It’s no secret that 2018 was a miserable season for Brian Dozier. Splitting time between the Twins and Dodgers he put up the following uninspiring marks:
553 At Bats
.215 Batting Average (119 Hits)
21 Home Runs
12 Stolen Bases
.305 On Base Percentage
.391 Slugging Percentage
.240 Batting Average on Balls in Play
Now Dozier gets a new opportunity, signing a one-year deal to fill the hole in Washington and acting as a bridge until Carter Kieboom is ready to arrive. The question is if the 31-year old (he’ll turn 32 in May) can rediscover his production.
Dozier has long been viewed as a slow starter, with a .463 SLG over the course of his career after the All-Star Break (.429 in the first half, but .377 in April and .417 in May). He never truly turned it on in ’18, and maybe part of that was due to the new locale, as he slashed .182/.300/.350 in his first taste of the National League.
He was seeing more breaking balls, at 30.99% in August and September, though it’s not like he was swinging and missing (8.97% Whiff% on breaking balls over that time). He also was hitting the ball harder (42.9% Hard% while with Los Angeles, 37.3% overall), which would indicate improvement in his .240 BABIP should come. That increase could be marginal, however:
- Popup Rate – 17.1% (15.4% for his career)
- Oppo% – 16.35 (18.2% for his career)
So he’s always struggled with popups and is going to be prone to the shift, so he likely is going to be a .250ish hitter at best. That limits his value, and he also simply may not be a 30+ HR hitter considering his HR/FB splits over the past two seasons:
- First Half ’17 – 12.6%
- Second Half ’17 – 21.2%
- First Half ’18 – 12.1%
- Second Half ’18 – 9.1%
Maybe there’s a little bit of an improvement, but which number stands out? Again, even with that limitation, would a 25/15 second baseman with the potential for RBI really be a disappointment? Just know that the runs likely won’t be there as they have been in the past, as he’s not likely going to be hitting towards the top of the lineup, but there’s still enough here. While we’d prefer him as a middle infielder, as opposed to a starting 2B given the limitations in two categories, he is a borderline option depending on your league depth.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball
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