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Royals promote Hunter Dozier to the big leagues

The top hitting prospect will join the club.

The Royals have promoted top hitting prospect Hunter Dozier to the big leagues, according to his brother Devin Dozier, on Twitter. Hunter was having a terrific comeback season after a disastrous 2015 season, hitting .296/.366/.533 with 23 home runs and 44 doubles across AA and AAA. Dozier was selected eighth overall by the Royals in 2013 out of Stephen F. Austin.

Dozier has played mostly third base in his minor league career, but has played some outfield and first base recently for Omaha. The 25-year old had fallen off prospect radars after struggling in 2015, when he hit .213/.281/.349 for AA Northwest Arkansas. He credits simplifying his swing for his rejuvenation in 2016.

Dozier is not on the 40-man roster, so the Royals will have to make a corresponding roster move when they make the promotion official. They can transfer Luke Hochevar to the 60-day disabled list, which takes him off the 40-man roster and clears a space. Teams can expand active rosters today, and the Royals are expected to call up several players, including infielder Whit Merrifield, catcher Tony Cruz, and outfielder Daniel Nava.

Update: It is official. The Royals bring up catcher Tony Cruz, infielders Hunter Dozier and Whit Merrifield, outfielder Terrance Gore, and they activate pitcher Wade Davis. Luke Hochevar is placed on the 60-day disabled list.