Itawamba native Dozier heads into first MLB Spring Training

By Lee Adams/The Itawamba County Times

Brian Dozier, a former IAHS and Southern Miss standout, is now with the Minnesota Twins organization.

After being drafted in the eighth round of the 2009 amateur entry draft, Brian joined the Gulf Coast Twins, which is a Rookie level team of the Major League Twins.

Dozier played only five games with the Gulf Coast Twins before being moved up to the Elizabethton Twins, the Rookie A affiliate of the Twins organization.

Once he got to Elizabethton, Dozier played in 54 games and led the team at the end of the season with a .353 batting average.

Dozier’s combined batting average between the two teams was .349 which led the entire Twins farm system.

“I hit for average last year,” said Dozier. “I hope to add a little more pop this year and hit a few more homeruns.”

Dozier has been preparing for Spring Training since September in Hattiesburg with Jarrett Hoffpauir of the Toronto Blue Jays and Marc Maddox and Barry Bowden of the Kansas City Royals organization.

Following his first taste of the minors, Brian began preparing for his first Spring Training.

“I’m really excited to go to my first Spring Training.” said Dozier. “I got a little taste of pro ball after the College World Series last year and played in almost 60 games. At Spring Training, I will see where I rank with the other short stops in the organization. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Dozier will be bidding for a spot on the High A Fort Meyers Miracle team.

“I hope to start this year in High A, but it all depends on how I perform at Spring Training,” said Dozier.

Dozier was named number 41 in the top Twins 50 prospects according to http://twinkiebaseball.blogspot.com.

“A lot of dreams have come true for me over the past year, with the World Series, getting drafted and playing pro ball,” said Dozier. “I’m overwhelmed by it. I just hope things continue to improve for me.”

The Twins have already reported to Fort Meyers, Fla., for Spring Training, but Dozier and the rest of the minor leaguers report this week. To keep up with Brian as he works his way through the Twins Farm System, check www.twins.mlb.com and future issues of The Itawamba County Times.