Hunt Answers the Challenges

Bridger Hunt was handed two demanding assignments which usually aren't given to newly drafted players. It's nice to report that he's handling both very well. Hunt, who was a ninth-round pick out of Central Missouri State, was asked to move from the infield to the outfield from the moment he began his professional career.

What's more, he was sent to the low A South Atlantic League without the usual stop in rookie ball.

The Dodgers chose him because of his hitting ability- something he demonstrated very well at Central Missouri State where he hit .415 with 74 RBI.

He led his league in hits and triples and was named the Player of the Year for the Central Region. He also earned Division II second-team All-American honors.

He had played third there which was a switch for he'd been a middle infielder before. The Dodgers moved him out even farther, assigning him to center field for Columbus after a brief indoctrination at the Dodgertown base. He also was moved up in the batting order to leadoff to take advantage of his speed.

He hasn't been fazed by the pitching for currently he's hitting .314. He's also done well on the base paths, stealing 10 of 15.

Despite his name which makes him sound like he comes from a frontier family, he spent only one year in Missouri. He's actually from Oviedo, Fla., and first went to college at Central Florida U. His stay there was brief for he moved on to Pensacola Junior College where he played both second and shortstop.

His power right now is of the doubles variety- he has nine with one home run. That's rather typical of a beginner. At 6-1, 190, he's solidly built and should produce more down the road. There's not much else that's typical of the beginner, though. Everything else has been well above the norm

All in all, it's been an impressive beginning, especially for a guy chosen down in the ninth round. Getting some good ones a bit later in the draft is something the Dodgers have concentrated on with Russell Martin, taken 17th, the outstanding example.

The hope is Hunt can be another .