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Sunday, May 22, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: BRIAN DOZIER 2B MINNESOTA TWINS

It was another fruitless night at the plate for Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier on Saturday, as his latest 0-for brought his season average to a very ugly .204 mark going into Sunday's games.  Flat out, nothing has gone right for Dozier this season after being a top five fantasy baseball second baseman from almost all publications heading into 2015.  While we had Dozier in such a standing, yours truly has gone on record too many times to count in suggesting you avoid the guy in yearly drafts due to some big struggles with his K rate and perennially poor batting averages taking shine off the impressive power/speed haul.  It was the home run/stolen base numbers though that made Dozier so interesting in the first place and kept many coming back to him this season while ignoring the ugly averages.  Of course the caveat that I talked about all along is that the average can be accepted as long as Dozier continued to threaten the 20/20 mark which is very valuable at the shallow second base spot.  Any slippage in either category and Dozier's value goes into the gutter.  Unfortunately for those owning stock in Dozier, the latter is what has transpired this season as Dozier goes into Sunday's game with just 4 home runs and 2 stolen bases to go with the .204 average.  With Dozier not running or hitting for power, he is looking like nothing but waiver fodder in fantasy baseball terms. 

As I always do in cases like Dozier's, digging into the advanced statistics is where to go in terms of figuring out what has gone wrong.  What stands out quickly though is that Dozier may not be as bad as the average indicates.  Primarily speaking, Dozier's .226 BABIP is incredibly unlucky and is especially stark when you consider that guys with above-average speed like he does can often beat the curve a bit in this advanced statistics category.  Thus the .204 average is misleading since everything Dozier is hitting is making its way into a fielder's glove.  The luck will start turning the other way eventually and that means Dozier should see the average inch up more closer to his standard .240 number there.  Of course .240 is still a nasty average and that brings us to the power/speed numbers which is where things get a bit more murky.  The problem now with Dozier is he is already 29 which means he is moving past his speed prime which for most players is between the ages of 21-28.  Like we have seen from Mike Trout, the steals start to ebb as a player reaches his upper-20's and thus Dozier doesn't seem like a good bet to ever approach his past as a 20-steal guy.  Now 12-15 might be the way to project here and this might even be too high for him to reach.  The bottom line then is that Dozier has to start hitting more home runs and that is not happening.  We could be looking at a situation where opposing pitchers are taking advantage of the inconsistent swing of Dozier and not give him anything to hit.  With fewer pitches being good enough to drive, Dozier is seeing his home run output slip.  It is crucial for Dozier to start swatting home runs as even though his average will likely come back up, the loss of steals won't make him valuable enough to continue his past standing as a top fantasy baseball second baseman. 

The bottom line here is that Brian Dozier is not looking like a good player to be using in your lineup right now and I am not surprised by what I am seeing given all the warnings I posted in the past.  He was never my cup of tea even during his 20/20 days due to the ugly average and with the steals now vanishing, the outlook is as bad as ever.


2 comments:

  1. given that i already have segura, russell, and kang making up my middle infield as well as trea turner in my NA slot, should i just dump dozier? Worth mentioning its a keeper league. There are some solid SP i'd look at adding.

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  2. You to just cut him like that. Try to get a closer or middle tier pitcher first.

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