A Look Back at Dayton Moore's First Draft

Dayton Moore was hired shortly before the 2006 Draft, and the official story has always been that he recused himself from that enterprise. I've always found that a little hard to believe, but then again, the role of the GM on Draft Day is typically overstated by fans. It's really a day for the scouts and the player dev. guys who have spent the last year doing the leg work. In any case, by 2007 Dayton and his guys were fully in place. Just for the heck of it, I felt like looking back at how that draft has turned out so far.

  1. (2nd overall) Mike Moustakas: I'm assuming you know about him. Some disagreement about his upside but a broad consensus he will be an everyday Major Leaguer. Will he be average, good, or great?
  2. (66th overall) RHP-Sam Runion: A high-school pick out of North Carolina, Runion struggled from the beginning, spending three seasons at A-level Burlington. He recently had Tommy John surgery and is rehabbing. Still in the organization, has to be a long shot at this point.
  3. (96th overall) LHP- Danny Duffy: I'm also assuming you know about him. Duffy posted a 2.96 ERA in 72 minor league starts, reaching Top 100 Prospect Status. Duffy's rookie season hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows, but there's nevertheless good reason to be hopeful. 
  4. (126th overall) RHP- Mitch Hodge Nielsen: A high school pitcher out of British Columbia, Nielsen is currently a reliever for Kane County. Nielsen has always walked too many people and not struck out enough, and that continues this year.
  • (156th overall) OF-Adrian Ortiz: The Puerto Rican has never quite hit, though he's stolen a base or two. He has been released.
  • (186th overall) SS-Fernando Cruz: Never hit as a SS, is now in extended spring training attempting to become a pitcher.
  • (216th overall) OF- Hilton Richardson: One a million speedy CFs we've seen in the system, at all levels, since Moore took over. Richardson posted a .500 something OPS at A-ball last season and now is... wait for it... in Atlanta's system. 
  • (246th overall) RHP - Casey Fieckert: Hasn't pitched since 2008, I just hope he's still alive.
  • (276th overall) RHP - Zachary Kenyon: He appears never to have appeared in a minor league game.
  • (306th overall) RHP - Greg Holland: A reliever from the beginning, Holland was one of the first Moore draftees to appear in the Majors, debuting in 2010. He has been excellent in 2011, posting a 241 ERA+.
  • Obviously, the draft goes on, but the top ten gives you a decent snapshot. Moustakas and Duffy still have the potential to be enormously valuable, and if either pans out in any way, it will be a good draft. Aside from Holland -- who is a nice bit player but has limited value as a reliever -- the rest of the top ten was shockingly bad. Or maybe not, given how most draft picks go. Ortiz, Cruz, and Richardson were all position players who simply never hit, despite flashing tremendous tools. Runion, Fieckert, and Kenyon are all standard issue busted pitching prospects.

    Outside the top 10, some notable names remain. Many people are quite keen on the 11th round pick, David Lough, who has become an internet favorite. Lough hit well at AA in 2009, and he's followed that up with a good year at AAA (.310/.359/.481) in 2011. He doesn't have a clear place in the Royal outfield, but he's almost certain to make the Major Leagues at some point. 

    25th round pick Clint Robinson is the other find from this draft, and even if he never makes the Major Leagues, he's already been a successful pick. At the very least, he has trade value on the minor league market right now. Robinson has hit from the beginning, and his 2010 numbers at AA were eye-opening, even though he's never been loved by the prospect hounds. He's been good, not great, in the hitter friendly PCL this season (.320/.396/.516). As with Lough, I'm not sure he has a future with the Royals, especially since 1B/DH looks completely locked down for the next five years, but he's a good bet to get a shot with a bad team at some point. I hope, at least.

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