Here is a guy that could be a late-first rounder that nobody was talking about as such at the beginning of the year. That's what happens when you play in a conference that doesn't normally have a lot of talent and you consistently play weak opponents. However, Hunter Dozier has continued his development and scouts are buying into tools and his stats. Here is what I mean by his stats.
He's just consistently gotten better. The power surge this season is what really have scouts turning their heads. He's a big kid as he stands 6-4 and weighs 220 pounds. The power is what they wanted to see before they bought in. At his size, staying at shortstop is an unlikely proposition as there are very few examples of shortstop that size and so he would need to show power that could play elsewhere on the diamond in order to be a prospect.
His defense just needs work. He doesn't have great range but he has the tools to be good defensively, although it is more likely to be at third base. But, that's not a bad thing since he has the arm for it and his bat profiles nicely there. His arm and bat could actually work as a corner outfielder as well. Hey, he was a Texas High School quarterback.
There's not much on the internet about Dozier and it's impossible to find video of him. In fact, I only found one video that includes a single home run from him. VIDEO (HR at .40) All we know is that he creates good leverage and he's extremely strong. That generates power and if once he gets with some good hitting coaches, he may be able to do even more damage. Above average power is not out of the question.
As for hitting for average and plate discipline, the jury is still very much out. He's drawn some good walk rates and not terrible strikeout rates, but it's poor competition and can't be trusted fully. His average has always been good and it's still questionable. Reports seem to think he'll be about average in both departments.
A major league floor is hard to pin on him with the small amount of information on him, but I could see him being a valuable bench player as pinch-hitter with some pop. His arm and athleticism allows for some versatility from 3B to corner outfield positions.
His ceiling is quite high given his raw athleticism, strong arm, above-average power potential, and chance to hit for a good average. There are questions on how a lot of that will transfer to pro-ball from his low-level competition, but if they do, he's an above-average player both defensively and at the plate.
Projected Draft Round
He's been mocked in the first round by a few mocks and he's rated consistently in the 30's and 40's. That leaves him as small chance for a late first round pick all the way to an early second round pick.
Will he sign?
This shouldn't be an issue for Dozier. He's creating buzz and his stock is as high as it's going to get given he won't ever face better competition outside of a chance to go to the Cape this summer.
There are amateur shortstops that can stay up the middle. Then there are those who will likely need to move to third base. Dozier fits in the latter category, but it looks like he has the profile for the hot corner.
Big and strong, Dozier was putting up gaudy numbers during his junior season to move up Draft boards as the spring progressed. The ball jumps off of his bat, and he projects to have plenty of power for the position. He has good defensive reactions, which should work just fine at third, and he has a very strong arm.
Dozier looks the part, a tall and lean athlete who used to play quarterback in the Texas high school ranks. He's not among the few elite college bats in this class, but he's not too far behind them, either.