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Article: More Dingers for Dozier?

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:15 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...gers-for-Dozier

#2 JP3700

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:35 PM

Great stuff Parker, as always.

As the league adjusts to him, Dozier is going to have to show that he can adjust as well.

If he can continue being near league average at the plate, his defense makes him a 3-4 win player. I'm a big Dozier fan.

#3 Thrylos

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 03:58 PM

If you compare Dozier 2012 with Dozier 2013, you will find in the 2013 version:

Same BABIP
close BA
higher OBP (because of double the BB%)
higher SLG (because of almost double the HR/FB rate and little higher FB%)
same LD%
little higher K%

I think that both of those drivers (the higher selectivity and the pull swing that likely resulted in the higher HR/FB rate) might be sustainable, and I want that to happen, because he is an easy guy to root for.

About how well he did with individual pitches (and PitchF/X @ FG is my source here) Looks like he did make a huge turnaround on how he hits the FB, but he also had positive results against cutters, two-seamers and curves. Changeups, sliders and knuckleballs were his week points.

#4 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:39 PM

If Dozier continues to produce offensively in 2014 I'll be okay with his shorter hair. If he struggles he should grow back his beautiful mane.

#5 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:40 PM

If you compare Dozier 2012 with Dozier 2013, you will find in the 2013 version:

Same BABIP
close BA
higher OBP (because of double the BB%)
higher SLG (because of almost double the HR/FB rate and little higher FB%)
same LD%
little higher K%


I really enjoy that Thrylos almost always seems to post the stats I am most curious about after reading an article. Great work.
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#6 zchrz

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 05:52 PM

He should continue to get a decent amount of fast balls with Mauer hitting behind him, teams don't want to put him on base or waste too many pitches nibbling at him. Despite the home runs he didn't hit for that high an average so challenging him early in the count is still an attractive option. At least to my eye test it wasn't all meat balls he did his damage on, whereas Plouffe's power outburst from 2 years ago was really just 2 months where he didn't miss a fat pitch. I think Dozier will continue to be a 15-20 home run threat.

#7 Parker Hageman

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 08:46 PM

Plouffe and Dozier are very different types of hitters. Consider this, when being pitched down-and-in, Plouffe thrived, batting .333 on those pitches (13th best in MLB). Meanwhile, Dozier was the absolute worst at .045 on pitches down-and-in.

#8 DocBauer

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:21 PM

Dozier is a good all around athlete. And he wouldn't be the first player to develop more power as he matures physically in to his prime, and with good instruction and adjustments develops said power.

Now, that being said, a dip in power, but a return to a higher Avg. and OB%, more in keeping with what he showed in the minors, wouldn't be a bad thing. Now, if he can do both, wow.

#9 Dman

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:39 AM

Like most on this site I go back and forth on Dozier. I want to believe that he will be better than last year as he had a really nice second half. Since most of his success came largely from one area of the plate it seems likely that there will be some regression as he adjusts to the new approaches likely thrown his way this coming season. As much as I believe in Dozier I think he will likely have a tough year next year and IMO he will regress. I hope I can eat some crow for this comment.

#10 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:03 AM

This seems like a pretty textbook way for a young player to find success. I worry the league's adjustment to him is going to force some really significant struggles on Dozier.

Hopefully he adjusts enough himself that we can count on him long-term.

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:50 AM

This seems like a pretty textbook way for a young player to find success. I worry the league's adjustment to him is going to force some really significant struggles on Dozier.

Hopefully he adjusts enough himself that we can count on him long-term.


His power is almost certain to regress but I look at a decrease in overall swings, a decrease in swings outside the zone, and a guy who is laying off breaking balls and see a player who has a floor of an acceptable stop-gap solution at second with an upside of 2-3 wins on a yearly basis.

The key to Brian Dozier is not getting lucky with homers, it's not swinging at bad pitches. Players who don't swing at bad pitches rarely play their way out of a lineup.

#12 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:14 AM

My only fear with Dozier isn't his physical ability at all or even his ability to adjust. I worry more about he and Gardy putting more offensive responsibility on him than he deserves. He is a solid offensive 2B, but no one should confuse him with Ryne Sandberg. Dozier could bat in the 2-hole in a traditional lineup, or he should be hitting at best 6th or more likely 7th in a "real" MLB lineup. If he is expected shoulder more of the offensive load, I think he will fail. Getting offense out of Brian Dozier is great for this team, but not something Gardy should be building around.

#13 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:19 AM

The key to Brian Dozier is not getting lucky with homers, it's not swinging at bad pitches. Players who don't swing at bad pitches rarely play their way out of a lineup.


He also got a disproportionate number of good pitches to hit. Yes, he won't get himself out as easily....but will he have as much success when his strengths are no longer being pitched to? Especially when he has clear weaknesses. (As in, anything not a fastball)

#14 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:34 AM

He also got a disproportionate number of good pitches to hit. Yes, he won't get himself out as easily....but will he have as much success when his strengths are no longer being pitched to? Especially when he has clear weaknesses. (As in, anything not a fastball)


Well, I think there's more to it than that. Here are Dozier's 2012/2013 swings/pitches broken down:

Overall Swing %: 48.0%/40.0%

Strikezone Swing %: 61.8%/54.0%

Outside Strikezone Swing %: 34.7%/28.9%

Balls thrown in Strikezone %: 48.9%/44.1%

Contact %: 84.5%/84.6%

Pitches per Plate Appearance: 3.69/4.17

In 2013, Brian Dozier was thrown less strikes but swung at a fewer percentage of pitches. He swung at fewer pitches outside the zone. His contact rate remained steady.

Basically, he made huge gains in pitch recognition and swung at hitter's pitches while learning to lay off junk pitches. That kind of transformation leads to sustained success, whether pitchers are throwing him fastballs or not. If they're not throwing him hittable pitches, he has shown the discipline to not swing and take the walk instead or wait out the pitcher until he's forced to throw a fastball.

#15 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:40 AM

Basically, he made huge gains in pitch recognition and swung at hitter's pitches while learning to lay off junk pitches. That kind of transformation leads to sustained success, whether pitchers are throwing him fastballs or not. If they're not throwing him hittable pitches, he has shown the discipline to not swing and take the walk instead.


The problem is he made most of his hay off those fastballs. He had a great rebound year, but a significant dip in his power production would greatly impact his overall numbers. And that's exactly what might happen if people are no longer feeding him fastballs at a higher rate.

The key is that if he's not getting pitches to belt out of the park, that he's turning that into a better OBP. With the league adjusting to him that going to be difficult. We're all rooting for him to make that adjustment, but I feel like people are banking on it more than they ought to. Many talented players have failed at it.

#16 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:45 AM

The problem is he made most of his hay off those fastballs. He had a great rebound year, but a significant dip in his power production would greatly impact his overall numbers. And that's exactly what might happen if people are no longer feeding him fastballs at a higher rate.

The key is that if he's not getting pitches to belt out of the park, that he's turning that into a better OBP. With the league adjusting to him that going to be difficult. We're all rooting for him to make that adjustment, but I feel like people are banking on it more than they ought to. Many talented players have failed at it.


Greatly impact his numbers, yes. Make him a bad MLB starter, no, I don't think so.

Which is why I think Dozier's floor is somewhere just north of a .700 OPS. If he's laying off bad pitches, his OBP should maintain a respectable floor making him a solid, if unspectacular, player.

After all, that's how mediocre players make their hay. Fight off good pitches and lace the occasional bad pitch. As long as Dozier continues to fight off good pitches and lay off pitches outside the zone, he should be fine.

#17 Willihammer

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 11:49 AM

Nice writeup. I think anytime a hitter establishes a wheelhouse it is a positive; it should lead to more balls as pitchers avoid it. If Dozier's minor league stats are any indication, he has the eye to lay off the junk and take his walks.

#18 jay

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:01 PM

When you look at Dozier's splits between being ahead and behind in the count last year, you walk away feeling like he'd be just fine with seeing more offspeed pitches early in the count (and thus ahead more often). That assumes he can continue to lay off those as he showed great improvement in 2013 more similar to his MiLB numbers. I think he's in a good position to adjust well.

Ahead: .312/.460/.618 (1.078)
Behind: .183/.197/.254 (.451)

His approach seems pretty simple:
A - Fastball early, hit it
B - Offspeed early, get ahead and wait for fastball, then hit it
C - Missed early, oh sh!t

Edited by jay, 09 January 2014 - 01:04 PM.


#19 jay

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:12 PM

One more thing to add, FG has the MLB FB% at 58% for last year with Dozier seeing 60%. Not a big difference depending on your source.

#20 Parker Hageman

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:21 PM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E]One more thing to add, FG has the MLB FB% at 58% for last year with Dozier seeing 60%. Not a big difference depending on your source.[/COLOR]


Subtle difference but Fangraphs uses BIS video scouts for their data source while ESPN tru media, I believe, uses a combination of Inside Edge and Pitch F/X.

#21 Parker Hageman

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 01:24 PM

Oh, and the 53% for the ESPN trumedia does not include cutters/sinkers whereas the BIS/Fangraphs fastball count does.

#22 jay

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:03 PM

Subtle difference but Fangraphs uses BIS video scouts for their data source while ESPN tru media, I believe, uses a combination of Inside Edge and Pitch F/X.


Interesting -- thanks, Parker.

At the end of the day, FB% only correlates at something like 75% from year-to-year for hitters around the league. We can guess that he'll see fewer next year, in which case Mr. Dozier will need to be patient and allow that BB% to tick up. I think the one thing we can be certain of is that the league will definitely adjust in one way or another and it is up to Brian to respond to that.

#23 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:01 PM

Make him a bad MLB starter, no, I don't think so.

Which is why I think Dozier's floor is somewhere just north of a .700 .


That floor is too high IMO, not until we see him adjust. But I agree that even with a dip he's a part of this teams future. I worry people, and the team, may give up on him for a very understandable and natural hiccup next year.

#24 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:11 PM

That floor is too high IMO, not until we see him adjust. But I agree that even with a dip he's a part of this teams future. I worry people, and the team, may give up on him for a very understandable and natural hiccup next year.


If he continues to walk (which I think he will), it would take a Jamey Carroll-esque SLG to not reach a .700 OPS. No matter how you view Brian Dozier, I think he can be counted on for a SLG of .375, which is hardly earth-shattering. That puts him somewhere around .700 overall.

It's really hard for a guy to post a respectable walk rate and not approach a .700 OPS unless he's a singles machine. Even if Dozier stops hitting dingers, the doubles should still come steadily.

#25 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:54 PM

If he continues to walk (which I think he will), it would take a Jamey Carroll-esque SLG to not reach a .700 OPS. No matter how you view Brian Dozier, I think he can be counted on for a SLG of .375, which is hardly earth-shattering. That puts him somewhere around .700 overall.

It's really hard for a guy to post a respectable walk rate and not approach a .700 OPS unless he's a singles machine. Even if Dozier stops hitting dingers, the doubles should still come steadily.


OBP also factors more than just walks. With his batting average a dip to a 375 SLG would make him a 685 OPS player. WHich is a better floor IMO.

#26 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:21 PM

OBP also factors more than just walks. With his batting average a dip to a 375 SLG would make him a 685 OPS player. WHich is a better floor IMO.


Only if you use his entire 2013 stat line and ignore that he had a ~.260 OBP in April-May and a ~.340 OBP from June-September.

Again, using Dozier's 2013 stat line is pretty misleading. He was a different player in those first two months.

#27 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:43 PM

Only if you use his entire 2013 stat line and ignore that he had a ~.260 OBP in April-May and a ~.340 OBP from June-September.

Again, using Dozier's 2013 stat line is pretty misleading. He was a different player in those first two months.


June and August are every bit the outlier April or May are, it's just more beneficial to your argument. Hence why I take the whole season, it's a more fair argument then the one you are making.

I see a hitter with a lot of ups and downs. He's just as capable of being down as up in a season with a lot of adjustments. Hopefully we all brace for that and ride it through to him being a big part of the team's future.

#28 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 05:57 PM

June and August are every bit the outlier April or May are, it's just more beneficial to your argument. Hence why I take the whole season, it's a more fair argument then the one you are making.


Except that you can draw a line in the sand the day Dozier changed his approach. He stopped swinging and started walking that day. I'm not talking about fluctuations in BABIP or homers. He drastically altered his approach and yes, he started also hitting for more power but he started taking more BB and hitting for a higher average, as well.

The power and, to an extent, the BA might fluctuate... But not the underlying discipline, which is what we're talking about here.

Either you believe Brian Dozier has permanently changed his approach and is going to continue walking more or you believe he's going to revert to being a very bad baseball player. I don't see a lot of room in between those arguments when it comes to plate approach. The power, yeah, that's very debatable... But not the discipline. If he goes back to swinging at bad pitches, he will not be the starting second basemen in July.

Hence, an OPS floor somewhere around .700. If he's going to keep walking, he's going to post an OBP north of .320. Add in a SLG of .375 and there's your .700.

If he doesn't keep walking, he's out of the league by season's end because he's almost certainly posting an OPS under .600 again.

This isn't about using stats beneficial to my argument, it's about acknowledging that he made significant changes in approach some time in early June and ignoring some of stats previous to that point because they are no longer relevant to him as a player.

#29 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 06:26 PM

Except that you can draw a line in the sand the day Dozier changed his approach.


Then why isn't September what we're expecting? All of the things you can cite about his approach were there and nothing was outlying.

That's a .680 OPS player, probably more likely what to expect. Like it or not, you're looking at a rosy picture, not a realistic one.

#30 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:14 PM

Over/under on Dozier's OPS for 2014 is .680?

Millions would take that bet.
And almost all of them would say, "Over".

I'm on a whiskey diet. I've lost 3 days already.