Obviously, Brian Dozier would be a big “if” to leadoff this season, given he was signed to a minor-league deal with an invite to Spring Camp. The competition for the starting second base gig is heavy, but the 32-year-old has made it clear that he plans on playing a lot this season.
Throughout his career, Dozier has been heavily utilized batting first in the order, slashing .251/.329/.479 (109 OPS+) in 539 games. But he was limited to just one game last year, 69 games in 2018, and 151 games in 2017. In 2018, Dozier struggled mightily from the leadoff spot, slashing just .215/.286/.364 (73 OPS+) after slashing .271/.359/.498 (126 OPS+) the previous year.
2017 was his final full season in Minnesota before he was traded to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. Was his dropoff a result of him being another year older? Potentially, but Dozier also posted a career-low .240 BABIP, so it would seem bad luck was a big part of it as well.
I suspect that Dozier will have a chance to prove himself this spring in that spot of the batting order, but his days of hitting leadoff may be over.