Monday, January 27, 2014

25-Man Roster Dissection: Brian Dozier

Creating a 25-man roster for a big league organization is no easy task. Some teams rely heavily on the minor league system while others spend lots of money on the free agent market. There needs to be the right combination of youth and veteran savvy.

In the "25-Man Roster Dissection" series, each player projected to make the Twins roster will be examined. There will be some tough choices at the end of spring training but these posts are an attempt to select the 25-men who will spend the most time playing in Minnesota next year.

Last week, I discussed some of the possible breakout candidates for the 2014 Minnesota Twins. One of the biggest breakout stars from 2013 was second baseman Brian Dozier. He proved himself to be a valuable asset for a team that has been craving some talent in the middle infield.

2013 Recap: .244/.312/.414, 18 HR, 33 2B, 66 RBI (147 Games)
Dozier smashed his way into the team's all-time record book with 18 home runs at second base. This was more home runs in a season than Rod Carew, Chuck Knoblach, or any other second baseman in the history of the club. According to FanGraphs version of WAR, Dozier was the fifth most valuable second baseman in the entire American League. His defense was also outstanding as he had the highest range factor per game for any AL second baseman and he led the league in assists. Plus, who didn't love seeing Dozier flip his curly locks before he chopped off his long flowing hair?

Forecasting 2014: .245/.307/.400, 15 HR, 26 2B, 62 RBI (138 games)
After up-and-coming second base prospect Eddie Rosario was suspended for 50-games, the push from behind Dozier got a little easier. Minnesota will take most of 2014 to decide if Dozier is the permanent solution at second base. Offensively, there were ups and downs during Dozier's 2013 campaign so the club will be looking for more consistency at the plate. If Dozier falters, there are other players in the organization more than willing to take over his role. This could leave Dozier on thin ice but his confidence from 2013 has to be riding high and the Twins hope this confidence carries him to even better numbers in 2014.

25-Man Roster Safety: Loosely Locked

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