Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Twins by position: Second base (part two)

Brian Dozier was second among American League
second basemen in double plays turned in 2013, fourth in 2014.
In the first half of 2014, Brian Dozier was, by most advanced metrics, one of the better players in the league, approaching the levels of a MVP candidate. He tailed off a bit in the second half -- his slugging percentage was almost 50 points lower after the All-Star break.

But a big part of why he ranked highly in the first half was defense, and his defensive metrics by season's end were nowhere near where they were in the first half. (Baseball Info Systems's runs saved, for example, has him as a dead average defender last season.)

There are two possible inferences from this:

  • The first half sample size was too small. (Almost certainly true)
  • He was hampered in the second half by minor injury. (Quite possible.)

I know that, just watching games, I perceived plays not being made in August and September that were getting made earlier in the year.

Dozier turns 28 in May. It appears the Twins have turned away from the notion of Eddie Rosario as a second baseman, but Jorge Polanco is charging up the ladder, and he may be miscast as a shortstop. The conventional wisdom has Dozier as one of the foundation pieces for the Twins, but I remain a bit skeptical of that notion.

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