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Royals 2015 draft update

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Looking at the early returns of some of the 2015 team draft class

Nolan Watson
Nolan Watson
Steven Mantilla

It's really hard to get a grasp on really what you have in the months after the draft. Many players haven't even hit full season leagues and some are only on the field to get experience with the results being secondary. Thanks to the signing deadline being moved up we now get a slightly longer look at some of the prospects.

I thought the Royals 2015 class was just okay. I wasn't impressed immediately and I'm not sure how I feel about it even in the small sample size of returns so far. It'll likely be 5-7 years before we know how it ends up looking. I'll highlight a few guys specifically then give a total view of the class.

Round 1, Pick 21 - Ashe Russell (Burlington)

Russell was divisive as a pick pre-draft and the same remains post-draft. I'm not sure where he'll be on my top 50-60 list this winter but I'm pretty sure he won't be in the top five at this point (however that's extremely preliminary). Jim Callis and John Mayo at MLB.com just ranked Russell as the Royals 2nd best prospect, giving him two plus pitches and average control.

I think I can agree on having two above average pitches in his fastball and slider, but I don't think the control is there yet and there are some mechanical concerns too.

Russell has struggled a bit too so far with an underwhelming K/9 of 5.94 and BB/9 of 3.22. He also has a 4.21 ERA and 6.22 FIP.

It's hard to ignore results but Russell is a raw prep pitcher so there will be growing pains and it's about getting accustom to pro ball right now for him.

Round 1, Pick 33 - Nolan Watson (Burlington)

On my mid-season list I put Watson over Russell and I think it'll be the same this winter or at least the two should remain close together until one of them separates their self.

Watson obviously isn't really going to do that in his low-rookie pro debut really regardless of results, but like Russell he hasn't quite lit the league on fire.

Stat K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
Watson 4.91 3.38 4.91 4.75

Round 2, Pick 64 - Josh Staumont (Idaho Falls)

Staumont is going to be a bit of a project as well (like most prep pitchers) but there of course is one really good tool to work with. Staumont is the owner of an 80 grade fastball, arguably the best in the minors, that has touched 102 MPH so far in pro ball.

Staumont has a nice and easy delivery and generates extreme velocity with low effort (which is nice), but the command is very, very far away and may never come. His pro ball numbers show that:

League IP K/9 BB/9 ERA FIP
BUR 8.2 7.27 8.31 0.00 5.32
IDF 28.2 14.76 6.61 3.45 3.41

The Royals haven't been using him as a full on reliever as they've given him generally 2-3 innings of work at a time, and he was a starter at Azusa  but there's a pretty good chance he'll be a reliever in the majors. Despite that he could be pretty dang good if the control comes more in line.

Round 3, Pick 98 - Anderson Miller (Lexington)

Usually the Royals keep their college draftees in Idaho Falls for all of the year, but Miller jumped over IDF and after a few games in Burlington he went to A-Ball in Lexington.

The Royals like athletes, defense, and guys who put the ball in play and Miller fits that profile. He also has average or so power giving him potentially 4 average tools (power, defense, arm, speed) with hopes the hit tool comes forward. He also has a non-zero chance of staying in centerfield too, but a corner position may happen instead.

League PA BB% K% ISO wRC+
BUR 39 0% 17.9% 0.237 156
LEX 167 6.6% 14.4% 0.084 88

Round 5, Pick 159 - Roman Collins (Idaho Falls)

Collins didn't make the Baseball America Top 500 this summer, but the former FAU Owl has hit fine in his pro debut.

He's another guy who plays decent defense in the outfield, puts the ball in play, and has average or better speed. He's going to be a guy who'll have to hit at every level to be on any map.

League PA BB% K% ISO wRC+
IDF 285 13% 11.2% 0.131 111

Full picks

Rnd Name Pos League Notes
1 Ashe Russell RHP BUR 4.21 ERA 6.22 FIP
1 Nolan Watson RHP BUR 4.91 ERA 4.75 FIP
2 Josh Staumont RHP IDF 3.45 ERA 3.42 FIP
3 Anderson Miller CF LEX 88 wRC+
4 Garrett Davila LHP N/A Instructs
5 Roman Collins CF IDF 111 wRC+
6 Cody Jones CF IDF 85 wRC+
7 Gabriel Cancel SS AZL 84 wRC+
8 Andre Davis LHP BUR 7.16 ERA 5.72 FIP
9 Joseph Markus LHP BUR 9.87 ERA 4.97 FIP
10 Alex Luna RHP BUR 4.54 ERA 3.88 FIP
11 Ben Johnson OF BUR 131 wRC+
12 Daniel Concepcion RHP IDF 4.62 ERA 4.67 FIP
13 Travis Maezes SS N/A Instructs
14 Nick Dini C IDF 122 wRC+
15 Marquise Doherty OF N/A Did not sign
16 Matt Ditman RHP BUR 1.50 ERA 3.94 FIP
17 Matt Portland LHP IDF 3.08 ERA 3.54 FIP
18 Brian Bayliss RHP IDF 6.66 ERA 4.80 FIP
19 Emmanuel Rivera SS AZL 74 wRC+
20 Junior Harding RHP N/A Did not sign
21 Austin Bailey SS LEX 131 wRC+
22 Stephen Milligan LHP IDF 4.43 ERA 3.87 FIP
23 Colton Frabasilio OF BUR 116 wRC+
24 Jonathan McCray 2B AZL 111 wRC+
25 Tyler Carvalho RHP AZL 3.45 ERA 3.12 FIP
26 Alex Close C AZL 73 wRC+
27 Jacob Bodner RHP BUR 0.77 ERA 1.93 FIP
28 Reed Hayes RHP N/A Did not sign
29 Mark McCoy LHP BUR 2.17 ERA 2.66 FIP
30 Luke Willis OF BUR 68 wRC+
31 Brian Bien SS BUR 88 wRC+
32 Jake Kalish LHP BUR 2.20 ERA 2.23 FIP
33 Nathan Esposito C AZL 115 wRC+
34 Taylor Ostrich 1B AZL 149 wRC+
35 Trey Stover SS BUR 41 wRC+
36 Tanner Stanley OF BUR 58 wRC+
37 Jacob Ruder RHP N/A Did not sign
38 Dylan Horne LHP N/A Did not sign
39 Billy Endris OF N/A Did not sign
40 Ford Proctor C N/A Did not sign