Kjerstad Leaves UL, Signs With Royals
Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns and their fans thought their baseball team was pretty settled for the 2014 season.
The Cajuns thought as many as three underclassmen might be drafted, but when the MLB draft came and went in June, all three went undrafted.
However, junior outfielder Dex Kjerstad continued to be courted as a free agent by the Kansas City Royals and decided to sign a professional contract.
Former Ragin' Cajun beat writer Josh Parrott (@JoshuaParrott) reported the news via his Twitter account.
"Dex will always be a part of our family, and we support family," Louisiana head coach Tony Robichaux said via phone on Friday. "He felt like the Royals were making a good offer and didn't know if he could get that kind of offer as an outgoing senior. So he and his dad made the decision they did."
Kjerstad was a first team All-Sun Belt and All-Louisiana performer in 2013. He batted .388, which led the league. He also led the Sun Belt with 99 hits, just two short of the Ragin' Cajuns single season record set by Nathan Nelson in 2000.
"It's the first time in my career we've lost a player after his junior season as an undrafted free agent. The fact Dex will have 'UFA' next to his name will make his road a little tougher. But he's got more talent than the average undrafted free agent."
Reports have surfaced saying Kjerstad received a signing bonus of $75,000, plus costs of rehab after surgery and his final three semesters of school.
The Cajuns have numbers in the outfield and probably won't be scrambling to find a player late. Ryan Leonards, Caleb Adams, Seth Harrison, Dylan Butler and Ryan Wilson all saw action for the Cajuns in the outfield this past season.
Kjerstad played his freshman season at Texas before transferring to a junior college his sophomore season.