The start of the draft if 4 weeks from today. The Royals have the #4 overall pick (and follow that up with the #53 overall pick). I'll have my rankings in a couple of weeks but I'd like to find out who you all think we should take with the #4 pick. There have been a few rumblings about players the Royals are interested in and after the jump we'll look at who some of the likely candidates for the #4 pick are.
We can safely assume that Bryce Harper will not be there when we pick. And I'm afraid it isn't likely that Jameson Taillon is availible (it sound like the Orioles will take Taillon if he is availible). So if those two guys-who are a pretty clear #1 and #2 in my book-are not availible, what are the Royals options:
--Drew Pomeranz--LHP--Ole Miss. Pomeranz has a 2.17 ERA in 75ip with 13.5 K/9, 4.3 BB/9 0.6 HR/9 and a 1.14 WHIP. The strikeouts are good but the others numbers are good not great. There is a decent chance that Pittsburgh takes him with the #2 pick--so he might not be an option. Pomeranz doesn't have ace potential but most people think he could be a good #2 starter. His mechanics aren't great but, if he gets those adjusted, he could be ready soon. The other left handed option is Chris Sale--LHP--Florida Gulf Coast. Hasn't faced the competition that Pomeranz has and is rail thin--but shows better control.
--Yasmani Grandal--C--Miami. The Royals were linked to the switch hitting Grandal a couple of weeks ago--as an affordable pick who normally wouldn't be taken in the top 5 (think Tony Sanchez with Pittsburgh last year--Sanchez, BTW, is tearing up High-A so far this year) with the Royals spending money later in the draft or in the international market. Grandal, however, is steadily moving up draft boards--but I still haven't seen anybody listing him in their top 10. He's hitting 421/545/732 playing against some of the best college competition. He's supposed to have good defense. His bat was considered a question mark coming into the year. He doesn't quite have Buster Posey college numbers but his defense is better.
--Manny Machado--SS--HS. Machado has zoomed up draft boards--he's now Keith Law's #2 ranked player in this draft. He's got a good bat, good power, and a strong arm. There is some concern about whether he can stay as SS because he's 6' 2" already. He has a good glove, but the question is his range. He has big time upside with the potential to be a middle of the order hitter who plays a premium position. He's also a Boras client so whoever drafts him knows he will sign at 11:55pm, August 14th.
--Karsten Whitson--RHP--HS. If the Royals want to go HS pitching, Whitson stands out from an impressive group of high school hurlers not name Taillon. Mid-90's fastball, good slider and needs to work on a change up. He has impressed this spring, moving ahead of AJ Cole. He's got a load of potential, but like most high school pitchers, he needs some things to come together and avoid injury to reach his potential.
It could be someone not listed here (Christian Colon or Zach Cox come to mind) but these 4 represent College pitcher, College hitter, HS hitter, and HS pitcher--so you've got basic 4 directions the draft can go. So weigh in: