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Minnesota Twins: Will Shortstop Brian Dozier Make an Impact Next Season?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 10: Sean Rodriguez #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays is out as Brian Dozier #20 of the Minnesota Twins turns a double play and Alexi Casilla #12 looks on during the ninth inning on August 10, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rays defeated the Twins 12-6. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Tom SchreierCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2012

The Skinny

An eighth-round pick out of the University of Southern Mississippi, Brian Dozier was never considered a big-time prospect in the Twins organization; but the Fulton, Miss. native has shown promise in his first stint with the Minnesota Twins.

 

In-Depth

The Twins would not have had Dozier play 84 games this season if they didn’t see some promise in him.

Having said that, there are many pundits like Twins Daily’s Nick Nelson that have called his debut a disaster and provided the numbers to back up his claim. Nelson’s breakdown is definitely worth a read.

If you want the short version, this is what you need to know:

Dozier’s major league batting line is.234/.271/.332, his home run total is six and his error total is 15.

You should also know that he batted above .300 in two of the past three seasons while in the minors and that his home run total was 15 while rising through the system. He also only made 47 errors in the 281 minor league games he played at shortstop.

In short, he needs to hit for a better average and get on base more, and he needs to make less errors in the field. However, he has shown that he can hit for power in the majors and that he’s got range (which is hard to quantify statistically, but just watch highlights and you’ll know what I’m talking about).

“He’s got to work on his defense,” acknowledged assistant GM Rob Antony. “There have been certain things that he needs to work on—cutoffs positioning, that sort of thing.”

“Defense has always been a big part of my game,” said Dozier, “and I definitely lost a little confidence, to be honest with you, when I was making an error every inning.”

Antony acknowledged that a big part of the demotion was an attempt to get his shortstop’s confidence back. He also addressed his troubles at the plate.

“He needs to be a little more consistent offensively,” said Antony. “He’ll have some good games, but he gives away too many at-bats.”

“I don’t want to be some .230, .240 hitting shortstop,” said Dozier. “I feel I can be an offensive threat.

“I know I can.”

 

The Verdict

Yes, it was a rough debut for the Mississippi boy.

And yes, he was never considered a big-time prospect.

But no, don’t count him out just yet. He could become a value pick.

Antony said that he thinks Dozier can be an everyday shortstop—if he can learn to hit more consistently and cut down on the errors, then there’s no reason to believe he can’t.

 

All quotes were obtained first-hand.

Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.

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