The 2013 amateur draft starts on Thursday, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Hunter Dozier | SS
After going undrafted out of a Texas high school in 2010, Dozier followed through on his commitment to Stephen F. Austin State University and has hit .357/.428/.608 with 32 homers in three years for the Lumberjacks. He hit .396/.482/.755 with 17 homers and 12 stolen bases this year, and he’ll become the highest drafted player in school history (by a lot) later this week.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 220 lbs., Dozier stands out for his right-handed power. He has very strong hands and uses his lower half very well, allowing him to do most of his damage the other way to right field. His bat control and quick swing still allow him to catch up to inside pitches and avoid getting jammed. The offensive tools all play up because Dozier knows the strike zone well and waits for his pitch. Although he moves well for his size and is a good athlete, he’ll wind up at either second or third base as a pro. He pitched once upon a time and has a very strong arm. I can’t find any video, so we’re out of luck.
Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America ranked Dozier as the 38th and 39th best prospect in the draft class in their latest rankings, respectively. The Yankees tend to prefer up-the-middle high school athletes when it comes to position players, but on the college side they always seem to target guys who can flat out hit. It’s hard not to notice Dozier’s above-average (and Yankee Stadium-friendly) opposite field power from the right side, and although shortstop won’t happen at the next level, he should settle in at one of the other non-first base infield spots.