The MLB draft will begin today at 6 p.m. CT, with baseball moving it back to All-Star weekend to generate more excitement for the event. The Royals will have the seventh pick overall, their only pick today. Rounds 2-10 will take place tomorrow at noon CT, with the draft concluding on Tuesday at 11 a.m. CT with rounds 11-20. Today’s coverage will air on ESPN and MLB Network, and all three days will stream live on MLB.com. Here is everything you need to know about the 2021 draft.
Scouting director Lonnie Goldberg thinks the Royals are in a good position.
“The beauty of the opportunity we’re in is that there are going to be several options in front of us,” scouting director Lonnie Goldberg said. “One pick could change the direction of a lot of people’s Draft boards, but I know we’re prepared, I know that the work that our guys have done for what feels like over a year now trying to put this together — I feel like we’re in a really good position.”
Here are what the latest mock drafts are saying:
Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
This is now looking like one of the more likely picks in the mock, with rumors all spring that they’ll take Rocker if he’s here and some chatter that Rocker doesn’t have much interest ahead of this spot. Keep an eye on prep SS James Triantos and Jackson Merrill at later picks.
Kumar Rocker Vanderbilt, RHP
Kansas City feels like a potential landing spot for both of the top pitchers on the board, which means Rocker and Jackson Jobe. Like other teams, the Royals also seem to be interested in any of the high school shortstops who are on the board, so House makes sense here as well, in addition to Watson if he falls outside of the top six picks. We have continued to hear rumors about Will Taylor potentially going inside the top 10 picks, and Kansas City has been floated as a potential link for him, so keep that in mind as well.
Callis: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (Winder, Ga.)
Though Rocker could be in play for the Royals, they’re believed to prefer a hitter, which likely would mean one of the high school shortstops over the group of college bats behind Davis.
Mayo: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Dallas)
They might love to have one of the Vandy arms get here, but with both gone, they could opt for the best bat on the board in Lawlar, whose name is still being discussed at the very top.
7. Kansas City Royals Pick: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
At some point a team will see Rocker, who still pitched pretty well with suppressed stuff in 2021, as too good a value to pass on. They’ll see the player he was more recently (low-90s, living off of pitch execution, fourth starter look) as his floor, with the upside that he returns to (and sustains) peak form as better than their other options. If Rocker goes ahead of this, then House, Jobe and Watson are the names attached to this pick. We’re not sure how the club views Lawlar since he hasn’t been expected to fall to them at all, but in this scenario he’s just a different D-backs pick (either Rocker or Watson) from being available here.
7. Kansas City Royals: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow (GA) HS
This has sort of been the Royals’ guy, at least in the industry gossip, all spring, and it’s the sort of high-upside player they used to take before the shift in 2018 to loading up on college pitching. I think they’d take Rocker if he were here, and Jackson Jobe is certainly a contender.
7. Royals — Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Dallas)
The Royals haven’t been linked to Lawlar as much at No. 7 just since it has seemed improbable that he could fall that low, but here, he lands in their lap and they take the chance to draft him. He’s a five-tool shortstop with power and speed and the fielding ability to stay up the middle. A candidate to go first overall, he’s certainly unlikely to fall lower than this in the draft.
Jordan Lawlar, SS, Dallas Jesuit
If Lawlar doesn’t go no. 2 overall, there’s rumbling he could fall to the 7 or 8 spot. The Royals like Will Taylor and Harry Ford quite a bit here, and Kumar Rocker and Henry Davis remain serious options if they’re available as well. The question here will be whether Lawlar will sign for no. 7 slot, or whether the Royals (or any team after this point) will splurge to bring him on board.
Okay I know I said I was freezing the list but BP added their quick top 50 today so I added them here.— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) July 9, 2021
There is a pretty good consensus top five:
Kahlil Watson pic.twitter.com/lF4UHFkwij
Here are profiles of some of the players the Royals could consider with the #7 pick:
Who do you like with the #7 pick?