This draft is a travesty, a disaster, a catastrophe, a boondoggle, and whatever else you want to call it. Not really, but I’m not a huge fan of Kansas City’s first ten rounds of selections. Instead of writing in all caps and complaining, let’s break it down into a few different categories, negatives first, positives second, and finally each pick like an NFL draft. Nowadays, most fans and many radio and tv broadcasters can only talk about baseball when comparing it to the NFL so we better explain it on their terms.
NFL Draft Version
Round 1 - LHP Frank Mozzicato, East Catholic HS (CT)
Seems like a vast Raiders overreach
Round 2 - RHP Ben Kudrna, Blue Valley Southwest HS (KS)
The speedy WR who ran a 4.3 but can’t run routes.
Competitive Balance Round B - 2B Peyton Wilson, University of Alabama
Slot WR has a shot at having a multi-year career thanks to his route running and gamer attitude. Could be a special teams stud.
Round 3 - C Carter Jensen, Park Hill HS (MO)
The local 5th round linebacker that everyone is rooting for but probably doesn’t make the final cut.
Round 4 - RHP Shane Panzini, Red Bank Catholic HS (NJ)
This is the 4th round Texas tight end that everyone likes, but for some reason, he’s available, and you know what, he’s probably not as talented as his physical numbers look.
Round 5 - RHP Eric Cerantola, Mississippi State University
The QB who was a US Army All-American that everyone thought would be a stud but somehow hasn’t panned out. See Christian Hackenberg
Round 6 - 2B Dayton Dooney, Central Arizona College
The fun undrafted free agent signee that everyone loves to talk about after the draft but forgets to lookup preseason.
Round 7 - Noah Cameron, University of Central Arkansas
The long snapper 6th round pick.
Round 8 - SS Ryan Cepero, Carlos Beltran Academy (PR)
Round 9 - OF Parker Bates, Louisiana Tech
Round 10 - LHP Shane Donnelly, Virginia Tech
Bill Belichik acquired these picks as part of a 4th round trade down that got him a 5th, and two 6th round picks. One of them will make it further than anyone had thought, but your guess is as good as mine to which one.
The last two years, Dayton Moore has hinted that he’s frustrated that players don’t want to sign to play baseball. This is a sour grapes story coming from a guy who last I looked has a son playing in the SEC. There are plenty of players that sign each year, and there are plenty of stories about how players don’t want to sign or make up stories about how they don’t want to sign for specific teams. Perhaps some self-reflection needs to be done on his part about why players would rather go to Vanderbilt or Arkansas instead of signing with the Kanas City Royals?
The Royals drafted two local selections - Kudrna and Jensen - and the rumors are they could be paying significantly over slot for one and slightly over or near slot money for the other. This front office is a great group of guys, just outstanding dudes that are salt of the earth folks. Why do they have to pay local kids big money over slot? Local kids should be beating the door down to play for the hometown team. Is it the years of losing? Why not examine this instead of huffing and puffing about players not wanting to sign.
Ben Kudrna - Doesn’t have a good secondary pitch yet. If it’s my draft, I’m not paying a kid over $2 million dollars in 2021 without a legit second offering, and it better have spin. Ben’s mom also takes driver’s ed a little too seriously.
Carter Jensen - If he’s not a catcher, then he’s likely a first baseman. The amount of bat it takes to carry first base is quite large, and it seems unlikely he can get there.
Shane Panzini - He’s three months from 20 years old. Age isn’t as large of an issue in pitching prospects, but that age states that he should be further along in development than he is.
Eric Cerantola - Was a projected 1st round arm going into the year, and the wheels came off. His team felt no ill effects of him being gone, and the fact that he left his team seems like an issue of a player choosing himself over the team.
Dayton Dooney - Struggled at Arizona during the sophomore campaign.
The Royals should have some big money left in their pool to add another pretty big prospect. If not one big name, they could add a pair of pretty good players similar to Rylan Kaufman, who they gave $725k in 2018.
Frank Mozzicato - He has an above-average feel for spin and will sign for below slot price. Additionally, it feels pretty crucial that he’s already tied into Cressey Performance, so he’s not averse to offseason training to find velocity, which he needs.
Ben Kudrna - He’s got velocity and still has some projection. Could be throwing 100 mph extremely soon with his fastball that touches 98 already.
Peyton Wilson - A multi-position player with some power. Royals took his college teammate Tyler Gentry with pick #76 last year and he’s shown his power is legit. Hopefully, that’s a good sign of a carryover for Wilson.
Shane Panzini - A high spin fastball that gets up to 96 mph.
Eric Cerantola - Up to 100 mph, and some thought was a preseason possible first-round pick thanks to a curveball that was graded as a potential 70 pitch. 6’5 222 lbs oozes big league pitcher and possible bullpen piece if not more.