A look back at what could have been the Royals and the 2007 draft
OK, you should know the routine by nowâ€¦we are going to look back at what could have been (what went right and what went wrong) for the Royals 2007 draftâ€¦and what player between the Royals pick and the next Royals pick that would have been the better pick or basically what could have been…
The year is 2007 and this Royals “first draft under GM Dayton Moore .
If you know any of these players the Royals took or you know what they are doing today we would love to hear from you or themâ€¦We have actually had the players e-mail us or comment so that is very welcome, obviouslyâ€¦
1st round Mike Moustakas SS HS Chatsworth, CA- Mike has the best power of any high schooler in the draft and is described as a “team guy” The story goes that the organization wants Matt Wieters but is told by Derek Ladnier (in charge of the draft) that it will take 10 million to sign him. Â Wieters signed for much less. The Royals brass turn their attention to HS INF Josh Vitters and go to bed thinking he is the guy. But, Ladnier wakes up the next morning and has a change of heart….He takes Moose much to the surprised of his team. Moose has had a very successful minor league career and was the face of the future of this franchise. He is currently the starting 3B for the Kansas City Royals.
should have taken-Jason Heyward- OF Henry County HS, GA- I would imagine the Royals new brass was very aware of this young man considering the Braves had been closely watching him from the trees since he was 14. He has had a injury filled sophomore season but most feel he has a chance to become one of the premiere players in the game.
2nd round- Sam Runion LHP- HS, NC- Sam has had a really rough start to his career and currently is out recovering from TJ surgery. He has never reached the potential that made him a 2nd round pick as he has shown low velocity and little command. He has a career mark of 17-26 with a 5.84 e.r.a and only 178 strike outs in 313 innings.
should have taken-Jordan Zimmerman RHP U. Of Wisconsin-Stevens Point- The Nationals took Zimmerman with the very next pick and he is becoming a fine big league starter. He has a record this season of 5-6 with a 2.85 e.r.a and 67 k and just 19 walks in 95 innings.
3rd round- Danny Duffy LHP, HS, CA- Duffy began his career with a bang as he notched a e.r.a of 1.45 and 63 k/17 bb in 37 innings for the AZL Royals. He was a bright star for the Royals up until he walked away from the game during ST of 2010. But, he came back at mid season and helped the Naturals win the Texas League title. He is currently in the big league rotation with brighter days ahead.
should have taken- No one, the Royals won this round
4th round- Mitch Hodge (Nielsen) RHP HS, Canada- This was a very interesting pick, to say the least. Hodge was turned into a reliever in 2009 and has never pitched well in his time with the Royals. He currently is pitching his second straight year in the midwest league and holds a career e.r.a of 5.90
should have taken- Darwin Barney SS Oregon State- One of my favorite college players of the last decade…Barney flashed everything that you would want in a top shelf college player. In fact, he is similar to future Royals #1 pick Christian Colon in several ways. Both exuded confidence and leadership on the field and both could do all the little things to win games. Barney looked to be a Willie Bloomquist upside kind of player but he took the Cubs 2B job this spring and looked like he would not give it back. But, he was injured and looks to return to Wrigley soon.
*current Royals OF prospect Brett Eibner was also taken in this round as was current Omaha Storm Chaser Lance Zawadzki
5th round- Adrian Ortiz- OF Pepperdine- Unfortunately much like Godin, Ortiz could never stay healthy. He could hit a little bit as evidenced by his .286 career .avg but he never drew a lot of walks and was not above average in any tool category. He was released by the Royals this season.
should have taken-Jake Arrieta RHP TCU- The big RH has pitched very well for the Orioles this season winning 9 games thru 6.27. He has a career mark of 15-10 with a 4.49 over 34 starts in 2 seasons.
6th round- Fernando Cruz- INF Puerto Rico- Cruz has been used all over the field by the Royals since he was drafted. he has played SS,3B, C, and 1B but his bat never played well at all despite early praise from baseball sources like Baseball America. He had a career mark of .233/.269/.294/.563 thru 2010 with just 4 HR in 987 at bats. The crazy thing is he absolutely looks the part with a solid baseball body but the lack of punch was very puzzling. The Royals are now going to try him as a P and he has already thrown 2 games for the AZL Royals.
should have taken- Anthony Rizzo- HS- Fort Lauderdale, FL- Rizzo is the starting 1B for the Padres now with enormous power potential. While he is off to a slow start with just Â a .167 avg and 1 HR through 48 at bats the soon to be 22 year old had established himself as one of the premiere prospects in baseball with seasons hitting 25 HR and driving in 100 while a member of the Red Sox.
7th round- Hilton Richardson- HS, Kirkland, Wa- Richardson is another tremendous athlete that looks great in a uniform. He showed flashes of potential and was named to Baseball America’s top 30 prospect list a couple of seasons ago. He was released by the Royals during spring training of this season and in a testament to his athleticism was offered a chance to play football at Boise State even though he had never played a down of football in his life. At 6’3 and 200 pounds and with his speed, I feel with the right coaching he could be a heck of a receiver in football. But, he also was quickly signed by the Atlanta Braves and he is currently playing for the Rome Braves batting .232 with 2 HR and 2 SB in 151 at bats.
should have taken-LHP Matt Moore HS NM, Moore has established himself as the top LH pitching prospect in baseball.He is knocking on the door for the Rays and has a 2011 record of 5-3 with a 2.29 e.r.a in 83 innings with 107 k’s and just 23 walks for the AA Montgomery Biscuits.
8th round- Casey Feickert- RHP Antelope JC, CA- The 6’3 RHP barely registered on the radar for the Royals pitching in just 23 games for the Royals Arizona team with a 1-2 record and a 11.25 e.r.a over 28 innings. Casey now plays LaCrosse at Cal State-Long Beach where he had 6 goals and 4 assists in 13 matches this season.
should have taken- Trevor Reckling LHP- HS NJ- I saw Reckling pitch a couple of seasons ago against Northwest Arkansas and I thought he was a tweak or two away from being a legitimate force on the prospect scene. The power lefty struggled though in 2010 and was lit up to the tune of a 8.53 e.r.a at AAA Salt Lake. Still he entered the season as the Angels #11 prospect and currently sits with a 3-6 record and a 3.47 e.r.a for the AA club of the Angels. I still think he makes it in the majors as a reliever. He gets the edge BTW over Rockies top 30 prospect Parker Frazier and also LHP Daniel Schlereth who was drafted by the A’s in the 8th round but since he did not sign he is not eligible for this.
9th round- Zach Kenyon- RHP- HS, Davenport, Iowa- The 6’6 RHP did not sign and chose to pitch at the University of Iowa where he just finished his senior season. He left Iowa with a career mark of 4-11 with a 6.52 e.r.a in 168 innings with 110 strike outs. He turned down 300,000 dollars from the Royals and as far as I can tell he has not signed a non drafted free agent deal with any major league team yet.
should have taken- Tony Watson LHP U. of Nebraska- The 26 year old lefty was turned into a reliever in 2009. He had been a pretty good SP in the minors for them before the change but has taken very well to a relief role. He is having a fine start to his big league career for the Bucs with a 0.97 e..ra and 9 k’s in 9 and 2/3 IP.
10th round- Greg Holland- RHP Westerrn Carolina- Holland had a very solid collegiate career as the closer at Western Carolina and has had a fairly successful run as a reliever in the organization. This year he has been excellent for the big league club with a record of 2-1 and a 1.08 e.r.a in 16 plus innings and 21 k’s.
should have taken- The Royals got the right guy here although San Diego did take HS SS Christian Colon a few picks later but since he did not sign he is not eligible.
11th round- David Lough- OF Mercyhurst College- One of my favorite prospects that is having an excellent season for AAA Omaha. The 25 year old is knocking on the major league door but it is yet undetermined if it will be as a Kansas City Royals player or with another team. I think he is a blend of 2 other David’s (Murphy and Dejesus) Â when he does get into his big league career.
should have taken- No one that signed although both Brandon Belt and Anthony Ranaudo were original draft picks in this round
12th round- Sean McCauley C, HS, Virginia- The Royals scouted this area hard in 2007 and ended up with McCauley in the 1th. Sean had shoulder surgery on a torn labrum as a 15 year old but had a successful HS career before signing originally with Western Carolina. The Royals signed him and he showed glimpses of being a legit prospect. He batted .257 in 420 pro at bats with a Â .328 obp reaching Burlington in 2009 but injuries derailed his career and he retired in 2010. (McCauley had shoulder issues and had 2 previous surgeries before being faced with a third). Last update I had on him is he was thinking about the 3rd surgery and coaching area kids baseball.
should have taken- No top 30 BA prospect taken after McCauley that signed but 2 HS players that did not sign became future #1 draft picks in Drew Pomeranz and Gary Brown
13th round-RHP Alex Caldera – Chaffey JC- Caldera always flashed decent stuff for the Royals organization pitching for them thru 2010. He made it to AA Northwest Arkansas in 2010 and was 3-2 with a 5.12 e.r.a in 7 starts. His best season was 2008 for the Burlington Bees when he was 12-6 with a 2.90 e.r.a and 120 k’s versus just 36 walks in 149 innings. But, he was traded to the Nationals during the 2011 spring training and pitched for their High A team at Potomac going 0-1 with a 16.71 e.r.a in 3 games before he was released. He is now pitching for the Fargo- Moorhead RedHawks in Independent baseball and has a record of 4-0 with a 2.41 e.r.a in 11 games with 3 starts and 2 saves in 33 plus innings with 25 k’s and 17 walks.
should have taken- Shawn Kelley RHP Austin Peay- Kelley has niched out a decent career as a reliever for the Mariners prior to being injured during the 2010 season. He is battling his way back from injury and currently owns a career mark of 8-5 with a 4.31 e.r.a in 63 big league games (all in relief)
14th round- Matt Mitchell RHP- HS Barstow, CA- Mitchell was a very promising prospect his first 2 years in the system when he was 5-1 with a 1.80 e.r.a for the AZL Royals and 8-8 with a 3.47 e.r.a for the Burlington Bees. Unfortunately he got hurt and missed all of 2009 with TJ surgery. He never was the same and went 4-10 with a e.r.a around 6 after that. He was hit hard this season for the Kane County Cougars and was recently given his release from the organization.He was signed recently by the Kansas City T Bones where he 2 starts and is 1-1 in 12 innings with a 5.25 e.r.a and 7 K versus 8 walks.
Should have taken- James Russell LHP U. of Texas- Russell, the son of long time ML closer Jeff, has pitched for the Cubs the last 2 seasons out of the pen. He owns a career mark of 2-6 with a 5.12 e.r.a in 85 big league games with 5 starts.
15th round- Ryan Eigsti C Bradley U- Ryan has been a organizational guy this season for the Royals fielding the role of backup C when needed on the Naturals, Blue Rocks, and now with the Storm Chasers. He has played in 274 games over 5 seasons and owns a slash line of .210/.310/.318/.628 with 17 home runs.
should have taken-Josh Collmenter- RHP Â Central Michigan U.-Josh was never on the prospect radar as a soft throwing RH even though he routinely put up solid numbers. But, with a deceptive delivery he has shined brightly in his rookie season for Arizona going 4-4 with a 2.71 e.r.a in 16 games with 9 starts.
16th round- Patrick Norris- OF- Oklahoma City U.- Norris was another burner that the Royals like to draft that just did not work out as he was released towards the end of the 2011 spring training. He finished his career with the Royals hitting .255 with 138 stolen bases in 369 games topping out as a regular for the Wilmington Blue Rocks last season. Norris now plays OF for the Lake Erie Crushers with former Royals minor leaguers Jairo Cuevas and Jason Taylor and also with 2007 Padres #1 pick Kellen Kulbacki. He is hitting .314 with 20 K and 10 BB in 118 at bats with 9 stolen bases (although he has been thrown out 7 times)
should have taken- RHP Josh Lueke- Northern Kentucky- Even though he has made more headlines for some incredibly awful decisions off the field and was traded from the Rangers to the Mariners in a still highly debated move by the Mariners he has become one of the better relievers in the minors. He received a taste of the big leagues when he made the Mariners out of ST but he is on the cusp of becoming a full time big leaguer in the near future.
17th round- Ivor Hodgson OF Mount St. Mary’s College- Hodgson was actually drafted as a OF but never played a position other than P for the Royals. The lefty actually received quite a bit of internet buzz when Mike Moustakas mentioned him as a part of the future for the Royals in a interview he did over the winter. He does have a nice arm and thus far has a career record of 15-17 with a 3.89 e.r.a and 236 k’s in 277 innings but he has not made it past high A and has not played in a game this season due to an injury.
should have taken- Mitch Moreland 1B Mississippi State- Moreland was a fantastic 2 way player for Ole Miss before being taken as Â a position player by the Rangers. He has been the real steal of the 2007 draft as he was the starting 1B last season for the AL champion Rangers as a rookie. He is having a nice sophomore season batting .286 with 10 HR in 231 at bats.
18th round Stephen Dodson RHP U. of Georgia – The Royals failed to sign Dodson and he went in the 2008 draft to the Rockies in the 10th round. After he did not sign with the Royals returning to Georgia Dodson was 5-5 with a 4.52 e.r.a and 50 strike outs against 15 walks in 96 innings. He currently is a P for the Rockies AA team at Tulsa where he is 6-1 with a 4.46 e.r.a with 24 k, 14 bb, in 34 IP.
should have taken- Andrew Brown INF Nebraska- Brown has had a fine professional career in the Cardinals organization playing 1B,3B, LF, and RF and made his big league debut this season (11 games, 4-22, 3 RBI) Is currently batting .351 for the AAA team at Memphis with 11 HR in 168 at bats.
19th round- C Joe Billick University of Gerogia- The Royals take their 3rd C of the draft in Billick and he lasted just 2 seasons with the organization getting into 21 games to close out the 2008 season for the Burlington Bees. He hit just .199 in 211 at bats with 0 HR. He was suspended for 50 games for violating baseball’s drug policy before the 2009 season and was given his release. He spent 2009 playing for the River City Rascals of the Frontier League where he hit .316 and spent 2010 playing for the Joliet Jackhammers batting .196.
should have taken- Brett Butts RHP Auburn U.-Butts is the only player taken after Billick that ranked among BA’s top 30 prospects as he entered 2011 as the Braves 28th prospect. The reliever has been injured all season though recovering from TJ surgery.
Round 20- Mike Lehmann- RHP HS Mississippi, Lehmann pitched in 4 seasons for the Royals before receiving his release in June of last season. He finished his career with a Â 15-16 record and a 4.76 e.r.a in 229 innings topping out at Low A Burlington, Iowa. I could not determine what Mike is doing these days….
should have taken- Matt Reynolds LHP Austin Peay- Reynolds is the only choice as he has pitched the last 2 seasons for the Colorado Rockies going 1-1 with a 2.98 e.r.a in 57 games (all in relief) with 42 innings and 42 k’s and just 13 walks.
Round 21- Josh Billeaud- RHP LSU-Eunice, Josh did not sign with the Royals and transferred to Southern Miss and went again in 2008 3 rounds higher to the White Sox. He pitched 3 years in their system and was released at the end of the 2011 ST.
should have taken- Dillon Gee RHP UT Arlington- Entered the season as the Mets 16th best prospect. He has had a all star type season for the Mets in his first full season going 8-1 with a 3.32 e.r.a in 15 games with 12 starts. Â Chris Sale was also drafted in this round out of high school before heading to college and becoming a high 1st round pick of the White Sox.
round 22- Jacob Rodriguez RHP- East LA JC- The career of Rodriguez did not start out well for the Royals as he violated MLB drug policy to start 2008 when he failed to take his test. He pitched just one season in the Royals system but did make it to Burlington, Iowa in his first year. . He finished 3-3 with a 3.79 e.r.a.
round 23- Geoff Brown LHP, HS Washington, Did not sign and attended the University of Washington where he had a career mark of 8-19 with a 5.53 e.r.a and 132 k’s in 203 innings. He pitched in 94 games with 25 starts. it does not appear he signed with anyone after the draft.
round 24- Ben Norton RHP University of Evansville- Ben pitched for the Idaho Falls Chukars in 2007 and went 1-6 with a 3.95 e.r.a in 16 games with 14 starts in 2007 with 56 k’s in 57 innings and it would be his only season in the organization. A injury ruined his career and he became a college pitching coach and currently helps run a all star team out of Fort Wayne, Indiana called the Fort Wayne Cubs.
round 25- Clint Robinson 1B Troy State Could end up being the biggest find of this draft. He was the Texas League triple crown award winner last season for the Naturals and continues to rake this season for the Naturals. He is blocked in KC but has drawn attention from other clubs and should make his big league debut this September.
round 26- Nate Lovell RHP- Fresno CC- Did not sign and very hard to find any info on him after this draft. He is now a personal trainer at Fitness Together in Fresno, Ca.
round 27-Dane Secott RHP Mankato State U. MN- Secott pitched in just 15 games for the Royals and did a great job for Idaho Falls going 5-1 with a .79 e.r.a in 34 innings with 31 k’s. I could find very little info on him but looks like he has been pitching for the Shakopee Indians which is a town baseball team in the River Valley League of Minnesota.
round 28- Fernando Garcia 2B Manatee CC- The Royals drafted Garcia two different times (high school and after his CC time) he played for the Royals through 2010 topping out at Wilmington. He had a fine season in 2009 batting .260 with a .392 OBP but struggled in 2010 for Wilmington batting .186 with a .260 OBP. He is currently the 2B for the Kansas City T Bones. He is hitting .303 with 13 walks in 66 at bats.
round 29- Kyle Martin SS Texas Tech- Martin appeared in the BA prospect handbook as a top 30 guy in 2009 much to my surprise and several others. He was coming off a season where he hit .316 with a .373 OBP for Burlington. He was re-assigned to Burlington again in 2010 and was disappointed and took that with him on the field when he hit just .187 through 134 at bats. He walked away from the game in mid season and currently I have heard that Martin is some sort of river guide somewhere.
round 30- Brett Amyx 1B U. Of Texas-Tyler- Played one season with the Burlington Royals batting .260 with a .353 OBP. and 3 HR with 177 at bats. He played for Windy-City in 2008 and Shreveport- Bossier in 2009. The former 6’6 1B now works in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where he started a business called BAM which helps athletes plan for events and train thru a specialized training process (if you are interested click on the link)
* One player made the pros from this round in P Bruce Billings who was drafted by the Rockies and made his debut in late Â May.
round 31- Keaton Hayenga- HS, Sammamish,Wa- Hayenga should have been a steal in round 31 but his career has been side tracked by injuries. He has missed most of 2011 with an injury after starting the season with Kane County. It is always sad when you see a great kid have his dreamed altered by something out of his control. I will admit that Hayenga is the second young man from this draft that I have had the pleasure of getting to know and I feel for both kids when I see things not work out the way they had hoped.
round 32- Jake Lane 1B Austin Peay- Played one year in the Royals organization for the Burlington Royals where he hit .315 with a .453 OBP and 6 HR in 184 at bats. I could not find any information on Lane after he left the Royals.
round 33- Wilson Tucker OF Belmont College, TN- Â Tucker played 3 seasons in the organization including parts of 2 years with the Burlington Bees. He started his career looking pretty good as he hit .305 with 9 HR and a .342 OBP between Burlington NC and Idaho Falls. But, when he went to Burlington, Iowa things began to fall apart as he batted .184 in 147 at bats in 2008 and just ,141 in 79 at bats in 2009. He was released during the 2009 season. Wilson now works for M.A.D. sports training in Tennessee where he runs the 5 Tool Baseball Academy.
round 34- Thomas Hill C-University of Albany (NY) Hill went 14 for 81 in his only season as a pro for the Burlington Royals the same year as his draft. He now runs Tom Hill fitness in San Diego, California and seems to be doing quite well as his clientele include professional athletes and MMA fighters. It appears he does some MMA fighting too.
*Josh Judy was drafted in the 33rd round and made his big league debut for the Indians as a RP this season
round 35- Garret Weber- SS Clovis HS- Weber did not sign and attended Fresno city college for 2 years before becoming a 2 year starter at Fresno State. He drafted in the 22nd round this season by the Diamondbacks.
round 36- Mike Bionde 2B Rutgers- The Royals hoped lightning struck twice with Rutgers after they landed David Dejesus from the same school a few years earlier. Bionde lasted just one half season though with the Royals batting .228 in 145 at bats for the Idaho Falls Chukars. He spent a couple of seasons with the New Jersey Jackals after his release. Bionde now works as a baseball trainer at the Overtime Sports Facility in New Jersey.
round 37- Derek Rodriguez, Ignacio HS, Co- Derek spent 3 seasons with the Royals organization batting .214 in 129 games with 350 at bats with 34 stolen bases. The Royals released him following the 2010 season.
round 38- Brian Leach RHP NW Mississippi CC- The Royals failed to sign Leach and he transferred to Southern Miss before the Pirates took him in the 25th round of the 2008 draft. He is currently pitching for the Pirates AA team at Altoona.
round 39- Trevor Feeney RHP Northern Illinois- He did not sign and was taken the following season by the Tigers in the 31st round. He is still pitching in their organization as a member of their High A rotation as a 25 year old where he is 5-7 with a 4.52 e.r.a in 15 starts.
round 40- Clegg Snipes RHP Troy U.- The second member of the Troy baseball team taken in this draft by the Royals. He lasted just one season with the Royals going 2-6 with a 5.37 e.r.a for the Chukars in 16 games ( 13 GS) Â In 2008, Snipes joined the Pensacola Pelicans of theAmerican Association League. During that year he recorded a 7-6 record with a5.40 ERA and 68 strikeouts.Â In 2009, Snipes joined the El Paso Diablos and started 8games and finished the season with a 4.47 ERA and 22 strikeouts over 48.1 IP.
round 41- Tyler Topp RHP Riverside CC, CA- He did not sign with the Royals and went on to pitch at Long Beach State before being taken by the Florida Marlins in the 35th round of the 2009 draft. He has battled injuries and is currently pitching in the New York Penn league with the low A affiliate of the Marlins.
round 42- Doug Antilla RHP Mid American Nazarene College, KS- Doug never signed and the local KC kid from Mill Valley HS is currently a sales associate for Aramark.
round 43- Chris Snipes- LHP Middle Georgia College, JC- The Royals drafted Snipes (the second Snipes taken in 4 picks) 2 years in a row and he did not sign either time. He transferred to Columbus State College where he pitched 2 more years and was not drafted again.
round 44- Chris Hopkins OF Oregon State- The Royals select a member of the terrific Oregon State team late in the draft but Hopkins does not sign. He is taken in the 24th round in 2008 by the Blue Jays. He has not had much success as a pro and is still at high A with the Jays carrying a career .219 .avg
round 45- Brandon Fowler- C Westview HS, CA- Fowler came through the MLB urban youth academy but the Royals did not see much of Fowler as he got into 7 games for them in the AZL league. He played in another 9 games for the Padres AZL team in 2010. He was 9-37 with 1 HR in his career. He is now a catcher for the Chico Outlawa which is managed by former big leaguer Mike Marshall. Also on his team are former Royals minor leaguers Chris Lubanski and Brian McFall. Fowler is just 3-26 on the season.
round 46- Scott Boley 3B U. of Toledo- Scott never played for the Royals…He now lives in Cleveland and graduated with a finance degree from Toledo and is employed by the Westfield Group
round 47- John Parrish- Bossier Parish CC, LA- Â Never signed and no info found on him
round 48- Devery Van De Keere- 3B Louisiana Laffayette- Van De Keere now coaches baseball in Austria. He has had a great life since his release from the Royals in 2010 and has travelled the world. We caught up with him on the site here
round 49- Joseph Vierra 3B, HS, CA- Did not sign and attended Loyola Marymount where he just ended his college career. He started only his SR season and really struggled throughout college. He hit .259 with 4 HR this season.
round 50-Brandon Van Riper- C, HS, NM- Did not sign and went to Lamar CC before transferring to Tarleton College. He spent his college career as a P where he just finished his career with a 4-4 and 6.05 e.r.a in his senior season,
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