The Twins middle infield of the future opens tonight

Tonight will be the premiere in the big leagues of Twins' infielder Brian Dozier.   Dozier was the Twins' 8th round draft pick in 2009 out of the University of Southern Mississippi.  He signed right away so he had time to play pro ball in 2009.  He quickly moved through the Twins' system, playing for both rookie level teams in 2009, both A-level teams in 2010, starting in Fort Myers in 2011 and ending up in New Britain and then in the Arizona Fall league.

He was invited in the Spring Training as a non-roster invitee this year (where he was one of the last Twins' cuts) and started the season in Rochester.  He was added to the 40-man roster today.  Even though he has not hit well in Rochester so far (.276/.339/.371, 199 PA) the Twins are encouraged by his 2011 New Britain (.318/.384/.502 7 HR, 22 2B, 7 3B, 351 PA) and Arizona Fall League (.296/.358/.454. 3 HR, 8 2B, 120 PA) numbers to call him up early this season.  It is worth mentioning that with the Fall League, Brian Dozier has a full season in 2011, playing in 153 games and having 689 plate appearances.

He will likely replace Jamey Carroll (who will assume a utility role filling in at all infield positions but at 1B) as the starting shortstop.  He was batting at the number 2 spot in Rochester most of this season, so he might replace Carroll there also.  However it is more likely that Joe Mauer will be at the number 2 spot and Dozier will slide lower in the line up.  Brian wore uniform number 77 during Spring Training but was assigned number 20 today.

The 25 year old Brian Dozier will team up with the 27 year old Alexi Casilla as the Twins' double play combination.  Hopefully Twins' fans will look at scenes like this often this season and for many seasons to come:

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