2014 Royals Draft: A Recap

Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

A recap of who the Royals drafted, where they are from, and maybe a little more...

The players have been selected. Now their fates need to be signed, both metaphorically and literally, but perhaps also existentially too. I gave this draft a B grade in part because I wanted a college or polished hitter in the first two picks. Regardless of my opinion, the Royals made their Rule 4 draft selections and I will unbiasedly report them to you.

Courtesy of Baseball America

RND PICK TEAM PLAYER POS SCHOOL ST

1 17 Royals Brandon Finnegan LHP Texas Christian TX

Pool Amt: $2,200,600 *Pool Limit: $2,200,600 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $2,630,745
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
1 28 Royals Foster Griffin LHP The First Academy, Orlando FL

Pool Amt: $1,815,500 *Pool Limit: $1,815,500 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $2,245,645
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
1.5 40 Royals Chase Vallot C St. Thomas More HS, Lafayette, La. LA

Pool Amt: $1,420,800 *Pool Limit: $1,420,800 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $1,850,945
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
2 56 Royals Scott Blewett RHP Baker HS, Baldwinsville, N.Y. NY

Pool Amt: $1,003,200 *Pool Limit: $1,003,200 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $1,433,345
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
3 92 Royals Eric Skoglund LHP Central Florida FL

Pool Amt: $576,100 *Pool Limit: $576,100 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $1,006,245
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
4 123 Royals D.J. Burt SS Fuquay-Varina (N.C.) HS NC

Pool Amt: $420,000 *Pool Limit: $420,000 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $850,145
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
5 153 Royals Corey Ray RHP Texas A&M TX

Pool Amt: $314,400 *Pool Limit: $314,400 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $744,545
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
6 183 Royals Logan Moon OF Missouri Southern MO

Pool Amt: $235,400 *Pool Limit: $235,400 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $665,545
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
7 213 Royals Brandon Downes OF Virginia VA

Pool Amt: $176,500 *Pool Limit: $176,500 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $606,645
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
8 243 Royals Ryan O'Hearn 1B Sam Houston State TX

Pool Amt: $156,600 *Pool Limit: $156,600 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $586,745
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
9 273 Royals Brandon Thomasson OF Tennessee Tech TN

Pool Amt: $146,200 *Pool Limit: $146,200 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $576,345
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
10 303 Royals Nick Green LHP Utah UT

Pool Amt: $137,600 *Pool Limit: $137,600 +Limit w/o Draft Pick Penalty: $567,745
The calculations above assume that all other unsigned picks are signed for the exact pool allotment assigned to that pick*The amount remaining in the bonus pool for this pick.+The maximum the team can spend without losing draft picks
11 333 Royals Robert Pehl 1B Washington WA

12 363 Royals Emilio Ogando LHP St. Thomas (Fla.) FL

13 393 Royals Eric Stout LHP Butler IN

14 423 Royals Ian Tompkins LHP Western Kentucky KY

15 453 Royals Corey Toups SS Sam Houston State TX

16 483 Royals Manny Olloque 3B Torrance (Calif.) HS CA

17 513 Royals Brennan Henry LHP Bellevue (Neb.) NE

18 543 Royals Alberto Rodriguez RHP Northwest Florida State JC FL

19 573 Royals Scott Heineman OF Oregon OR

20 603 Royals Kyle Pollock C Evansville IN

21 633 Royals Evan Beal RHP South Carolina SC

22 663 Royals Mike Hill SS Long Beach State CA

23 693 Royals Eric Sandness RHP San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC CA

24 723 Royals Brandon Thomas LHP San Diego State CA

25 753 Royals Rudy Martin OF Lewisburg (Pa.) HS PA

26 783 Royals Michael Arroyo C Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Gurabo, P.R. PR

27 813 Royals Alex Close C Liberty VA

28 843 Royals Joshua Banuelos 1B Fresno Pacific CA

29 873 Royals Vance Vizcaino 3B Glendale (Ariz.) CC AZ

30 903 Royals Ryan Lillard 3B Urbandale (Iowa) HS IA

31 933 Royals Rocky McCord RHP Auburn AL

32 963 Royals Timothy Hill LHP Bacone (Okla.) OK

33 993 Royals DonAndre Clark OF St. Mary's CA

34 1,023 Royals Todd Eaton RHP Southern Illinois IL

35 1,053 Royals Andrew Sykes LHP Valparaiso (Ind.) HS IN

36 1,083 Royals Brandon Gonzalez OF Villa Park (Calif.) HS CA

37 1,113 Royals David Noworyta C Holy Cross HS, Delran, N.J. NJ

38 1,143 Royals Cole Way LHP Tulsa OK

39 1,173 Royals Jeff Hendrix OF Oregon State OR

40 1,203 Royals Diego Francisco 2B Palm Beach Central HS, Wellington, Fla. FL

Thoughts by the major pundits:

MLB.com:

In reference to the six clubs that made the best draft impressions;

5. Royals. If Texas Christian left-hander Brandon Finnegan and Baker High (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) right-hander Scott Blewett hadn't battled minor shoulder woes, Kansas City never would have gotten them with the Nos. 17 and 56 picks. Finnegan could have gone as high as No. 4 to the Cubs, while Blewett might have snuck into the first or supplemental first round. In between those two, the Royals snared advanced lefty Foster Griffin (first round) out of The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.) and slugging St. Thomas More High (Lafayette, La.) catcher Chase Vallot.

Keith Law:

The Royals will have done very well with their Day 1 picks if the gambles they took on two pitchers with shoulder issues work out. TCU lefty Brandon Finnegan (Round 1) was headed for a top-10 spot before his shoulder barked; he came back healthy, but the injury highlighted concerns about his 5-10 stature and late pronation in his delivery

...

Chase Vallot (Round 1A) is an offensive catcher who can hit and hit for power and earns raves for off-the-charts makeup, but he's a project behind the plate and might move to third base or right field because his bat is too good to wait for his defense to catch up.

....

The other pitcher with shoulder issues was prep righty Scott Blewett (Round 2) from upstate New York. He was probably going to go as the Royals' first pick before he was shut down, making just one final outing before the draft, which the Royals attended heavily.

...

They took another college lefty in Central Florida's Eric Skoglund (Round 3), a tall, skinny southpaw with three average pitches and a frame that should be projectable, although he'll be 22 in October and should have started to fill out by now.

There are two reasons Finnegan was still on the board: He's a TCU pitcher with an injury history, and he's 5-foot-11. If not for those things he would have been a top-12 pick for sure, given his fastball that sits at 92-94 mph and his breaking ball that flashes plus. If he moves to the bullpen, he could be closer, as he can get hitters out at both sides of the plate, but as a starter he could be a mid-rotation guy that helps who Kansas City rotation in a few years -- most likely 2016.

Highest upside: Scott Blewett, RHP, CW Baker HS (Baldwinsville, New York) -- Blewett was considered a lock for the first round before injuring his forearm late in the year. However, his upside is right there with any of the prep pitchers who were drafted on Thursday. He's got quality size (6-foot-6, 210 pounds) and an above-average fastball and breaking ball. The changeup should be at least an average offering in time. There's some volatility here, but he's got a chance to be a No. 2 starter for the Kansas City Royals. Blewett's floor is as a quality reliever.

Reports are that the Royals were very much hoping Kodi Medeiros would fall to them with this pick, but I actually think they got a better pitcher in Griffin. His stuff reminds me of Mark Mulder as a left-hander who sits at 88 to 92 mph with a quality breaking ball and good feel for pitching.

Kiley McDaniel (Scout):

Some teams that had hauls that particularly stood out after day one: the Blue Jays had my favorite day one draft (Hoffman, Pentecost, Reid-Foley) because they took my best available at all three picks, the Rangers (Luis Ortiz and Forbes), the Dodgers (Holmes and Verdugo) and the Royals (Finnegan, Griffin, Vallot and Blewett).

Finnegan seemed likely to go in the top 20 picks after an injury scare that he bounced back from in regionals, though he was more of a top 10-15 prospect before the arm tightness. He's smallish and has some effort to the delivery, but the stuff is plus and the command is good, too.


Draft Pick Allotment: $2.20 million
Projected Bonus: $2.07 million

Baseball America:

Pick: Brandon Finnegan, lhp, Texas Christian
Pick value: $2,200,600
Area Scout: Chad Lee
Pick analysis: Had Finnegan been healthy the entire season, he could have gone in the top 10 picks and has some of the most electric stuff in the draft.

...


He went from having a below-average breaking ball to a wipeout pitch. Finnegan hasn't quite had the same power he showed last summer, pitching more in the 90-95 mph range this spring, but his slider has power and late action. He still has his solid-average changeup and much more confidence now with his breaking ball. Scouts also point to improved pitchability as he has settled into the Friday starter routine as well. Finnegan is just 5-foot-11, 184 pounds, and his early departure from an April 25 start and subsequent skipping of a start with a stiff shoulder will raise durability concerns.

Pick: Foster Griffin, lhp, The First Academy
Pick value: $1,815,500
Area Scout: Jim Buckley
Pick analysis: The Royals doubled up on lefthanders with Griffin and Finnegan. He is the highest drafted prep lefthander the Royals have drafted since Mike Montgomery in 2008.


Griffin presents a nice blend of present stuff, strike-throwing ability and projection. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder has an ideal pitcher's build that is made to handle innings and has drawn physical comparisons to Cole Hamels. His fastball sits 88-92 mph, touching 94 with glove-side run and downhill plane, and he's capable of getting his fastball under the hands of righthanded hitters. He has advanced feel for an above-average changeup. His curveball has improved and shows enough spin to project as at least an average offering. The Mississippi commit is a strike-thrower who can command his fastball to both sides of the plate.

On Finnegan:

Already armed with a fastball clocked from 93-98 mph, Finnegan learned a new grip on his slider from Team USA teammate and N.C. State ace Carlos Rondon, and the offering became an out pitch for Finnegan. He went 3-1, 1.14 in six appearances with Team USA, striking out 23 in 24 innings, while limiting opponents to a .145 average.

The best was yet to come for Finnegan. The 21-year-old went 8-3, 2.07 in 15 starts for the Horned Frogs with 122 strikeouts and 25 walks in 92 innings this past season. He held opponents to a .206 batting average and led the nation with 12.02 strikeouts per nine innings.

Via the Baseball America podcast:

Clint Longnecker on the Royals selections;

Just to be able to accumulate those three pitchers that they did with their first four picks, that just on a pure talent standpoint is a really impressive haul.

Jim Callis on Chase Vallot:

I think you know how I love Chase Vallot. Huge power. Country boy, country strong. I'm on Chase Vallot. I don't know if he'll catch or not. There's a chance to catch, and boy there's a real chance to hit and get into his power.

Callis on the first few rounds:

Really they got three pitchers right there in their first four picks who projected as first rounders at one point or another plus Vallot who projects definitely as one of the better hitters in this class.

Callis on Finnegan:

I think he has a floor as a really good lefty reliever.

...

When the guy was good this year it was three six's. It was plus FB, plus slider, and plus change. That's a risk I'm willing to take at 17.

Do I think Finnegan is going to be a consistent 180-200 inning pitcher? That might be a stretch. Just the history we have that might be a stretch.

...

There is risk there, but I understand why the Royals took the risk.

...

He did throw 90 plus innings this year. That's as many as Carlos Rodon threw. He pitched a lot this year.

...

He may have been shut down for a month because TCU was so careful with him. They went to take and get him an MRI, but the doctor said he didn't need an MRI...you're good, you're clear.

TCU put his health first.

Longnecker on DJ Burt the Royals 4th pick:

He's a high energy guy, playing shortstop now but most scouts do believe he's probably gonna have to move off the position. He's an above average runner and as a right handed hitter just a high energy guy; makes a good amount of contact. Has enough sneaky power to get himself in trouble sometimes.

Baseball Prospectus chat:

LindsBeard (Ottawa): Nick, I'd like your prediction - How many of the prospects just drafted will end up in BP's top 101, and which organization will have the most draftees make the list?

Draft Wrap Chat with Nick J. Faleris: At present it wouldn't be many, but that could change quickly once we see how some of these guys adjust to pro ball and how they look in fall instructs. Gun to my head I may go with Kansas City or Boston as the most likely to have the most 2014 draftees in the top 100. A lot of teams with two obvious candidates and some longer shots to jump rankings that quickly. Kansas City and Boston I could see three of each getting into game action and impressing enough to get 101 status early in their dev arc. Overall, I'd go with maybe ten or so ultimately making the list, with a big jump next year when a bunch of these high school kids take their first developmental step.

Bill (Bozeman): Nick, thanks to you and to BP for the fantastic draft and prospect coverage! I've been a subscriber since almost the beginning and you guys are doing a fnatastic job. Question about the Royals draft - it was disappointing to me not because of who they drafted but because it didn't include a single polished (close to the majors) bat. I know that was a scarcity in this draft and you are not supposed to draft for need, but I liked Zimmer/Gillaspie better than Finnegan at 1/17. Thoughts?

Draft Wrap Chat with Nick J. Faleris: Gillaspie and Zimmer have their warts. The former due to average bat speed and an upper-body-heavy metal bat swing. His success will be predicated upon an ability to make adjustments to advanced arms and put together an approach that helps him find pitches he can handle and drive. The latter is a tweener profile for me because I don't think the power naturally comes with his added strength due to the swing type, and the added strength/mass is ultimately going to push him over to right field. Finnegan comes with risk, but I still had him above both Zimmer and Gillaspie as far as overall value (Zimmer within like $250K or so).

Bill (Bozeman): Do you see the HS catcher drafted by the Royals, Chase Vallot, sticking behind the plate?

Draft Wrap Chat with Nick J. Faleris: I think he has an good chance to stick behind home, but could move to an outfield corner if the bat proves ready to move quickly (which it very well might). Good addition to the Royals system.

I mentioned this last night on Twitter but if I was going to immediately rank the current Royals system and if every player signed I'd probably have it like this:

1. Kyle Zimmer

2. Raul Mondesi

3. Hunter Dozier

4. Sean Manaea

5. Brandon Finnegan

6. Miguel Almonte

7. Jorge Bonifacio

8. Bubba Starling

9. Chase Vallot

10. Christian Binford

11. Foster Griffin

That's without any results by the three new draftees on the list.

Signers as of 06/09/14

CBL Round 1.5: Chase Vallot - Signed agreement. No amount confirmed yet - Slot value $1,420,800

2nd Round: Scott Blewet - Says he's decided to sign. No amount confirmed yet - Slot value $1,003,200

3rd Round: Erick Skoglund - $576,000 - Slot value of $576,100

4th Round: Dawon Burt - Unknown - Slot value of $420,000

5th Round: Corey Ray - Unknown - Slot value of $314,400

6th Round: Logan Moon - Unknown but rumored below slot - Slot value of $235,400

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