference between "not at the top of any lists" and "below average" by those lists at the position, IMO.

 

I was happy to add some words. It felt like a glossed over section, not just here but in the conversations about Dozier in general. There are four advanced defensive stats that suggest he is below average and I believe that should be a part of the discussion when contemplating his defensive capabilities. I know a lot of people want to go by the eye test on defense -- and Dozier seems to do well there -- this is that additional layer to consider. 

 

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"


#24 twinfan

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 10:37 AM

Had Sano been healthy all season, he would have been the MVP. I would lean toward Santana slightly over Mauer this year with Dozier third over Buxton and Rosario or Kinzler fifth. Buxton is most improved and gets the defensive nod as well. Just my opinion.

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#25 yarnivek1972

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 04:10 PM

I had Buxton as MVP. IMHO, he single-handedly stopped at least a dozen pitcher meltdowns with his defense. Add to that the impact as a hitter and as a base-runner and BB was a game changer. The Twins record could have been 73-89 and worse than all AL teams except Chi and Det.

My only issue with Dozier is that he is in the 1-hole. He's not a lead-off guy. He should be batting with ducks on the pond. With his HR numbers his RBI totals should be triple digits. The lead-off spot should be filled by management with someone who excels at getting on base.

Having said that, Dozier deserves credit for improved hitting, clutch hitting, leadership, and power. This may be the last time Dozier leads the Twins in HR. Sano, Rosario, Buxton, Kepler, Escobar all have a shot at most HR.


I suspect that is why, at the end of the season, the Twins had Robbie Grossman and his obp in the 9 hole. So Dozier had a better chance to hit with runners on.

#26 jimbo92107

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 11:17 AM

 

I don't have an exact definition of "Valuable" either, but for me it comes down to a couple of things. Who was most indispensible this year? Who would get the most interest from other GMs if you offered a trade? Either definition of valuable leads me to Buxton, with Santana a respectable second.

There is a third definition of "valuable" that does not require a rigid definition, yet is still quite significant. I would call it something like "subtractive value." If the Twins had traded Dozier in the off-season last year, how would the team this season have fared without him? It's a speculative point because literally you can't say for sure. You could say they would have several fewer home runs, several fewer hits, several fewer stolen bases. Assuming Polanco moved to 2B and somebody like Adrianza played SS, the defense might be roughly equivalent.

 

On the other hand, who would have spoken up when the front office traded Jaime Garcia? Would the Twins even have contended for the last Wild Card spot? Who would have stepped up as the team leader, Sano? Santana? It has to be somebody that can express himself, in English. Mauer would be nice, but he has never been an outspoken player. If the whole team spoke Spanish, I would guess that Eddie Rosario would be the team leader. But right now, the team leader is Brian Dozier.

Baseball is easy. Just watch!


#27 Dantes929

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 03:02 PM

 

There is a third definition of "valuable" that does not require a rigid definition, yet is still quite significant. I would call it something like "subtractive value." If the Twins had traded Dozier in the off-season last year, how would the team this season have fared without him? It's a speculative point because literally you can't say for sure. You could say they would have several fewer home runs, several fewer hits, several fewer stolen bases. Assuming Polanco moved to 2B and somebody like Adrianza played SS, the defense might be roughly equivalent.

 

On the other hand, who would have spoken up when the front office traded Jaime Garcia? Would the Twins even have contended for the last Wild Card spot? Who would have stepped up as the team leader, Sano? Santana? It has to be somebody that can express himself, in English. Mauer would be nice, but he has never been an outspoken player. If the whole team spoke Spanish, I would guess that Eddie Rosario would be the team leader. But right now, the team leader is Brian Dozier.

Subtractive value....I get it but boy that's a tough one.If Sano had not gotten hurt he probably gets MVP and you would be talking about subtractive value. If fact Sano did get hurt and Escobar from that point hit nearly as well as he did and if Sano doesn't get hurt maybe Polanco and Escobar don't get on a roll and maybe Sano slumps and the whole thing ends up that Sano getting hurt had large additive value. 

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.

#28 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 04:29 PM

Penalizing Dozier's value because there were possible replacements on the roster, imo, makes zero sense.

 

to me "how much did he contribute to winning" is the question. 

 

Dozier

Buxton

.....

.....

.....

Rosario and ESan

Mauer

No one else is close, though Sano would be 1, 2, or 3 had he been healthy.

 

 

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#29 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 08:36 PM

The vote tally looks like a lot like the who is the MVP thread from last month. It is truly remarkable that so many guys were worthy. Ultimately, I'd have given it to BD, Mauer, or ESAN and not Buxton. If second half Buxton had been there in the first half, this would have been a no brainer. He wasn't. Dozier and Santana were far more consistent and far less replaceable.

 

That said, I have a sneaking suspicion that Buxton will win has fair share of these over (hopefully) the next decade or so...


#30 stringer bell

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 04:56 PM

It looks like the Twins MVP was awarded an additional hit after the season. I was checking BB Ref for Dozier's career bWAR and noticed they had him at .271 to finish the season. I was pretty sure he had exceeded his career high number by one point so I checked a couple other sites. Three of the five have him at .271 (.856 OPS) while two have him at .269 (.853). Somewhere someone must have changed an error to a hit.


#31 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 05:24 PM

 

I don't think this is quite the right assessment of Dozier's defensive contributions when it comes to the statistic side of it. The part about him converting plays on the ones he gets to is accurate but I think the defensive metrics paint him in a different light.

 

I'll start by saying I do not have a complete trust in the advanced defensive metrics. Each of them have a different flaw while all of them have the flaw of sample size. That being said, when you look at them in aggregate, the picture painted is not one of a league average defender but rather a below-to-slightly below average one.

 

1. Dozier had -4 Defensive Runs Saved (one of the lowest among starting second basemen) with only Brad Miller, Neil Walker, Starlin Castro, Brandon Phillips, Scooter Gennett, Joe Panik and Daniel Murphy as starters with lower DRS.

 

2. Ultimate Zone Rating has him at -1.3 runs, or 13th among all second basemen with a minimum of 700 innings. 

 

3. His Revised Zone Rating (how many balls in the second base zone he converts into outs) was .774, 8th. 

 

4. Inside Edge metrics say he's great at the 100%-ers but OK at both the 50-90%-ers (79.3% conversion rate) and the 40-60%-ers (52.4% conversion rate). 

 

In terms of #2-#3 the amount of times Dozier shifts has an influence on where those numbers go. For instance, for RZR out-of-zone plays Dozier leads the league with 99 plays made but that doesn't take into account a defensive shift. Inside Edge's stats do which shows that he's not making those plays with his feet. 

 

I think Dozier does a lot of things right that don't get measured by these stats (makes some of the best forehand/backhand plays in the game) but, in sum, we need to accept that he's not great at getting to plays. 

I think this is kind of picking nits, Parker. While some overrate Dozier's defensive value, it should also be noted that he played more innings than a couple of the guys who were in the negative but "above" Brian in those listings.

 

When we're talking the difference of 1-2 runs over the course of 1300 innings, whether a guy finishes with -1.3 or -0.6 doesn't really matter (even more so when the lower player put in more innings at the position).

 

Overall, I think Dozier falls into the nebulous area of "average". Sure, he was slightly lower than Joe Panik in UZR but also played 120 more innings. He was slightly below Hernandez and Lowrie in DRS but played up to 220 more innings of defense to get that lower rating.

 

I think too much attention is given to the exact placement of a player and whether the number is negative or positive. A 3 run swing in DRS or a 2 run swing in UZR doesn't really amount to much in a full season.

 

It should also be noted that Dozier's overall Fangraphs' Def rating was slightly in the positive (0.9).

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