Someone drafted today will become an All-Star one day. Will Dayton find him?
RHP Zebulon Sneed, Northwest Nazarene College (Idaho) - 6'5'' gangly kid with a 96 mph fastball, but little command. Throws an interesting split-fingered fastball. Has yet to produce results. Eager to sign. Appeared in several Dr. Seuss books.
2B Jackson Willeford, Ramona HS (Ramona, CA) - Just 5'9'', but a gym rat, drawing comparisons to Dustin Pedroia (as every short infielder does). Good left-handed pop and decent pitch recognition. Committed to Arizona.
LHP Hunter Haynes, Mexico HS (Mexico, MO) - Lefty with mid-80s fastball that should increase in velocity as he adds bulk. Deep curveball and decent command. Committed to Missouri.
C Mike "Parker" Morin, University of Utah - Led the Utes with a .314 average, although just three home runs. Led conference in runners caught stealing. Transfer from College of Southern Idaho. Has already agreed to sign in principle.
LHP Dylan Sons, Halifax County HS (South Boston, VA) - Projectable lefty. Attended same high school as Jeremy Jeffress. Named District player of the Year. Committed to Wingate.
"The scary part for us is we think he’s got huge ceiling left in him," said Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg, who compared Zimmer to Giants starter Matt Cain. "You’re looking at a fresh arm — a young kid. He’s only 20 years old." And by some twist of fate, Zimmer’s late start on the mound may have provided the ideal foundation. "We’re getting a guy who we think is already pretty polished," Goldberg said. "But we’re also getting a guy who we think has a ton of ceiling left in him."
"Young, big arm, left-handed arm. We got to catch him in the SEC Tournament, threw the ball real well, 90-95 [mph], good breaking ball. We felt like he was a guy that started to come on late, started getting a chance to get some innings and feel like he was heading in the right direction," said Royals director of scouting Lonnie Goldberg. "We didn't think he was going to make it very far on Day 2. We were lucky."
Goldberg, on third round pick Colin Rodgers:
"We’ve been on him for about two years," Goldberg said. "We think we’re getting another young lefty in our system who is polished. He’s got a breaking ball. He’s got good command. He’s got a good delivery and easy arm action."
On fourth round pick Kenny Diekroger:
"When you look at Kenny, watch him play, his numbers don’t add up. Sometimes, stats can be misleading. We think this guy has plus-plus makeup. We’re anxious to get a wood bat in his hand. We think he has a ton of upside."
Johnson, who throws with his right hand but bats left-handed, has signed to continue his career at Illinois State University and at the moment isn’t sure if he will sign with the Royals or play for the Redbirds. "Nothing is finalized," he said.
In less than three weeks, Zach Lovvorn has gone from Oxford’s Game 3 starter in the Class 6A championship series to Kansas City Royals draftee. He’s about to be a Kansas City Royals signee. The senior pitcher told The Star on Tuesday that he will sign a minor-league contract on Thursday, then fly to Surprise, Ariz., to begin evaluation and mini-camp work. The Samford signee will forego playing college baseball. "I’m going," he said.
Fred Ford went into the second day of the draft hoping to be picked somewhere in the top 10 rounds. Then the Fort Zumwalt South graduate, who recently finished his sophomore year at Jefferson College, got the call of a lifetime..
The 6-foot-5 slugger had an eye-opener sophomore season at Jefferson College, hitting .432 with 13 homers, 68 RBI, 32 stolen bases and a .522 OBP. Ford played first base for Jefferson College, but will begin his professional career as an outfielder, a position he hasn’t played since his sophomore season at Zumwalt South.
"You know we battled up there (2012 Junior College World Series), but I got All-Region up there and "Most Outstanding Pitcher" and it's been an experience of a lifetime and I'm excited to start my pro-ball career," said Stumpf.
"I want to sign and get ready to play professional baseball," Sneed said. "We had something worked out but it’s not quite all the way done yet, so we’re still talking. It might be a few days, but I’ll sign if it all works out."
"Right off the bat, when it hit about the seventh round I started getting some phone calls from clubs saying what they wanted to do. It was just unbelievable, just very blessed to have it happen they way it did," said Morin, adding he has agreed in principle with the Royals and will sign a contract in the coming days. He declined to disclose the amount of his signing bonus.