Royals want Dozier to see time at first base

Royals want Dozier to see time at first base

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Hunter Dozier, the Royals' No. 2 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, was drafted as a shortstop, converted to third base, and most recently has been working in right and left field.

Now comes a new position for Dozier to tackle: First base.

Dozier, 25, has played eight games total at first base, all at Triple-A Omaha last August.

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But Royals officials want to see versatility from many of their players this spring, including Dozier, who likely will start the season in the Minor Leagues.

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"It's just been the past few days, I've been playing a lot of first," Dozier said. "Really getting a lot of work there.

"I like it. It's definitely different. The positioning is different. The bunt plays are different from third base."

At least Dozier is accustomed to playing a hot corner from his time at third base. So hot shots to first don't alarm him.

"It's still the hot corner," he said. "But it's not bad."

Dozier would like to lean on Gold Glove first baseman Eric Hosmer for a little help on Hosmer's specialty -- making great scoops on errant throws.

"I need to," Dozier said. "Haven't had much of a chance yet."

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From a club standpoint, it makes sense to have Dozier try some first base. Right field is occupied by Jorge Soler for years to come. And Hosmer is a potential free agent after this season.

"It's fun bouncing around," Dozier said. "I like learning new positions. I'm enjoying it."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.