Last year the Kansas City Royals took 3B Hunter Dozier with the 8th pick in the MLB Draft. It was a surprising pick, as most teams had Dozier slated to be a late first round draft pick. The Royals were sly though, as they were able to draft Dozier, pay him a bit less(saving nearly a million dollars on their slot recommendation) and then draft the guy they really wanted, pitcher Sean Manaea, as their first round supplemental pick, a guy who had been picked as a possible top draft pick when the 2013 season began. A smart move by the Royals, and one that makes you wonder what they have in store for this year’s draft(which will be held later on tonight). The Royals currently have two first round draft picks (17th and 28th) and have been connected to a number of players for these two slots. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the players Kansas City has interest in and the chances of them being taken in one of those two slots.
Advanced LH bat with natural, confident actions in the box. Has a knack for finding the barrel. Runs well and has sure hands, but arm limits him to 2B or maybe CF in future.
And this from FloridaBaseballReport.com:
Forrest shows national level speed and power from the leftside of the plate. With plus batspeed and room to grow may play second or third base at the next level. Defensively has plus range and soft hands with an avg arm.
Wall is a prep second baseman that has been aggressively climbing draft boards as of late. There is a very good chance that he won’t be available for Kansas City by the time they get to the 17th pick. Wall is considered their “Plan A”. This was said about the Royals and Wall at http://www.baseballamerica.com during their latest mock draft:
Plan A for Kansas City would be Forrest Wall, who had a great predraft workout with the team, but he might have too much helium to get to them now.
If Wall doesn’t fall to the Royals, that might mean the Mets grab him at the 10th pick. If so that would make him the highest second baseman out of high school taken that high.
LHP with average-sized athletic body and long arm swing, but outstanding present stuff. Runs FB up to 95 and has a wipe out slider.
Established himself as one of the top lefty arms on the circuit, sitting 90-92 mph and touching 93 with good arm-side life. He mixed in a promising 78-80 mph slider and solid low-80s changeup, though he struggled to command the former. Medeiros is a work in progress, but the raw materials are there for a premium arm to emerge over the next calendar year.
And from MinorLeagueBall.com:
He could get out big leaguers right now and I’m not exaggerating. His fastball is 90-93 touching 94 but that’s just the appetizer. It has run in on lefties like a screwball. It fades away from righties. You can see lefties bail as it attacks them making it impossible to hit well with any frequency.
Medeiros has long been linked to the Royals and it seems if they don’t take him at 17, they will try at 28(if he is still available). The biggest part of his repeirtoire that has scouts salivating is his slider. Once again from minorleagueball.com:
His slider is in the main course. It’s a 76-78 MPH nasty offering. It’s an expletive pitch. The first time I saw it live, I swore. From the angle he delivers it, it can be unhittable. Lefty hitters won’t stand a chance hitting the ball that starts behind them and ends up on the outside corner. Right-handers could swing and miss and it could hit them in the chest. It is amazing. It has tight spin, late break and enormous movement both horizontally and vertically, although the bulk of it is horizontal due to his low ¾, almost sidearm delivery.
There are concerns about Medeiros’ build and mechanics, but the upside outweighs those concerns. If I had to make a sure bet on a player getting picked by the Royals, this would be it.
LHP who has a repeatable delivery and a polished 3-pitch mix. Running his fastball up to 94 this spring has enhanced his draft stock.
Long, sloped and slider athletic build in Brian Matusz type mold. He has a sound three piece delivery with the balance and transfer that is relaxed, effortless. He repeats well for a long and limber pitcher, nice extension that allows him to attack the lower half with plane on every offering. Fastball was 89-91 mph with an extension that plays up the offering. Good movement on it with a tough plane to square up. Curve, 73-75 mph, has the shape and path to project into an above average offering. He did not show the change up this event, but that pitch could round out a nice 3 pitch mix. Foster is very projectable with easy arm speed.
and from TalkingChop.com:
Scouts think he could fill out and add ticks to his fastball, which currently sits around 89-91 in game. In addition, he also tosses a changeup as his primary secondary and mixes in a curve as well. He’s committed to play with Ole Miss in the fall, but a first round signing bonus would likely lure him away.
BaseballAmerica.com has Griffin going to Kansas City at the 17th slot with their latest mock draft, which means if Medeiros goes at 28 the Royals would get two prep pitchers in the first round. There was some talk of Griffin falling to later in the draft, but it’s conceivable to see him go in the top two, especially since he is rated in the top ten of high school players available for the draft.
One of the top athletes in the class. Also a football star, he can run, throw and hit on the baseball field. Extremely high ceiling once he concentrates on baseball.
Harrison has plus speed, can cover center field and has a plus arm. He has a ton of power potential in his bat. His only average tool is the hit tool, but even that currently rates 50 on the 20-80 scout scale.
and from PrepBaseballReport.com:
Standing 6-foot-2, 195-pounds, Harrison hits for power and average, as well as showing speed on the base path and ability to track down fly balls in the outfield.
Harrison is probably a long shot for the Royals, and the reasoning why makes total sense. From BaseballAmerica.com:
Prep outfielder and uberathlete Monte Harrison is also a possibility, but the apparent failure of the Bubba Starling experiment will probably make them gunshy.
The Bubba Starling comparisons are everywhere: two sport athlete, from the Kansas City area( Lee’s Summit West), committed to play football at Nebraska. Harrison could be a pick for the Royals at 17, but my guess would be there is a greater chance the Pirates nab him at the 24th pick. To me, the Royals can’t make the same mistake twice. It would be way too costly.
So those are the most talked about prospects that the Royals could pick later on today in the MLB Draft. I’ve always felt like baseball’s draft is the hardest sport to know what you are truly getting and your slot in the draft doesn’t always guarantee success. The Royals have been burned a few times already in the draft over the last few years, so a successful draft at this point is almost a necessity. A productive draft at this point would go a long way to shaping the Royals for a promising future.