The Major League Rule 4 amateur draft takes place beginning today, and while it may never be the same kind of major event as the NFL or NBA draft, it is pretty important to small market clubs like the Royals who rely on a pipeline of amateur talent at controlled costs.
Here is what you need to know about the draft, and consider this an open thread to discuss anything draft-related. Or non-draft related. It’s a free country.
When is the draft? Rounds 1 and 2 will be Monday, June 4 at 6 p.m. CT. Rounds 3-10 will be Tuesday, June 5 at noon. Rounds 11-40 will be on June 6 at 11 a.m. Picks happen at a much faster pace than the NFL draft, especially after the first round, when they are pretty rapid-fire.
How can I put the draft in my eyeballs? MLB Network will provide coverage beginning at 5 p.m. CT on Monday hosted by Greg Amsinger with Dan O’Dowd, Jim Duquette, Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo, and Harold Reynolds pretending like he knows anything about the draft picks. Coverage on Tuesday and Wednesday will be online at MLB.com.
What players can be selected? Baseball players! Well, sometimes football players too. Players eligible to be drafted are players from the United States or Canada who have either (a) graduated high school but not attended college yet; (b) finished at least their junior year of college or are at least 21 years old; or (c) any junior college player. Players can be selected and opt not to sign and choose to attend school.
When do the Royals pick? The Royals will have 5 of the top 58 selections. They will pick 18th in the first round, based on the reverse order of last year’s standings. They will get two compensatory picks at 33 and 34 for losing Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer to free agency. They get a competitive balance pick at 40. Their second-round pick will be #58, and they will choose 18th in every round after that. The full draft order is here. Detroit has the #1 overall pick.
Can teams trade picks? NO.*
*-teams can trade competitive balance picks, but only during the regular season, and they can only be traded once.
Why not? Because that’s the way it has always been and things will never change. We still sing a song about Cracker Jack during games, for heaven’s sake, as if that were still a thing.
What are draft bonus pools? Teams are awarded bonus values based on their draft pick. Those values for the first ten rounds are combined to give each team a draft bonus pool they cannot exceed. That pool amount can be dispersed however the team wishes. The Royals will have $12,781,900 to spend on the first ten rounds, the most in baseball due to their number of high picks.
Who the Royals will select? Well you can be sure it is a gritty gamer with high character who just loves gettin’ dirty out there and playin’ the game of baseball. The team has been linked to a number of high school players, primarily hitters, but some pitchers as well. Catcher Noah Naylor, infielders Jeremiah Jackson, Jordan Groshans and Brice Turang, and outfielders Jordyn Adams, Connor Scott, and Parker Meadows have been linked to them. They were reported to have had a big turnout to see high school pitcher Mason Denaburg.
You can read more about potential draft prospects here:
Latest mock drafts:
18. Kansas City Royals - Brice Turang, Santiago (Corona, Calif.) HS.
Turang’s asking price is rumored to be high, and if the Royals don’t get Adams to this spot could spend some of their major league best pool money on the former top player of the class.
18. Kansas City Royals – Nick Schnell, CF, Roncalli HS (IN)
The Royals, like the Rays, have a huge pool and are mostly targeting the top prep talents so they can use their draft pool to move players around. Schnell, Naylor, Adams, Casas, Groshans, Denaburg, Hoglund, and Georgia prep righties Wilcox, Hankins, and Rocker are the wide field of candidates in play here and the next couple picks, with Rolison also in the mix as a college player, likely only at this pick.
18. Kansas City Royals: Jordan Groshans, 3b, Magnolia (Texas) HS
The Royals pick again at 33, 34, 40 and 58, so they’re linked to ... everyone. And I am sure most of it is real. I have heard them specifically linked to Groshans and Turang, along with Mason Denaburg, Jake McCarthy, Jeremy Eierman, Scott and Adams, and that’s probably about right. When you pick that often and have that much pool money, you should be linked to a lot of players. They do have the opportunity to walk out of this with three first-round talents if they play the board well.
Mayo: Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (Cary, NC) -- Like Tampa Bay, Kansas City has five picks over the first two rounds, so it can be creative and aggressive in going after high-end talent, including someone like Adams, a two-sport standout who could go to North Carolina for football and baseball.
Callis: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi -- Kansas City could be tempted by Adams or Groshans if they are available, or go for a college pitcher if not.
No. 18: Kansas City Royals
Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha West HS (Wis.)
The Royals’ draft strategy will hinge on two factors: The club has the largest spending pool with four picks in the top 40; it also has a desperate need for starting pitching in the minors. The Royals, however, have had more success picking position players in the first round under general manager Dayton Moore. It’s hard to say who’ll be available at No. 18. But don’t be surprised if they go for another high-upside position player like Kelenic, a toolsy outfielder with a strong arm, good power and the potential to stay in center field. — Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd)
Who do you like? Who will the Royals choose? When the Royals’ pick comes up at 18, I’d like to see everyone’s “Shadow Royals Draft Pick”, so be ready to select!