There will be more content coming likely this weekend as I'll post my dream draft scenario, but I wanted to throw some open thoughts out there as well as start a discussion perhaps on players that some of us do and don't like.
This draft has been getting stronger and stronger it seems. Guys who are Top 10 picks in other drafts are Top 20 in this one likely. The prep pitcher crop seems to be getting stronger and the college hitter side seems to be deflating a bit.
I've fallen out of favor with Schwarber. At first I thought I liked his build and power output but the more I read and see on him the less I am liking him. The squatted stance is off putting, I don't know if he sticks at catcher, and his body may hinder his ability to get around on inside pitches. If he trimmed down a bit perhaps that would ease my conscious, but he's always been a bigger guy so I don't think that'll happen.
More on the Royals 2014 Draft
More on the Royals 2014 Draft
I just don't understand this guy. A 60-65 grade potential hitter with 50-55 grade power and 65-70 grade speed all at second base? Ughh yeah. I'll take him in the first round and even the first 20 picks. You can hate on the weak arm, which is understandable, but at the keystone it won't kill him. So why is he generally being seen as a second rounder? Maybe it's the shoulder injury that scouts aren't liking? Maybe it the small track record of prep second baseman taken in the first round?
I think I'd perhaps take the "risk" at #17 and easily pull the trigger at #28.
Probably the best prep pitcher from Florida this year. He's risen a bit in this draft and could be a legit pick at 17. I'm shying towards an upside bat for the Royals with their first pick, but the news on Reid-Foley has been very good as the season winds down. I'm not sure if he's anything more than an a mid-rotation guy but he has #2 upside and pounds the zone. The fastball has been really jumping this spring and reports are he's up to 97 MPH. He recently scrapped the curveball so he's going to fully rely on the changeup to fill his reverse-platoon role.
I don't want him at #17, but #28 would be very nice.
Reed snuck up on us this draft. Despite playing in a power conference, Kentucky isn't a major player in the draft usually. James Paxton was a Kentucky alum but he was technically drafted out of independent ball. Alex Meyer of the Twins is a good prospect. Brandon Webb is the best player out of UK and Logan Darnell, who was drafted in 2010, is the last UK draftee to play in the majors.
Only five Wildcats have been taken in the first round and AJ Reed might be the sixth. It's been three years since a UK player was taken in the first and 22 years since one was taken in the second.
Reed is a two-way guy out in Lexington, but his future is in the batters box. His calling card is his power. He leads all of college baseball in home runs and slugging percentage. As with a lot of power first guys, the hit tool is what needs work.
Reed's swing can get long and lacks elite bat speed, but generates power with his strong body and hips. I worry about the plate discipline, but it's probably average or so right now. He's got poor wheels and the defense is just okay at first so he's gotta hit. A move to the outfield isn't likely for Reed.
Take him at 17? Absolutely not. Take him at 28? Probably not. Take him at 40? Okay.
Royals have been in talk with the Hawaiian prep pitcher to go at 28. I don't know if I like Medeiros here. He's very young for the class and I like the power fastball/sinker he's got, but the arm slot worries me and his command could be better. Some see him as a reliever eventually.
I say let him go to Pepperdine.
The Royals have options at 17 and 28 but there's a lot of talent stacked in there. It would be nice to have picks 17 AND 18, but obviously that's not the case. Best case is the Royals take who they have the best player on their board at 17 then perhaps someone with picks 18-27 goes off the board a bit and takes a high floor talent or easy sign. Detroit could take Nick Burdi, Jeff Hoffman could try to be signed, and Oakland or Boston could take a guy with a little more upside but lower floor. That would increase the chances for the Royals to grab the next best guy on their board.
I'll have my mock draft out, just for the Royals only, here soon once the picture gets a little more clearer.