North Carolina A&T had another reliever drafted by a Major League Baseball team. Two years after Cutter Dyals was drafted by the Atlanta Braves, Aggie right-hand closer Leon Hunter (6-foot-3, 220, RHP, Garner, N.C.) was selected 1,045th overall pick in the 35th round by the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
“I’m super excited for Leon and all the work he has put in his four years here at North Carolina A&T,” said N.C. A&T baseball coach Ben Hall. “He has been a consistent performer for us and had an outstanding senior campaign. I look forward to following his success at the next level.”
Hunter indeed had a career year as a senior in 2019. In 31.1 innings pitched, Hunter posted a 2.87 ERA with 31 strikeouts and only eight walks. He compiled a 3-1 record and recorded 10 saves in 25 appearances to earn second-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference honors. He was 44th in the nation in saves this season while leading the Aggies to back-to-back MEAC Southern Division titles.
In addition to being drafted, Hunter also has a degree in criminal justice after being a frequent member of the Chancellor’s Academic List and an All-MEAC academic team member.
He made 91 career appearances over 112.2 innings pitched. Hunter has a career 5.03 ERA with 87 strikeouts, 49 walks and 12 saves. His career ended with a 7-8 record on the mound. Opponents only hit .227 against Hunter over the final three years of his career.
N.C. A&T Drafted Players
2019: Leon Hunter, Jr. – 35th round – Texas Rangers
2017: Cutter Dyals – 17th round – Atlanta Braves
2014: Luke Tendler – 29th round – Texas Rangers
2013: Kelvin Freeman — 17th round — Chicago Cubs
2011: Xavier Macklin–12th round–Oakland Athletics
2009: C.J. Beatty–26th round–St. Louis Cardinals
2007: Charlie Gamble–23rd round–Houston Astros
2006: Jeremy Jones–25th round–Colorado Rockies
2004: Duron Legrande–10th round–Montreal Expos
2002: David Nelson–43rd round–Kansas City Royals
1999: Harold Featherstone–15th round–San Francisco Giants
1999: Garry Templeton–49th round–Anaheim Angels
1997: Cory Lima–25th round–Florida Marlins
1975: Al Holland–4th round–San Diego Padres
1974: All Holland–30th round–Texas Rangers
1970: Wilson Stallworth–24th round–Atlanta Braves
1969: Lloyd Lightfoot–3rd round–Kansas City Royals
1969: William Robinson–10th round–Pittsburgh Pirates
1968: Lloyd Lightfoot–10th round–Baltimore Orioles
1965: Cliff Matthew–29th round–Baltimore Orioles