Make the Case: Brain Dozier or Jonathan Schoop?

Twins Brian Dozier

Ben Rolfe and I are back to Make the Case! This time we are debating power hitting second baseman Brain Dozier and Jonathan Schoop. Who should fantasy baseball owners be targeting heading into 2018 drafts?

BR: Picking between Brian Dozier and Jonathan Schoop is not an easy decision. In the interest of full disclosure I ranked Schoop over Dozier in my early season rankings but looking into the numbers more I think I am going to switch them. However, I could easily make the case for either of them among the group of six second baseman who make up the second tier.

The case for Dozier centers on his five seasons of growing as a hitter. In his first year in the majors Dozier hit six home runs and stole 9 bases in 340 plate appearances. Since then he has gone 18, 23, 28, 42 and 34 home runs and 14, 21, 12, 18 and 16 steals in the five years since. Each of the last four years he has had over 100 runs and over 90 RBIs the last two seasons. This year I feel comfortable penciling in 180+ combined runs and RBI with around 30 HRs and 15ish steals.

The promising thing for Dozier has been the increase in his average the last two years. In those first three years of his power developing his average fell year to year. In 2016 it jumped over 0.030 points from 0.236 to 0.268 and then he backed that up by increasing it even further last year by hitting 0.271. Looking at the numbers his strikeout rate hasn’t improved massively but his BABIP has gone from 0.260-0.270 to 0.280 in 2016 and 0.300 in 2017. I would expect that to regress a little this year back towards 0.280 but even so I still think he can hit around or above 0.260 this year which when paired with the runs, RBI, HRs and steals I laid out above make for a great package as a hitter.

The reason for picking Schoop is that he can hopefully continue to grow on what he did last year but given his young age there is also a good chance we see a regression from him. With Dozier I feel like we know roughly what he is now and at the price you are going to have to pay for these second basemen I would rather take a known commodity than an unknown.

Orioles Schoop

Kenneth K. Lam – Baltimore Sun

KR: While Ben made a great case for Dozier in this debate, the obvious choice for me is Jonathan Schoop. This is a player that has made tremendous progress especially over the past 2.5 seasons when he became a full time guy. The K% has ticked down while the walk rate has gone up. This has helped Schoop made better contract at the plate, improve his batting average and vaulting him into the upper echelon at second base.

Schoop is a guy who can hit 30 plus homers and approach 100 RBI much like Dozier. Both guys are the big power sources that are hard to find in the middle infield. The swing to the Schoop side comes for in the form of batting average. Schoop not only hit 22 points higher than Dozier a season ago, but he hit 21 points higher on average over the past three seasons. I like locking in a hitter who should have at least 20 points of batting average over Dozier and has the ability to hit close to .300.

I trust Schoop to hit in a more consistent lineup in 2018, helping to elevate the RBI and Run potential production. The Orioles have a better team batting average over the past three seasons and a better OPS in two of the last three seasons.

The draw back in this debate is the lack of stolen bases for Schoop. Dozier is a guy who should be in the 15-20 steals range again in 2018. For me i’d rather lock in the average with the power and figure out steals than take the steals and scramble to get the average later.

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