Apr 14, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore during batting practice before a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Round 1, Pick 8: Hunter Dozier

Dayton Moore and the Royals have made their first pick of the 2013 draft and it definitely qualifies as a surprise.  They selected Hunter Dozier from Stephen F. Austin State University.  He played shortstop in college, but nearly everyone has him listed as a third base prospect.  His size and speed do not fit the shortstop mold at 6’4″ and 220 pounds.   Dozier hit .396/.482/.755 with 17 HRs in his Junior season this year, and also stole 12 bases.  The reason this pick was a surprise is that most outlets, including Baseball America, had him as an early second round pick (they updated him to #29 at the last second though).  What will be interesting to see is if this was the guy the Royals really wanted, or if it is part of a strategy to free up some money for picks down the road where they are planning to pay over slot.

If you want to read the most comprehensive scouting report I could find where no paid subscription is necessary, try this article from Bleacher Report complete with a video of Hunter’s swing.  Here is an excerpt:

Due to his early success as a two-sport star (quarterback), Dozier was only lightly recruited as a baseball player and went undrafted out of high school. Three years later, the 6’4”, 220-pounder has asserted himself as one of the top college infielders in this year’s class thanks to his combination of size, athleticism and powerful right-handed bat.


His speed is the weakest tool rated as average, but his athleticism and smart base running seem to help him make up for the speed some.  He uses the whole field, and has good power with plus power potential, and since he makes good contact could be a very consistent hitter.  Dozier’s defense is rated very highly and his arm is big, which is why third base may make sense.  I wonder if the Royals may try him at second though. If the athleticism allows him to play up and he has good hands, maybe they will give up a little bit of range to try and get a quality bat in the line-up at a weak position a la the Cardinals with Skip Schumaker.  You should also note that he will be 22 in August, so he is older than you would expect from a college junior draftee.

Hunter Dozier was projected to go before the Royals second round pick, so they may have really wanted him and decided it was worth the reach.  Or this is plan B after Trey Ball went off the board one pick ahead of the Royals.  Either way, Dozier looks like he could be a solid major leaguer with some upside if he can develop the power potential.

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  • jimfetterolf

    He looks interesting, RH version of Eric Hosmer with at least three position potential; 3B, 2B, and RF with the arm. I assume they already had a deal in place that will allow them to go big for a Montgomery/Duffy/Myers type, a trend for Dayton Moore.

    • Brian Henry

      I agree except that Hosmer has a lot more upside. We’ll see how the next few picks go for where the extra money is headed.

      • jimfetterolf

        Manaea and Reed, two big lefties, I think both are juniors. Both have a hefty version of Mike Montgomery look to them.

        • Brian Henry

          LOVE Manaea there. Don’t know anything about Reed yet.

          • jimfetterolf

            Reed looks about like a Manaea clone, big, hard throwing lefty, both are thought to have clean, healthy deliveries, both look to sign above slot, having college eligibility left.

          • Marcus Meade

            Reed is a Manaea clone in his body, but Manaea has more polish and is a year older. I like both of those picks a lot.

  • Marcus Meade

    I’m liking this pick the more I learn about Dozier. Big production for a somewhat small program. The only reason people dog on it is the positional aspect of it. So, he can’t play SS, so what? If he is a Jeff Kent type at second or turns into a guy who can play third, second, or RF in the majors and hit 20-25 HR, I don’t think it matters too much that he can’t play SS. The fact that they will be able to pay him less and sign Manaea on top of it makes this a very savvy move in my book.

    • jimfetterolf

      Given that the Royals currently have problems at second, third, and right, addresses some needs. Dozier looks interesting, big, athletic, plate discipline, power, arm, only average speed, so four solid tools. And since they had a chance to get two big, high velo lefties after him that might cost above slot, looks smart. I’m assuming that a deal was at least roughly in place for Dozier and he’ll be a quick sign so he can get to work fast. That is worth something right there. SS may be one of the few positions the Royals are set at, so no problem.

  • RickMckc

    Given our history, I gotta say I’m really glad we didn’t draft someone named Trey Ball.

    • Brian Henry

      Good point

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