Kansas City Royals
Draft Philosophy: Take the best offensive ceiling player in the draft, and follow that up with high-ceiling pitcher after high-ceiling pitcher.
First Pick: Eric Hosmer, 1B, American Heritage HS (FL) (third overall)
How High He Could Have Gone: Three is about it. Kansas City can easily argue that he was the third best talent in the draft, but at no time did he seem to be in Tampa or Pittsburgh’s mix.
Path To The Big Leagues: Forget about a comparison to Billy Butler--he’s a DH, while Hosmer has the athleticism to become a quality defender at first base, and may even get a shot at the outfield. No matter where he ends up, Hosmer's bat is his ticket to the big leagues, but a Butler-esque rush to the majors is probably not in the cards.
Rest of the First Day:
1. Mike Montgomery, LHP, Hart HS (CA): A tall, thin southpaw who already has effective three-pitch mix, and could move up quickly.
2. Johnny Giovatella, 2B, New Orleans: This diminuitive middle infielder has always put up good numbers and has more baseball skills than his size might indicate.
3. Tyler Sample, RHP, Mullen HS (CO): Plenty of people are wondering how he dropped to the third round; 6'7" righties who can touch 95 mph don’t exactly grow on trees.
4. Tim Melville, RHP, Holt HS (MO): Thought to be a mid-first-round talent, the challenge now lies in signing him away from college.
5. John Lamb, LHP, Laguna Hills HS (CA): The southpaw has average stuff, but the polish and feel of a college product.
6. Alex Llanos, OF, PR Baseball Academy (PR): A burner still learning how to play baseball, but he has lots of tools as a starting point.