In the second round, with the 44th pick, the Royals selected shorstop Brady McConnell out of the University of Florida. McConnell was teammates with Snger and Kowar last year, although McConnell only appeared in nine games that year due to injury. This year he played in 59 games and hit .332/.385/.576 with 15 home runs and six steals as a draft-eligible sophomore.
His swing path is designed to hit the ball in the air with plenty of tilt. The swing will help him access his raw power, but his approach will need to improve to get the most out of his raw strength. He’s fooled by breaking pitches outside the zone too often and led the Gators in strikeouts with 57. So, he’s clearly got some swing and miss in his game.
In the field, McConnell has smooth hands and quick feet for a player with his height. He’s not a plodder at all. His strong arm allows him to make all the throws from short and could facilitate a move to third, as well.
Witt is regarded as one of the best high school shortstop prospects in a generation. He can run and throw and possesses the power to transform major-league parks into bandboxes, even now, at age 18. He is talented enough that Jim Callis, a veteran draft reporter, conjured the most audacious of comparisons on Monday’s MLB Network draft telecast: Patrick Mahomes.
Quick draft thoughts from night one:— Royals Farm Report (@RoyalsFarm) June 4, 2019
- Bobby Witt Jr is v good
- Brady McConnell may be a bit under rated. Probably a slower moving college kid; could’ve had a ton of helium next spring.
- Alec Marsh is fine. I think he could be a really good reliever.
I’ll sign off on this. McConnell’s college profile reminds me very, very vaguely of Javy Baez. Aggressive hitter. Ton of power. Lots of athleticism. Maybe best suited for 2B. https://t.co/uGNOu9LMLu— Royals Farm Report (@RoyalsFarm) June 4, 2019
Per FanGraphs, Royals took Witt Jr (50 FV), McConnell (40 FV), and Marsh (40 FV).— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) June 4, 2019
Witt Jr would be 1st in the system. McConnell and Marsh rank probably somewhere between 10th-15th
Back in 2015, the MLB Draft saw one of the best SS classes in recent memory get taken 1-2-3. Dansby Swanson went #1 overall to the Braves. Alex Bregman went #2 overall to the Houston Astros. Brendan Rodgers went #3 overall to the Colorado Rockies. Swanson has finally come around at the plate a bit, flashing some of the power everyone knew he could possess. Bregman is a legitimate MVP candidate and Rodgers is one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
The storyline of Day 1 of the MLB Draft for the Royals is definitely that first pick and Bobby Witt Jr. as the Texas High School senior was someone that Dayton Moore has met personally with for multiple days, the team has scouted since he was 14 years old, while scouting every game he’s played this season.
The injury will give a longer look at Cheslor Cuthbert, who was called up last week to replace Chris Owings, who was designated for assignment on Friday. Cuthbert homered in his first game back with the Royals, and is 5-for-12 (.417) but with six strikeouts over the weekend. The 26-year old was hitting .310/.370/.528 with eight home runs in 51 games for Triple-A Omaha.
Today’s song is “Summertime” by Kenny Chesney because it’s officially my last day of teaching for the year.