The Kansas City Royals drafted 21 players in this year’s draft. Among them, 19 signed and joined the organization, accompanied by an additional four undrafted free-agent signings. Many of the newest draft picks have made their professional debuts in some capacity already since this summer’s draft. Most spent time in Surprise, Arizona at the Arizona Complex League. Others have debuted or since been promoted to higher levels such as Low-A Columbia and High-A Quad Cities.
The draft class has been headlined early on by a trio of college bats who have taken the Carolina League by storm since their arrival earlier this month. Outfielders Carson Roccaforte and Jared Dickey, as well as third baseman Trevor Werner, have all looked fantastic at the plate in their small sample size thus far. Spencer Nivens is there with them as well and has done a good job getting on base as well.
Not all players have made their debut to this point. The big prep arms — Blake Wolters and Hiro Wyatt — did not play in any Complex League action prior to the season wrapping up on August 22. This is pretty par for the course with high school arms. Frank Mozzicato and Ben Kudrna both made their debut to start the 2022 season after being drafted in 2021. LHP Hunter Owen and LHP Mason Miller are also yet to make their professional debuts since being drafted.
Here’s a look at each player’s performance so far since being drafted:
C Blake Mitchell (Round 1, Pick 8)
Complex League - 13 games, .147/.423/.177, 17 BB, 14 SO, 0 HR, 1 SB
Mitchell, the prep catcher out of Sinton, Texas, has been brought around fairly slow in his professional debut. He wasn’t one of the first draftees to be assigned to Surprise, and he’s played a fairly lengthy amount of time there. Many of his fellow draft mates have already made their way to Columbia or Quad Cities after just a handful of plate appearances. The difference, of course, is that Mitchell is a high-school draftee. Some others — such as Jonny Farmelo of the Mariners — have yet to even debut in the Complex League. Mitchell has walked at an impressive rate but has yet to show off the power or hit tools much to this point.
OF Carson Roccaforte (Round CB-B, Pick 66)
Low-A - 13 games, .283/.443/.413, 13 BB, 12 SO, 0 HR, 5 SB
Carson Roccaforte has downright dominated both levels that he’s played at to this point. He hit .533 over four games in Surprise which earned him a quick call-up to Low-A. Since being promoted, he’s been perhaps the very best performer in the draft class thus far. He’s showcased a bevy of tools, from the hit tool and good gap power to impressive speed on the basepaths and plus defense in center field.
OF Spencer Nivens (Round 5, Pick 142)
Low-A - 16 games, .172/.314/.310, 12 BB, 9 SO, 2 HR, 6 SB
The local product out of Missouri State University, Spencer Nivens, played very well in the Complex League. He posted a .915 OPS over four games and earned a trip east to Columbia. Since arriving, he hasn’t had nearly as much luck in the box score, with just 10 hits in 16 games. However, he’s made a lot of hard contact that hasn’t resulted in as many hits yet, but certainly should over a larger sample size. He’s also shown off good plate discipline thus far, with a 15.1% walk rate early on.
3B Trevor Werner (Round 7, Pick 199)
Low-A - 16 games, .310/.403/.586, 8 BB, 17 SO, 3 HR, 3 SB
Trevor Werner was drafted as a two-way player but has played just as a position player to this point. The Royals expect him to focus solely on the bat for now but haven’t completely closed the door on his future pitching prospects. Werner has shown off some very good power at the plate, evidenced by his .586 slugging percentage through his first 16 games. There is some swing-and-miss in his game. He’s striking out at a pretty high rate early on but is making up for it with some extremely good results at the plate.
One is fun, but twice is nice! Trevor Werner has two HR today. It’s the third inning. pic.twitter.com/B1JNZc2dTa— Preston Farr (@royalsminors) August 22, 2023
OF Jared Dickey (Round 11, Pick 319)
Low-A - 14 games, .367/.439/.469, 6 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR, 2 SB
Jared Dickey is still yet to hit his first Low-A home run, but he’s dominating the box score in plenty of other ways so far. His gaudy .367 average over his first 14 games is thanks in part to his ability to use all fields. He’s shown an ability to go the other way and has great gap power. Dickey has three doubles and a triple since joining Columbia and has come in clutch fairly often as well, with 10 RBI already through 14 games.
P Coleman Picard (Round 6, Pick 169)
Complex League - 2 games, 3.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 5 SO, 3 BB
SS Dustin Dickerson (Round 8, Pick 229)
High-A - 14 games, .196/.262/.286, 5 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR, 0 SB
Complex League - 4 games, 5-for-14 (.357), 1 SB, 2 SO
P Jacob Widener (Round 9, Pick 259)
Low-A - 1 game, 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 SO, 0 BB
Complex League - 3.2 IP 7.36 ERA, 3 SO, 0 BB
SS Justin Johnson (Round 10, Pick 289)
High-A - 16 games, .203/.319/.203, 9 BB, 15 SO, 0 HR, 4 SB
Complex League - 3 games, 3-for-8 (.375), 1 BB, 1 SO
P Logan Martin (Round 12, Pick 349)
Complex League - 2 games, 3.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 SO, 1 BB
P Ethan Bosacker (Round 13, Pick 379)
Complex League - 2 games, 1.2 IP, 10.80 ERA, 2 SO, 1 BB
P Chase Isbell (Round 15, Pick 439)
Complex League - 2 games, 3.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 7 SO, 1 BB
P Josh Hansell (Round 16, Pick 469)
Complex League - 2 games, 3.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 1 SO, 1 BB
P Connor Oliver (Round 17, Pick 499)
Complex League - 1 game, 1.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 SO, 0 BB
INF Stone Russell (Round 18, Pick 529)
Complex League - 9 games, .269/.367/.462, 4 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR, 2 SB