Last time we looked at the poor and college heavy draft of 2010. We now move on to the 2011 draft. It is still too soon to make pronouncements at the Major league level for this class. But the college players will need to prove their worth by the end of the year or be exposed to Rule V judgement.
The 2011 draft unlike the 2010 draft was much heavier with High School players picked. In fact the first 5 picks were High Schoolers. With the draft money fixed in the draft today, you may never see five High Schoolers picked first ever again.
C for College, HS for High School, JC for Junior College
1) Bubba Starling-HS: Although he has an extreme profile when looking at his peripherals, he has basically been an average hitter the past two years. Statcorner has his wOBA+ as 104 last year and 96 this year. Couple that with being below the average age for the level and playing a premium position well and he looks like someone who could someday make the Majors. The chances he'll reach his fantastic potential seem remote however. But he still could be a major league regular.
2) Cam Gallagher-HS: Gallagher is a true catcher, which is good since his bat probably won't get him to the majors. He's been a below average hitter the past two year. But if he can continue to advance a level a year and not have his bat completely tank, then he has a decent chance to make the Majors as at least a back-up catcher someday.
3) Bryan Brickhouse-HS: Had TJ surgery Last June. Before then he was an interesting prospect who was able to induce a lot of ground balls. His K and BB numbers weren't great but had improved each year. His upside is a 4/5 workhorse.Had a fastball that could hit the mid to upper 90.
4) Kyle Smith-HS: Traded to Houston for Justin Maxwell.
6) Ceasar Ogando-JC: Suspended in 2012, struggled at Lexington this year and has subsequently been released.
7) Kellen Moen-C: Released, no longer with the Royals.
8) Evan Beal-HS: Did not sign.
9) Aaron Brooks-C: First player from the 2011 draft to hit the majors. He has primarily started in the minor leagues, but got a call-up as a reliever. A lot of ground-balls, but not a lot of strikeouts. It yet remains to be seen if he has a future in the majors or if he was just given the "Eduardo Villacis" treatment. On the plus side his ERA is down this year, but his FIP is up.
10) Matt Murray-C: Reliever who started the year well in Wilmington. Promoted to AA with mixed results.
11) Jerrell Allen-HS: An OF moving slowly through the system with poor results. Could be considered organizational depth by the Royals at this point.
12) Adam Schemenauer-HS: Local kid who did not sign.
13) Stephen Lumpkins-C: Basketball player drafted by the Royals as a pitcher. He has since returned to basketball.
14) D'Andre Toney-JC: Traded to Houston as part of the Quintero/Bourgeois trade.
15) Dean Espy-C: Released by the Royals, now with Colorado.
17) Nicholas Cuckovich-JC: Released and no longer with the Royals.
18) Andy Ferguson-C: Recently profiled by stlfan. Probably has a chance to make the majors as a reliever. Could be added to 40 man at the end of the year.
19) Matt Flemer-C: Did not sign. Drafted by Colorado in 2012.
20) Terrance Gore-JC: Outfielder with elite speed. If he can get on base more, he could be Dyson's replacement in a couple of years.
21) Kenny Swab-C: He gave up as a catcher and tried to reinvent himself a pitcher, but has since been released.
22) Dave Middendorf-C: Released and no longer with the Royals.
23) Lance Harper-JC: Hasn't been seen with the Royals since 2012.
24) Spencer Patton-C: He has consistently put up good numbers in the minors. Doing well at AAA Omaha this year. Quite likely to make his major league debut this year. He might be the surest thing from this draft.
25) Mark Threlkeld-C: First-baseman at AA. Most likely an organizational player.
26) Joseph Moorefield-C: Did not sign.
27) Lee Clubb-HS: Did not sign.
28) Jordan Ramsey-HS: Did not sign.
29) Jake Junis-HS: Recently pitched 8 innings of no-hit ball. Good control, but needs to strikeout more. Current upside is probably a relief pitcher.
30) Mark Christian Binford-HS: Tall player who surprisingly succeeds with good control but below average stuff. With Starling struggling, Binford is probably the top prospect from this draft still with the Royals. He has got a lot of sleeper love, but has yet to crack the major top prospect lists. K% of 30 at Wilmington is elite. But with Royals pitchers, you never want to get too excited until they show some success at AA.
31) Chris Serritella-C: Did not sign. Drafted by Phillies in 2012, 4th round.
32) Nick Piscotty-HS: Did not sign.
33) Abel Gonzales-C: Released and no longer with the Royals.
34) Ali Williams-C: He has pitched the past two years mostly in relief. Great k% but could use better control. He just got the call-up to AA this week. Possible addition to the 40 man roster at the end of the year.
35) Gabriel Gray-HS: Not seen since 2011.
36) Christian Witt- -C: Not seen since 2012.
37) Matt Wessinger-C: Did not sign. Drafted by Rockies in 2012, 5th round.
38) Andrew Durden-C: Released and no longer with the Royals.
39) Garrett Mattlage- HS: Did not sign.
40) Ben Waldrip-C: Did not sign. Drafted by Rockies in 2012, 10th round.
41) Travis Lane-JC: Released and no longer with the Royals.
42) Joey Hawkins-HS: Did not sign.
43) Tyler Chism-C: Outfielder. Lost a year due to injury. That leaves him at 25 still playing in the low minors and fighting for at bats.
44) Andrew Vasquez-HS: Did not sign.
45) Julio Morales-C: Released and no longer with the Royals.
46) Adrian Bringas-C:Voluntarily retired.
47) Patrick Corbett-HS: Did not sign.
48) Matt Beaty-HS: Did not sign.
49) Adrian Morales-C: Released and no longer with the Royals.
50) Kash Kalkowski-C: Did not sign.
20 High Schoolers were drafted with 10 signed. At this point, there is still some upside but not a lot of sure things. With pick number 30 probably the top prospect at this current moment. Although only one draft pick has made it to the majors, 3 picks have been traded to acquire major league players. Although Quintero and Bourgeois have moved on without any return, Justin Maxwell was successfully slipped through waivers to be stashed away until next year. Although, Patrick Leonard would look awfully good in the Royals farm system right now, its very hard to judge what he brought back in the infamous Myers/Davis trade.
With so much of any draft tied up with the first pick, its tough not to look down on this draft with Bubba's struggles. But Bubba, Binford, and Brickhouse still have possible starter upside. Plus, there are several bit parts and relievers in the mix, Patton even has the look of a possible elite reliever. You also have to look at the fact that some players have already brought back major league players in trades. So, its a tough draft to grade. But I'd judge it better than 2010 but not a very good draft either.