Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/11/13
It is here in the Arizona desert where the temperatures in mid-October still push regularly into the 90s that infielder Hunter Dozier stamps out the final validation of his first pro season. This is the Instructional League which seeks to hone and refine skills for minor-league players. For Dozier a shortstop when selected by the Royals in the first round of last June’s draft that means time and more time at third base. Even he realizes third base is where his future likely points. “I’m getting a lot of work there” he said. “I’m getting a lot of ground balls and extra work. I’m getting more and more comfortable each and every day. I’ve just got to keep trying to learn a new position.” Dozier 22 never fought the switch from shortstop because well...he’s seen Raul Mondesi the 18-year-old wonderkid who already looms as the heir apparent to Alcides Escobar on the big-league club. “He’s pretty good” Dozier allowed with a smile after playing alongside Mondesi again earlier this week in front of a crowd consisting of little more than scouts and front-office officials on a practice field at the Royals’ year-round complex. Pretty good. That’s also the early read on Dozier whom the Royals chose with the draft’s eighth overall pick — and in doing so upset the conventional wisdom that projected him at best as a late first-round selection. “As a complete player” assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said “he was clear-cut for us. I know a lot was made of that pick… “But there was a group of hitters that we liked and when you started to break them down we felt he had the most upside out of all of them and he was the most athletic out of all of them.” Dozier signed quickly for $2.2 million which was roughly $1 million below the slotted price and headed to short-season Idaho Falls where he played well enough to gain a brief August promotion to Lo-A Lexington.
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