It's Big Day For Big Man

Alabama sophomore right-hander Tommy Hunter had a big day Thursday. The Crimson Tide sophomore was the 54th overall pick by the Texas Rangers on the opening day of the Major League Baseball draft Thursday.

Tommy Hunter became the fourth player in Alabama history to be drafted in the first or supplemental round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

"It has been a very exciting day," Hunter said from his home in Indianapolis, Ind. "I am very excited to be the 54th overall pick in the country. I could not be happier with that. And, I just caught another four-pound bass."

After learning he was the 54th pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, Hunter headed out the lake near his back yard to fish and think about the day that landed him in the Top 60 picks of the draft.

"This has been very exciting," he added. "I had a pretty good idea that Texas was going to draft me. They had shown a lot of interest in me, especially recently. It was really just a matter of when because they had so many picks."

Hunter was the fifth player drafted by the Texas Rangers on Thursday, the first of the MLB Draft's two days.

"I have already spoken with Texas and we are going to meet to see what their plans might be for me," Hunter added. "There is a lot of information to process right now. I have not talked with Coach (Jim) Wells, but I will do that before I make any decisions."

Hunter said that he expects a decision to be made "sometime next week" as to whether he will sign with the Rangers or return for his junior season at Alabama.

Hunter becomes the fourth Alabama player taken in the first round (or supplemental round) of the MLB draft, joining Joe Vitiello, Jeremy Brown and Taylor Tankersley. Vitiello was the seventh overall pick of the 1991 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals. Brown was the 33rd pick (Supplemental Comp A Round) in 2002. Tankersley was the 27th overall pick by the Florida Marlins in 2004.

He is the first Alabama player to be drafted by the Rangers since third baseman Bret Elbin was selected in the 1983 draft. No other Alabama players or signees were drafted through first five rounds on Thursday. The draft concludes on Friday with rounds six through 50.

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