Don't Forget about Brian Dozier

Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier went undrafted. Not just in some leagues, but in most of them. I can't blame anyone. If you drafted him in 2013, chances are the person after you breathed a sigh of relief that they were one pick closer to the guy they wanted, and that you used a draft pick on, well, Brian Dozier. Today, that draft pick might not look so bad.

So far in 2013, Dozier has played 136 games and amassed the following slash line:

.244/.312/.419 with 17 home runs, 12 stolen bases, 68 runs scored, 62 RBI, 20.6 K%, and 9 BB%

That line is useful regardless of where it plays. Fifth outfielder? Okay, fine. Bench player? Gladly. Middle Infielder? Sign me up. The numbers aren't spectacular, but at second base it’s a rare contribution across the board. The strikeout rate isn’t atrocious, and his mediocre walk rate doesn’t seem to be a major road block. He shouldn’t - and won’t - go undrafted in 2014, and in all of my drafts I’ll have him penciled in as a late round target.

In the minors, Dozier was never a big HR/SB guy (with only 16 home runs and 46 steals across 1400 AB), but he clearly possesses the pop to hit between 10 and 20 home runs, and the speed to steal 10+ bases. That being said, he's showed consistency since being drafted in 2008, and even if his K% decreases and his home run total declines, he’ll look like a player who hits .275 and steals 10+ bases with 10+ home runs.

I just don’t see any regression coming. Even with an adjustment towards a higher batting average and a lower home run output, his value as a late round middle infielder stays the same. He won't kill your average and you can count on contributions everywhere else. He’s not playing way over his head in 2013, and at 26 years old I’m betting on an even better 2014 season for the Twins' second baseman.

Look, if a player falls to you somewhere they shouldn’t have, or if you have your heart set on Chase Utley, or if a great opportunity presents itself then you take it. Still, you shouldn't be afraid to pass on someone like Aaron Hill or Brandon Phillips (where in 2013 you could have drafted Hunter Pence, Chris Davis, or Carlos Gomez instead), with an eye on Brian Dozier in the later rounds.

He's a top 200 player on the ESPN player rater, and considering the possibility that he'll improve, I'll take that in the later rounds any day.

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