Greetings Royals Fans! I’m NWroyal (you can also call me Darren) and I’ll be one of the new voices writing for Royals Review. I’ll be writing mostly about the draft and the minors. I grew up in
We are less than 4 months away from the draft. All around the country you are beginning to hear the ping of the bat as colleges and some warm weather high schools start kicking off the season. The Royals will have the 12th pick in the 1st round. That will be the longest they have had to wait to pick since they took Billy Butler at #14 in 2004. (The Royals have been in the top 14 of the draft since 1996). This year’s draft looks to have one elite talent but it has some depth after that. The great unknown is how strapped for cash teams will be. Will they look for signability picks (especially with many of the top prospects being advised by Scott Boras)? That could play to the Royals advantage since they have not shied away from
10. Nationals (for failure to sign 2008 first-rounder Aaron Crow)
The 2009 crop of pitchers is certainly the strength of the class, particularly at the college level. In both 2007 and 2008, the Royals haven’t drafted a college pitcher in the top 10 rounds of the draft.
The top prospect in the draft is
White is North Carolina Junior who will probably be drafted in the top 5. The right-hander has a good fastball/slider combo but his control is a little spotty. http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/W/Alex-White.shtml
The Missou right-hander is known for his slider. If he doesn’t come up with an offspeed pitch, his future might be in the bullpen.
Oliver has pitched for
Update: Oliver won his appeal is and is eligible to pitch for
Crow was drafted 9th overall by the Nationals and didn’t sign. He will pitch in the independent league this spring. Crow had a great Junior year at Missou going 13-0, preceded by a phenomenal summer of 07 at
Others to watch:
Kendall Volz: big right-hander who future may lie in the bullpen
Mike Minor: polished lefty who is a safe bet
College position players
Grant Green is the SS at
Dustin Ackley might be the CF for
Others to watch:
Robbie Shields is a SS at
Kentrail Davis is a draft eligible sophomore—he’s a compact hitter with patience. Defensively, he may not be able to handle CF. Advised by
High School Pitchers
When it comes to HS pitchers, there are two names that have separated themselves from the pack: Purke and Matzek. They are both explosive HS lefties. Purke has both filthy stuff and knowledge of what to do with. He is tall and skinny and as he fills out could gain velocity on the fastball that already sits in the low 90s.
Most people I’ve read prefer Matzek slightly to Purke. Matzek doesn’t throw quite as hard but he his slider, curve and changeup are more developed.
Others to watch:
Shelby Miller RHP
Jacob Turner RHP Righthander from outside
High School Hitters
Donovan Tate CF
Donovan Tate is going to make somebody look really smart or really stupid. He is one of the best athletes in the draft in a long time. He’s a CF with a great arm, great speed, and great power. He’s the kind of player that Dayton Moore dreams about at night—but he probably won’t make it past the Braves (he’s from Georgia and not many of those players get past the Braves). He is also a top rated football player who is advised by
Austin Maddox C
If, for the third straight year, the Royals want to draft one of the best power hitters in the draft, they could go for high-schooler Austin Maddox. He has a cannon for an arm (and could be a first round talent as a pitcher). Maddox won’t be 18 until May but is already stands 6’ 3" tall—so there is some question about if his body will hold up at catcher. But the reports on his defense are good.
I would rank them:
- Stephen Strasburg
- Grant Green
- Dustin Ackley
- Tyler Matzek
- Alex White
- Matt Purke
- Donovan Tate
- Aaron Crow
- Kyle Gibson
- Andrew Oliver
- Austin Maddox
- Mike Minor
- Kentrail Davis
- Shelby Miller
- Jacob Turner
Not that rankings mean a whole lot this early in the season. I would say the talent begins to drop off after #7 or 8 (I don't know what to think of Crow at this point). We will give updates on the college players once they get into their season. High School are difficult to get much info on. The Royals might still get a chance at one of the better players because players always drop for either signability or just weirdness (Justin Smoak). I don't see any of the top college guys dropping all the way to #12 but I'm hoping that either Matzek or Purke will be available. Either one of them would give us a high ceiling, polished (at least for a high schooler) lefty. Let me know your draft thoughts.