Brian Dozier

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James Brian Dozier

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Biographical Information[edit]

Brian Dozier made his major league debut in 2012.

Amateur Career[edit]

Dozier was All-State twice in high school, hitting .504 as a junior and .518 as a senior. He also played football, golf and basketball. As a freshman in college, he hit .368/.442/.488, finishing 4th in Conference USA in batting average. As a sophomore in 2007, he was at .339/.402/.456 with 57 runs in 61 games. In '08, he batted .342/.403/.476 with 46 RBI in 64 games. His 92 hits were second in Conference USA behind Ryan Keedy and he made second-team All-Conference. He only struck out 17 times in 269 AB, the best K rate in the conference and 40th in the NCAA. As a senior, he hit .391/.485/.587 with 44 runs and 39 RBI in 37 games, missing time with a broken collarbone. Southern Miss made it to the 2009 College World Series.

Minor Leagues[edit]

The Minnesota Twins took Dozier in the 8th round of the 2009 amateur draft. The scout was Earl Winn. Brian would go on to be the first 2009 Twins draftee to make the majors. He made his pro debut with the GCL Twins but only played 5 games (4 for 14, 2 BB) before a promotion to the Elizabethton Twins. He hit .353/.417/.431 with 38 runs in 53 games for Elizabethton and fielded .946 at short. He was second in the Appalachian League in average (behind Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg), OBP (behind Brady Shoemaker) and hits (77, 7 behind Spanjer-Furstenburg). His 38 double plays led the league's shortstops. He was named the Appy's All-Star shortstop.

In 2010, Dozier played for the Beloit Snappers (.278/.347/.338, 24 R in 39 G) and the Fort Myers Miracle (.274/.352/.354 in 93 G), with 16 steals in 21 tries and 68 runs. The next year, he was with Fort Myers (.322/.423/.473 in 49 G) and the New Britain Rock Cats (.318/.384/.502 in 78 G). He totaled 92 runs, 33 doubles, 12 triples and 24 steals (in 35 tries), while fielding .977 at SS. He led the Twins minor leagues in runs and triples, tied for first in steals and was second to Steve Singleton in hits. He was named the Twins Minor League Player of the Year. He then hit .296 with 22 RBI in 26 games for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League. Baseball America ranked him as the #10 Twins prospect, as having the best strike-zone discipline and as being the best defensive infielder in their farm chain.

Dozier began 2012 with the Rochester Red Wings and was hitting .276/.339/.371 after 28 games. He was called up to the majors when Justin Morneau went on the disabled list.

Majors[edit]

In his big league debut on May 7, 2012, Dozier started at shortstop and hit second against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He flew out against Jered Weaver (fresh from a no-hitter) in his first at-bat. After an 0 for 3 start, he singled off David Carpenter with one out in the 8th and came home on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Doumit. He ended up playing 84 games for the Twins that first season, hitting .234 with 6 homers and 33 RBIs while playing exclusively at shortstop. In 2013, he switched to second base for his first full season in the majors and played 147 games with a .244 average, 33 doubles, 18 homers, 72 runs scored and 66 RBIs. it was one of the better offensive performances on a weak Twins team that finished in 4th place in the AL Central, as he led the team in homers and was second in RBIs behind Morneau.

In 2014, Dozier continued as one of the mainstays of a weak team, with a batting line of .242/.345/.416, with 33 doubles and 23 RBIs. His 89 walks made him an effective lead-off hitter in spite of a relatively low batting average, and his 112 runs scored put him second in the American League behind Mike Trout and were a remarkable total on a team that did not score that many runs. He added 71 RBIs from the lead-off spot, placing second on the team to Trevor Plouffe and once again led the Twins in homers. However, with the team finishing last in the AL Central, with the second worst record in the league (tied with the Houston Astros, with only the Texas Rangers being worse), his solid contribution was not much noticed.

If Dozier had flown under the radar in his first few years, things changed in 2015, as the team found itself in surprising contention in the AL Central in the first half. Dozier was now seen as the unquestioned offensive leader of the team, taking over for Joe Mauer. He hit .256 with a league leading 67 runs scored, 19 homers and 50 RBIs during the first half. He was named one of five candidates for the AL Final Man Vote for the 2015 All-Star Game, and when he lost out on that, he was selected to play in the game as a replacement for the injured Jose Bautista. In the game, he homered off Mark Melancon in his first at-bat in the 8th inning. He ended up playing 157 games for the Twins, hitting .236 with 39 doubles, 28 homers, 101 runs scored and 77 RBIs. In 2016, the Twins had a terrible season, but Dozier was one of the few bright lights. He set a new personal best when he hit his 29th homer of the year on August 23rd. That month, he led all major league players with 13 long balls, 24 extra-base hits and 90 total bases. On September 5th, he had a three-homer game against the Kansas City Royals, but, alas, his contribution came in an 11-5 loss. He hit another homer the following day in yet another loss, tying the team record of five consecutive games with a long ball, and the American League record for homers by a second baseman, set by Alfonso Soriano in 2002, with 39. He hit his 40th on September 12th, giving him sole possession of the record for AL second basemen (although he had hit a couple of long balls as a DH), and making him only the third player in franchise history to reach the figure, after Roy Sievers and Harmon Killebrew. He was not only hitting homers, either: on September 16th, he extended a hitting streak to 20 games, a personal best. On September 21st, his 42nd homer was his 40th hit while playing second base, officially giving him the AL record for the position. He was also closing in on two major league records: 42 homers hit as a second baseman, and 43 for a player whose primary position was second base. The first record was shared by Rogers Hornsby and Davey Johnson, and the second was held by Johnson alone. After the season, Dozier went on a tour to Taiwan as a good-will ambassador for Major League Baseball.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL All-Star (2015)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 3 (2014-2016)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2016)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2016)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 3 (2014-2016)

Sources[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Rhett Bollinger: "Tireless Dozier makes team unity a priority: All-Star second baseman at the center of Twins' chemistry-building efforts", mlb.com, March 16, 2016. [1]
  • Rhett Bollinger: "Dozier a hit representing MLB in Taiwan: Twins second baseman interacts with fans for a week on Ambassador Tour", mlb.com, January 16, 2016. [2]
  • Rhett Bollinger: "Dozier aware of trade talk, wants to stay put: Second baseman visits with Twins execs at Winter Meetings", mlb.com, December 5, 2016. [3]
  • Gabe Lacques: "Twins slugger Brian Dozier on trade rumors: 'It's overwhelming at times'", USA Today Sports, December 5, 2016. [4]
  • Howard Megdal: "Brian Dozier powers up even more, and becomes the Twins' anchor", USA Today Sports, August 21, 2015. [5]

Related Sites[edit]