2014 Draft: Players to Avoid

A small suite of players who the Royals could perhaps do without drafting

Like the Plague:

Jacob Gatewood

The only guy to make my plague section is Gatewood. Man...I love the power. I really, really, really do, and he's also a short stop, but the hit tool just isn't there. He made some mechanical adjustments this spring and he's got good bat speed, but he's just too aggressive and the swing is long. There's a lot of noise there.

I like the guy and he has a chance to stay at SS for a while... but he's also got the chance to never make it out of AA.

Like Mexican Bottled Water:

Touki Toussaint

Just too much going on with him. The delivery, the control, the short history. He's a project to be sure, but he's supremely athletic and has tremendous upside. He won't be there when the Royals pick likely, but it's a non-zero chance.

Erick Fedde

I like Fedde, but not at #17 and I want to clarify the difference between Jeff Hoffman, Sean Manaea, and Fedde. Both Hoffman and Fedde are college pitchers who will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery and are almost guaranteed to not pitch in 2015. There are a lot of comparisons to Manaea from last year but solely in the injured pitcher who could drop category. Manaea is/was a better pitcher than Fedde, but the main difference is that Fedde is undergoing TJs while Manaea had hip surgery. Obviously for pitchers one of those is worse than the other. Hoffman is close to Manaea in talent and at #17 could be a great steal for a team willing to wait out the injury. Fedde isn't worth that wait. He was expected to go between picks 10-15ish pre-injury. So why sign him, hopefully, at #17 then put him through TJS and hope he comes back to full strength when he was gonna go around the #17 pick anyways? Manaea dropped 25-30 spots and Hoffman is going to drop possibly 10+ spots while Fedde will only really drop 2-3 spots or so. The risk/reward is there for a pitcher who was in 1.1 consideration like Hoffman/Manaea, but Fedde was never in that realm.

Tyler Beede

For an organization who's struggled to develop pitching prospects, Beede could be a nightmare. He's working with tremendous stuff, but there are consistency and mechanical changes needed to unlock and then refine Beede's talent. That's something I'm not sure KC is able to do. Maybe a team like St Louis could harness the talent that is there, but let them do it.

Monte Harrison

This was a tough one. I thought about putting him in the section below, but I think ultimately he's a little higher risk than some of the players below. I remember hearing that Harrison is a better athlete than Bubba Starling, but I don't buy that. The hit tool is better than Starling's, but I think the power is less. Harrison at #28 would be a nice risk/reward grab, but at #17 would be pulling the trigger too quick. He seems like a Pirates or Reds pick.

Michael Kopech

Almost joined Gatewood in the first group. That delivery hurts my eyes. He's going to be a reliever eventually. Certainly won't be in contention for the Royals at #17 or #28, but he could still be there at #40 where I still wouldn't take him. Perhaps with their 4th pick.

Like a Drunk Uncle:

Michael Gettys

Gettys only appears on this list because Monte Harrison is on here. I love Gettys. Not at #28, but at #40. There certainly are very valid questions about the hit tool, but with his power, speed, and arm that should damn him too much. He could be a all star caliber middle of the order centerfielder or could be a fourth outfielder. It's almost fully contingent on the hit tool.

Kodi Medeiros

The Royals have been heavily tied to Medeiros at #28 and I don't know if I like or hate that and at this point I'm split on him. The fastball is beautiful and is one of the best in the draft. He's got to learn consistency with his stuff and the changeup needs to be better otherwise he's a reliever with his arm slot being another flag. Scouts seem almost split on him being a starter or reliever and you absolutely let him fail as a starter first.

Nick Howard

I've seen Howard as high as the mid-20's in some list, but that's too rich for a reliever to me. A team could give him the chance to start for a while, but he could zip through to the pros as a reliever. Seems like a Detroit or Dodgers pick.

Luis Ortiz

Ortiz would be okay at #28 perhaps, but I'm a little put off by his size. He's pretty much maxed out as far as projection on his body. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but there's also the chance he could return back to his once well overweight self and struggle to control his body. If he stays his current size and his arm soreness fully goes away he could be a nice mid-rotation pitcher.

The draft is just 5 days away and I'm going to try to pound out a few more articles throughout next week. I'll have my Royals mock draft out, perhaps some player profiles, then a primer on the draft, as well as any ad hoc articles I can think. Of course we'll have a live draft thread right here on draft day.

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