SFA Athletics Press Release
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack shortstop Hunter Dozier has been selected by the Kansas City Royals with the eighth overall selection in the first round of the MLB draft Thursday evening. Dozier becomes the first Lumberjack player to be selected in the first round, and the highest selection of any Southland Conference player – surpassing Ben Sheets (Louisiana-Monroe) and Michael Choice (Texas-Arlington). Dozier also becomes the highest conference player selected in any sport since Andrew Toney was taken eighth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1980 NBA Draft.
"This is not only a big moment for Dozier, but for SFA and our conference as well," said head baseball coach Johnny Cardenas. "Any time a player gets drafted this high it is a very special moment in their life. Hunter has worked very hard to get to the level he is at.
"Hunter is a great story. He wasn't really recruited by a lot of schools other than SFA. But do to his hard work on the field and in the weight room he has become one of the best young players in the country. A lot of times we like to take credit for the development of players, but when it comes down to it they have to want it. Hunter has done that with every fiber of his being.," added Cardenas.
Dozier wrapped up a stellar baseball career at SFA by earning first-team All-America honors, and being named SLC Player and Hitter of the Year. A two-time first-team All-SLC selection, Dozier led the conference in batting average, slugging percentage, doubles, home runs and total bases this past season, and finished the regular season ranked among the nation's top five in each category.
In only three seasons with the 'Jacks, Dozier leaves Nacogdoches as the school's all-time leader in hits and doubles. He also owns the single-season record for multi-hit games and doubles.
Earlier this season Dozier became the first Lumberjack in program history to be named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award. He is also a national semifinalist for both the Brooks Wallace Award (nation's top shortstop), and the Dick Howser Award (top player).