Kansas City Royals: Leave Hunter Dozier alone

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Hunter Dozier #17 of the Kansas City Royals fields during the game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 16, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Royals defeated the Athletics 6-5. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Hunter Dozier #17 of the Kansas City Royals fields during the game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 16, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Royals defeated the Athletics 6-5. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /
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The Kansas City Royals are looking for help in a number of areas, including their search for a utility infielder. This search could include Hunter Dozier.

On Tuesday, Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore laid out his State of the Franchise. He stated that the team is looking for pitching in all areas, as well as a utility infielder type. Interestingly, one of the potential ideas bandied about is to make Hunter Dozier a potential utility player.

This would follow the type of path that the Royals created for Whit Merrifield. While he is nominally the Kansas City second baseman, Merrifield also spent time at all three outfield positions, and at first, last season. As Dozier has spent time at first and right, it is a move that could make sense.

Understandably, the Royals want to keep his bat in the lineup. Dozier had a breakout season last year, posting a .279/.348/.522 batting line, hitting 29 doubles, 26 homers, and a league leading ten triples. After years of being considered one of the Royals top prospects, Dozier finally lived up to his potential.

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In theory, by playing Dozier at multiple positions, he would be a more valuable piece for the Royals. However, that may not actually be the case. He was an above average hitter at third while playing adequate defense, but his offensive production would be subpar at either first or in right.

As the Royals are currently constructed, they already have a right fielder in Jorge Soler, who just so happened to become the first player in Royals history to hit over 40 homers in a season. Not coincidentally, Soler was also the first player in Royals history to lead the American League in homers.

First base would be more of a concern. Ryan O’Hearn hardly set the majors ablaze in extended action last season, and was a major part of why the Royals had the worst production at first in the majors. Dozier would certainly help there, but he would leave a far bigger hole at third. And, the Royals have plans to use Salvador Perez more at first next season, which could alleviate some of those struggles.

It is also risky to move a player that has just found success. While Dozier could thrive in a utility role, just as Merrifield has, the risk is far too great. He needs to prove that 2019 was more than just a fluke before being tasked to regularly rotate between positions.

dark. Next. Perez to get more action at first

The Kansas City Royals are looking for help all over the roster. However, that should not include turning Hunter Dozier into a utility player.