HOUSTON, TX (KTRE) -It took 6 years from when he was drafted but it looks like Hunter Dozier is living up to the Royals expectations.
Dozier was drafted by the Royals 8th overall by the Royals in the 2013 MLB draft. In his first five seasons, Dozier was up and down with many being critical of the pick.
This year however things have turned around. He is currently sitting in first place in the American League in batting average and third in wins above replacement, just percentage points behind MVP caliber Mike Trout.
"I worked hard this offseason," Dozier said. "My main goal was not to worry about the results but just trust the process."
Dozier has been a bright spot on the the Royals who are 12-24 and 10.5 games back in the American League Central.
"I am happy with my season," Dozier said. "We want to start winning. We are playing some good baseball. I believe things can turn around soon for us."
Dozier hit his ninth homerun of the season Monday night in Houston. As a native Texan, being close to home is a welcomed experience. With growing attention, Dozier says he is blessed to be where he is now in life.
"Baseball... there are going to be ups and downs," Dozier said. "The downs are how you grow as a person. I had some down years and moments but I have grown and been a better payer."
Dozier and his family have grown to love the Kansas City Community. This offseason, the SFA alum partnered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Kansas City. The non-profit looks to help children in the community that come from broken homes. It is something Dozier felt was a good effort to be a part of.
"I grew up in a household with a mom and dad who were a big part of my life," Dozier said. "For kids that grow up without that it has to be tough. This organization gives those kids someone to look up to."
It is no surprise to SFA Baseball Coach Johnny Cardenas that Dozier is having the year he is having or that he is looking to give back to the next generation of possible ball players.
If you ask me, ‘Give me one ambassador for your program?’ Hunter would be the guy," Cardenas said. “He is a hard worker, faith driven kid. I am just humbled to be part of his maturation.”