Why the Royals Won’t Take Rutschman If He’s There At #2

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(Long, witty intro).

Here’s why the Royals won’t take Rutschman he’s there at #2 in this year’s draft when the Royals pick (even though they obviously should):

Reason #1: MJ Melendez is part of the "family"

I know what you’re saying. MJ may be considered the Royals’ #1 prospect by various sources, but he’s far from a sure thing (no prospect is, except maybe Rutschman). It would be patently absurd to literally bank on Melendez becoming a productive MLB starter (not backup). But the Royals may be not be doing that entirely (see reason #3).

More importantly (for the Royals), MJ has already solidified himself as part of the family. Once you’re part of the family...well, family looks out for family. Family members don’t draft a player that will block you and force themselves to trade you away. Family doesn’t trade family away.

Reason #2: MJ is part of the next "wave" who are, as we speak, learning to win championships together.

If the Wilmington team is as good this year as we think it will be, and is kicking serious ass when the June draft rolls around, and Rutschman is somehow available at #2, you can feel even more confident the Royals won’t take him. They already have their future catcher in "championship chemistry training." MJ will have already won a championship with the Royals’ next core at Lexington, and will appear to be in his way to doing same at Wilmington. You can’t send someone through championship training and then block him.

Reason #3: The Royals aren’t necessarily putting all of their eggs into the MJ basket.

The Royals have at least 3 other catchers they love, who have been written about extensively at this site. They feel that if MJ somehow doesn’t work out, they have three or even four other options. Regarding those others, perhaps you’re concerned that they are defense only catchers. And you would be right. But you may be forgetting that the Royals absolutely do not care (regardless of whether you think they should) about offense at catcher, shortstop, centerfield, second base (Whit is a bonus!) and perhaps other positions. Which means...

Reason #4: If You Move Rutschman Off of Catcher Because That Position is Filled By Either MJ or One of the Other Several Catchers the Royals Love, He Loses Positional Value (maybe).

Ruschtman’s bat is allegedly so good, it doesn’t really matter where he plays. Except...well he probably can’t play the outfield (the way the Royals like) or obviously SS or 2B. That leaves first and third. Now, there have been catchers who moved to third successfully (Josh Donaldson) and obviously first. But wait, first will be manned by another family member! Another player who is in "championship training!" Ee gads, what a conundrum!

So, in sum: if catcher is unavailable, and neither is 1B, and outfield is not an option... unless he can play third, well... "we need a player with more positional flexibility" (I can hear them saying). Like Witt or CJ Abrams.

Look, you can scream "you don’t draft for need, you take the best player!" But don’t scream at me, aim your shouts towards the Royals brass. As silly as this post seems, there’s a voice in the back of your head that thinks maybe all of this is true.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.