When former Denton standout Hunter Dozier hit the beach during the Carolina League’s All-Star break, he was planning on returning to his minor-league baseball club in Wilmington, Delaware, after the break.
One quick call changed those plans.
The Kansas City Royals announced Wednesday that the eighth overall pick in the 2013 first-year player draft will be headed to the organization’s Double-A affiliate in Springdale, Arkansas.
“I’m excited,” Dozier said. “It’s another great opportunity for me. It feels good when you move up a level, and it’s just another stepping stone to reach my goal. But I’m really excited.”
The third baseman got the call from the coaching staff at the Royals’ high Class A affiliate in Wilmington informing him of the move from the Carolina League to the Texas League, which includes the Frisco RoughRiders, the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate.
After Dozier was drafted last year, he excelled for the Royals’ rookie-league Idaho Falls Chukars. He joined the low Class A affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky, just in time for the end of the Legends’ season and started this season with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
In 66 games in 2014, Dozier is batting .295 with four home runs and 39 RBIs.
Dozier has played his best baseball this month. In 14 games in June, Dozier is batting .373 with two home runs and 13 RBIs and matched the doubles total (seven) he posted in all of May.
Dozier was named a Carolina League player of the week in late May.
The Stephen F. Austin product said he had no idea that he was going to be playing in the South for the foreseeable future.
“I honestly didn’t know,” Dozier said. “I wasn’t really worried about it. They really didn’t say anything about it, so I was just playing. I was thinking hopefully I would get moved up at some point, but I didn’t know when I was going to or have any ideas. I was just excited to get that call.”
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals start a four-game series at Tulsa today before the Texas League takes its All-Star break.
Those who watched Dozier excel with the Broncos won’t have to wait long to see him again.
Northwest Arkansas will travel to Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco to face the RoughRiders in a three-game series that begins Saturday night.
“It’ll be fun to go play in Frisco,” Dozier said. “I used to watch ballgames there when I was little, and it’ll be good just to see all the friends and family that come out to support me. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a good time.”
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