Brian Dozier, Free Agent
Judging from how MLB teams have changed the way they value players, Brian Dozier was already at a disadvantage heading into free agency. Pairing that with a lackluster 2018 campaign won’t help the soon-to-be 32-year-old — whether it be this winter or next winter when he likely re-enters the open market.
Dozier has been a steady source of power at the keystone for a number of years, but 2017 and 2018 were on another level. He combined for 11.2 fWAR over this span while enjoying consecutive seasons of 30-plus homers, 100-plus runs scored, 90-plus RBI, and 15-plus stolen bases.
This past year, though? He secured his fifth straight year of at least 20 homers, but slashed .215/.305/.391 with a 90 wRC+ and 0.8 fWAR — numbers that haven’t been that bad since struggling through 340 plate appearances as a rookie in 2012.
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired him at the non-waiver trade deadline with hopes of yet another patented Dozier second-half hot streak, but it was just the opposite (99 wRC+ in first half, 72 wRC+ in second half). While his batted-ball and quality-of-contact profiles didn’t look much different than recent years, his performance on fly balls suffered.
After posting a 202 wRC+ and 195 wRC+ for that batted-ball event in 2016 and 2017, respectively, it settled in at 89 in 2018. We can see where the changes happened when diving in a little deeper, too — his hard-hit rate (36.4%), infield-fly rate (17.1%), and pull rate (31.6%) were all significant steps backward when compared to his pair of 30-plus homer campaigns.