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Baseball: UL’s Kjerstad signs with Royals

UL outfielder Dex Kjerstad (21) swings at a Sam Houston State pitch during the first inning of an NCAA regional baseball game at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge. 
UL outfielder Dex Kjerstad (21) swings at a Sam Houston State pitch during the first inning of an NCAA regional baseball game at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge. / Paul Kieu, The Advertiser

Chad Washington, The Advertiser, July 12, 2013

UL outfielder Dex Kjerstad has signed a $75,000 contract with the Kansas City Royals organization, according to a newspaper report.

If confirmed, the signing means that Kjerstad had played his final game in a Ragin’ Cajuns uniform.

The Amarillo Globe-News reports that the deal will also pay for Kjerstad’s remaining three semesters of college and rehab for his recent Tommy John surgery.

Kjerstad had a Sun Belt-best hitting average of .388 this past season, hitting .408 in league play. He hit 12 home runs and scored 63 runs and had 44 RBIs.

Kjerstad underwent Tommy John surgery last month and will need 10 to 12 months to rehab, the Globe-News reports. He will take a flight to the Royals spring training facility in Surprise, Ariz. on Monday to begin rehab with team trainers.

The Amarillo native started his college career at Texas in 2011, but transferred to Howard College after his freshman season.

Kjerstad is the first UL underclassmen that will not return to the team in 2014. No other Cajuns were drafted in the Major League Baseball entry draft.