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Stephen F. Austin shortstop Hunter Dozier makes a throw against Oral Roberts on April 6 in Nacogdoches, Texas. The former Stinger shortstop is having a standout season for the Lumberjacks. (Stephen F. Austin photo)

Stingers notebook: Dozier’s draft stock on the rise

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Stingers notebook: Dozier’s draft stock on the rise
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR — Hunter Dozier (Stephen F. Austin) tore up the Northwoods League during the first month of the 2012 season and made the North Division All-Star team before tiring down the stretch.

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He’s putting to rest any questions about his durability and could look pretty good to Major League teams when the MLB draft rolls around June 6.

The 2012 Stinger shortstop is hitting .412 with a .511 on-base percentage and .772 slugging percentage for the Lumberjacks. His batting average and slugging percentage lead the Southland Conference, and he’s also pacing the conference in doubles (14) and home runs (9).

For the Stingers, Dozier was batting .333 on June 30 but his production suffered as the season dragged on and he finished at .257 with 6 home runs in 237 at bats. This spring, he’s already passed that home run total in less than half the at bats (114). 

In the Stingers’ short history, they have had 13 players selected in the MLB draft. The highest selection was Jordan Smith, who went to the Cleveland Indians in the ninth round in 2011.

If Dozier continues to perform, he could top that mark.

Dozier was a preseason Top 100 college prospect. At the midseason point April 4, Baseball America released its Top 50 draft prospects, combining the best prospects from colleges and high schools around the country. Dozier cracked the list at No. 45 overall.

Baseball America’s Connor Glassey interviewed a National League scout about Dozier. The scout said Dozier is “a physical kid who’s got some strength to his swing and some power. He’s putting it together where he’s actually showing hittability.”

Thomson dominating for Scottsdale CC

Colton Thomson (Scottsdale CC), who will pitch for the Stingers in 2013, is mowing down hitters in NJCAA Division II. The sophomore lefty has a 0.90 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched over 7 starts. Thomson has signed with the University of New Mexico for his junior season.  

Other 2013 Stingers having strong seasons include Monmouth’s Jake Gronsky (.333 average, .395 on-base percentage, .481 slugging percentage), Kentucky’s Max Kuhn (.270/.407/.400), St. Louis’ Alec Sole (.306/.374/.363), Regis’ Steven Brault (.421/.442/.607) and Florida Gulf Coast’s Michael Suchy (.280/.373/.383).

Brault has been dominant on the mound as well, with a 1.54 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 46.2 innings.

Etc.

If Dozier is the best player in the Southland Conference, Forrestt Allday might be the second-best. The 2012 Stinger outfielder is hitting .405 and getting on base at a .523 clip for Central Arkansas … Kuhn and the Kentucky Wildcats dropped to No. 13 in the Baseball America rankings … Jerad McCrummen (Texas Tech) has a 2.86 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 3 saves in 28.1 innings in relief for the Red Raiders … 2011 Stinger Ricky Knapp (Florida Gulf Coast) is 6-1 with a 1.20 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 52.2 innings … 2011 Stinger Thomas Taylor (Kansas) has a 1.84 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 49 innings for the Jayhawks; He’s 3-0 in 7 starts

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Ben Brewster

Ben Brewster covers the Willmar Stingers and other area sports, as well as laying out the daily sports section cover for the West Central Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @benbrewster.

(320) 214-4332
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