Notre Dame redshirt junior wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. was selected in the 23rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft on Saturday by the Los Angeles Angels, a team for which his father played for five years.
Hunter completed his second season as an outfielder Notre Dame's baseball team last month and hit .182 with a .308 on-base percentage and .182 slugging percentage in 11 at-bats over 19 games. He was mostly used as a defensive replacement and pinch runner and stole two bases on two attempts for Mik Aoki's Irish, which also saw infielder Cavan Biggio -- the son of Houston Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio -- drafted in the fifth round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. During the spring, Hunter made a highlight-reel catch in right field for Notre Dame's baseball team against Florida State, and his one-handed grab of a Malik Zaire deep ball was the highlight of April's Blue and Gold game.
Torii Hunter Sr. made the announcement that the Angels had picked his son on Saturday.
Congrats to my bro @THunterJr on getting picked up by the Angels!— Jarron Jones™ (@who_gotjones94) June 11, 2016
@THunterJr T Huunnnnnt 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 get right !— Chris“BREEZY”Brown (@_ChrisBrownND2) June 11, 2016
Hunter Jr. will be counted on to be a go-to target for either DeShone Kizer or Zaire this fall and is the team's leading returning receiver after catching 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns in 2015 (him being drafted as a baseball player does not change his status with the football team this fall). He was roundly praised as being among the more impressive players during Notre Dame's spring practice, a feat made even more incredible due to his splitting of time between football, baseball and classwork.
"He could have taken the easy way out here, right -- he could have said, hey, I'm playing baseball, I can't make it this weekend. I've got a doubleheader," coach Brian Kelly said in April. "But no, he would go to practice and then he would go into a phone booth and throw on his Superman cape and head on over to the baseball field.
"It's amazing what he does in terms of the intensity in which he practices and how hard he goes, and then he does the same thing for Mik. He's a unique young man in that he can focus and give that kind of intensity to both sports."