Happy Draft Day!
Your presents are limited to just five rounds this year, but the draft is still an exciting time to add talent to an improving farm system. The Royals will have the fourth overall pick today, and will make another selection at #32 in the competitive balance round.
You can read draft profiles of all the top players the Royals may take:
2B Nick Gonzales, New Mexico State
RHP Emerson Hancock, University of Georgia
OF Heston Kjerstad, University of Arkansas
LHP Asa Lacy, Texas A&M University
3B Austin Martin, Vanderbilt University
RHP Max Meyer, University of Minnesota
OF Zac Veen, Spruce Creek HS (Florida)
Shaun Newkirk also has some names to know and has also compiled some historical comps for potential draft picks.
Final update to the aggregate draft board, locking in all the rankings after updating a few sites lists— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) June 10, 2020
then there is a gap
What are the last mock drafts saying about who the Royals will take?
Zac Veen Spruce Creek HS, Port Orange, Fla.
Previously we expected this to be a decision between hitters Zac Veen and Nick Gonzales. However, Minnesota righthander Max Meyer has gotten considerable heat and is being linked fairly significantly to the Royals as well. A bat seems to make more sense for the Royals at this spot though, and we do believe they are enamored enough with Veen’s upside enough to make him the first high school player selected, similar to last year when they took Bobby Witt Jr. No. 2. Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad has been mentioned here as well, but we don’t believe he’s the primary option.
Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, MLB Pipeline:
Callis: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (Port Orange, Fla.) — The Royals appear to be deciding between Veen and Gonzales, with a couple of pitchers (Lacy and presumably Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer) also in the mix.
Mayo: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (Port Orange, Fla.) — This is the first spot where I think a deal could be possible, with the Royals talking about Gonzales, Meyer or Arkansas OF Heston Kjerstad.
Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia: And if that alternate scenario happens, Lacy would go here. But I don’t think it happens and this pick, long thought to be down to Zac Veen and Gonzales, is rumored to actually now be down to Hancock and Max Meyer, with Hancock having a late edge.
4. Kansas City Royals: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek (Fla.) HS
I have heard them with Veen or Kjerstad, but not with Nick Gonzales or Emerson Hancock. While the rumor a month ago was that they wanted Veen on a below-slot deal, I don’t think he has to do that, because he could go with the very next pick if the Royals pass on him.
4. Kansas City Royals- Zach Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (FL)There’s late movement here, including the sudden inclusion of Emerson Hancock, but I think a bat is more likely. Veen and Gonzales are possibilities. The Royals also explored going under slot with Kjerstad, which would make them the stopping point for a lot of seemingly falling players (many of whom are advised by Scott Boras) in the comp round and Round 2.
Pick: OF Zac Veen, Spruce Creek High School (Florida) ($6,664,000 slot value)
In a pitching rich draft class, the Royals have been connected mostly to bats in recent weeks. They’d pounce on Torkelson or Martin should either slide here, though that’s unlikely. Veen has been connected to pretty much every team in the 4-9 range because he offers perhaps the most upside among players outside the top three prospects, and the Royals have been tied to him plenty. Gonzales and the remaining top college pitchers are other possibilities here. Our R.J. Anderson ranked Veen as the No. 6 prospect in the draft class.
The draft begins at 6 p.m. CT and will air on both ESPN and MLB Network, and will stream on the ESPN app. The first round and competitive balance round will take place tonight, with rounds 2-5 tomorrow evening at 4 p.m. CT.