So here it is, 3:30 AM on the morning of Day 2 of the Draft. I was busy all day and didn't get to see much coverage of the draft at all until just now, right before bedtime. I've been very pleased with the draft so far, and I'm especially excited to see my boy Aaron Crow in Royal Blue. I watched him dominate for Mizzou many times, and I think he'll be very good for us. I certainly hope he works out better than Will Franklin did for the Chiefs!
Anyway, I was looking at the (surprisingly cool) draft reports on MLB.com and saw a few names I hope Dayton and the boys are tossing around in a few hours. I know it's late, but on the off-chance that we end up picking any of these guys I want to be able to point to this post and say, "See? I told them they should do it the night/morning before!"
Sounds like a good all-around ballplayer. Maybe a little undersized at 5'11'', but David Eckstein has been in the pros for years at about half that height. Switch-hitter with a short stroke and some power to the pull side on either side of the plate. Very solid defender with an above-average to plus arm and great instincts. The big knock on him is his relatively slow speed, but he stole 42 bases for his all-prospect team, so he can't be Molina-slow. Bonus: everything about his makeup just screams GRIT.
The draft report compares him to Kenny Lofton more than once, which to me is a good sign. He's the fast, plus defender that the Royals need in center. Apparently his swing is a little weird but it somehow works for average and gap power. Last season he hit .473 with 15 doubles and 4 triples, and he stole 21 bases. He's a prototypical top of the lineup guy. Think of him as Coco, only 10 years younger with an ability to hit a little and throw the ball farther than an anemic newborn girl.
I wouldn't want us to get this guy real early due to some ERA concerns, but he is just the type of control-oriented lefty that gives the Royals fits. He seems like a real workhorse type who can eat a lot of innings but keep you in the game. Not really dominant strikeout-type stuff but has good command of all his pitches--see his 63/9 K/BB ratio last season. I wouldn't mind seeing a guy like this in the #5 spot in our rotation. He was the weekend ace for the Volunteers, and for a fun little add-in, his uncle is renowned sucky umpire Angel Hernandez!
Though he is a starter for Baylor, he was the definition of a shutdown closer for the USA national team, finishing last season with 8 saves in 8 tries and a 0.00 ERA. He's built like a linebacker at 6'5", 225 lbs., and he can get his fastball up to 97 MPH, though he usually works a little lower. Has good late movement and command on all his pitches. Repertoire is your standard fastball/slider/changeup, but all three are solid and could end up as plus pitches. Obviously has versatility to start or come out of the bullpen. With a little work on his consistency, he could be very good.
Other guys I wouldn't mind seeing us pick up later on are Daniel Tuttle, a HS RHP with a great arm but mechanical issues, and Ryan Jackson, a SS for the University of Miami in the Adam Everett mold who has an incredible glove but not much bat to speak of. Maybe he's the next Ozzie Smith! But probably not.
What other names do you guys and gals hope we call tomorrow/today?