Here is a look at my 2012 MLB draft for the Royals
1) Best pick each round
2) The Royals pick
3) I will also list who I would have selected for the Royals working with the knowledge they have $6,101,500 to work with. (Each of my picks will only be players that were taken between the current pick and the next pick)
Keep in mind that this is not an indictment against the Royals as certain players will tell teams they want more than other teams. It is a nice study in how my personal draft would have gone â€¦and certainly an even better test to look back at in 2016 to see how I did
Best MLB career- C Mike Zunino University of Florida (Mariners 3rd pick) I believe Mike Zunino will be the best player in this draft when we look back in 15 years. He is an excellent leader on and off the field. A terrific person and he can hit and hit with a lot of pop. I really do believe he has a Carlton Fisk type ceiling.
Royals Pick:RHPKyle Zimmer University of San Francisco- Hard throwing RHP with great command of 3 pitches. He is a terrific competitor on and off the field. He has a bulldog mentality on the mound that hates to lose. He gets big thumbs up from me.
My pick- Kyle Zimmer $3,000,000/$3,000,000
Best MLB career- INF Tanner Rahier HS, So Cal (Pick #78 Reds) Rahier did not play HS baseball as he and his father decided to play for a competitive wood bat team. Talented player in the Brett Lawrie mold that goes balls to the wall every game. Future is at 3B or 2B but I like the work ethic and have a place in my heart for these types of players. But, unlike others capped with the â€œgrittyâ€ moniker he has a ton of upside.
Royals pick: LHP Sam Selman Vanderbilt (#65)- I do like Selman and think he has a chance to be a solid mid rotation starter. He needs to be more consistent with his command. But, I think that will happen as he really had just one year of pitching at Vanderbilt. But,. I had him as a 3rd -4th rounder.
My pick: Â RHP Martin Agosta St.Maryâ€™s- (Pick #84 to the Giants) This pick would have given the Royals two advanced arms in a row. I believe both will be guys that could compete for big league jobs in 2014. Agosta is a fastball, cutter, slider guy who will need to add a change up. He has fine control and if he can get the command down on his secondary stuff he could be a fine mid rotation guy who can throw a lot of innings. (2nd choice, Nolan Sanburn Arkansas, 3rd choice Chris Beck RHPGeorgia Southern) Has not signed yet but the expectation is $592,300/ $3,592,300 (2,509,200 left)
Best MLB career: 3B Fernando Perez JC Arizona (Pick #102 Padres) Left high school early to play in the wood bat JC league of Arizona and put up a very impressive line of .338/.399/.571) Solid LH bat with 15-20 HR potential in his prime.
Royals pick: (#100) LHP Colin Rodgers Parkview Baptist HS, Baton Rouge, Louisiana- Solid HS lefty that went where most scouts thought he would go (3rd-5th round type) 2 pitch guy now that throws strikes. He has a low 90â€™s fastball and a curve that at times, looks like it could be a special pitch. He needs to develop his change up.
My pick: C Tom Murphy Buffalo (Pick #105 Rockies) Powerful C who caught many a scouts eye last year when he hit a long HR off of Kevin Gausman last year in a game against Team USA (he had hit a long foul ball the previous pitch and saw Gausmanâ€™s 2 best offerings) He is a good athlete for a catcher and also plays very good defense behind the dish. (2nd choice, Kieran Lovegrove HS RHP, Jake Barrett RHP ASU)
Murphy signed for $454,000/$4,046,300 (2,138,200 left)
Best MLB career: SS Alex Mejia (#150)UniversityofArizona- Cardinals- Hasa chance to stick around the game a long time on his glove alone. Hits the ball well to all fields and is a tremendous on field general.
Royals pick: (#133) INF Kenny Diekroeger Stanford- He will end up at 2B or LF but the Royals are using him at SS to begin his pro career. He turned down 2nd round money from the Rays out of HS and $2,000,000 dollars. He signed with KC for $346,600. The switch away from the hot bats in college affected the career of Diekroeger perhaps more than any college bat in the country. He certainly has the upside but he has become quite the project since his sophomore season.
My pick: (#146) 1B Justin Chigbogu HS Raytown South (Missouri) – So, let me see the Royals one time passed on a local power hitter that was not on most teamâ€™s radar. How did that turn out? Well, letâ€™s just say that over 10 years later we are still asking â€œhow does this happen in our own backyard?â€ Justin is a massive 1B who before this spring was better known as an All State Defensive End. But, his teammate CF Bralin Jackson brought scouts to Raytown and Justin took advantage of it and became a Dodgers draft pick. The LH power hitter moves well for a big guy and has the potential to be a steal. While, many considered this a reach at this pick I have to pick him here because of my belief â€œyou have to own your own neighborhood.â€ Plus, I think this kid could come back and bite us in the ass. (2nd choice Ty Buttrey RHP HS *signed for $1.3 mil, 3rd choice OF Brandon Thomas Georgia Tech)
Signed for $250,000/4,296,300 (1,888,200 left)
Best MLB career- Mallex Smith (#165) Small LF with plus plus speed. He could become a solid top of the order hitter the next few seasons who is battling Billy Hamilton for stolen base titles.
Royals pick- (#163) C ChadJohnson HS Galesburg, Ill.â€“ This pick surprised me some and it surprised me more when he signed above slot for $340,000. I thought this was going to be one of those pre-draft deals to lock down a lower number to spend elsewhere. The LH hitter projects to stay behind the dish unlike last years 2nd rounder Cam Gallagher. He understands the fundamentals of catching but his bat will have to be ready to play catch up with the warmer weather states that will be producing much of his competition the next couple of years as he develops.
My pick: RHP Ross Stripling Texas A&M– Picked by the Dodgers at pick #176. My goal this draft was to get as many close to the big league pitchers that I can. Unless I have a clear cut favorite on my board I will stick to this plan. There are plenty of players that I like who went in this round but, to me, Stripling is my guy here. He pitched at a very good college and was an excellent high school athlete. He has proven to be a tough kid who has done well in the class room. I like all 3 of the before mentioned qualities in a pitcher (good athlete, tough, smart) He works in the low 9â€™s with a nice 12-6 curve and a solid feel for the change. (2nd choice Mark Sappington RHP Rockhurst U, 3rd choice Mallex Smith OF Santa Fe JC)
Signed for $130,000/$4,426,300 (I have $1,758,200 left)
Best MLB career- 3B/1B/LFCamPerkins Purdue (pick #218) I think the Phillies got a good one. Perkins has a tremendous presence on and off the field. He has one of the most advanced feels for the strike zone in the college game. I think he could develop 20 HR power and steal some bases in his prime. I think this was a steal for the Phillies as he signed for slot at $152,900.
Royals pick- (#193) RHP Zach Lovvorn Oxford HS (AL) a member of an excellent high school rotation that featured 2 pitchers who often got more pub than Zach. He already has a feel for 3 pitches. He signed for $275,000 which is above slot by $81,000
My pick- I will go ahead and draft Lovvorn although I was very tempted to go with small college RHP Stephen Johnson out of St. Edwards a D-II school in Texas. Johnson is a power reliever who dials it up in the upper 9â€™s. So, he is my 2nd choice and my 3rd choice is Cam Perkins 3B Purdue. I am drafting Lovvorn because I need young arms behind the group of college arms I have selected.
Signed for $275,000/ $4,571,300 ($1,438,200 left)
Best MLB career-RHPMattPriceUniversityofSouth Carolina(#222) The Orioles selected one of the all time great College World Series arms. I think Price could have a long career as a middle reliever with the ability to close the all important middle innings. He has a mid 90â€™s fastball with a potential out pitch in his slider. He should be fine at the big league level once he learns how to pace himself.
Royals pick- OF Fred FordJefferson, MO CC- Tall, lean, athletic OF whom at 6â€™5 has some giddyup. He is an intriguing prospect who signed under slot for $125,000.
My pick- Had I not selected Tom Murphy earlier in this draft I might have selected Tyler Heineman here out of UCLA. I do believe you need at least one stand out defensive catcher at every level so drafting bulk C does not scare me. That being said, I know there are quite a few quality back stops still available at this point. So, I select a very sign able college senior in David Starn of Kent State. Starn is similar to current Royals SP Bruce Chen as they are both soft tossing left handerâ€™s who use precise location and the ability to change speeds to be successful. The big difference is that Starn has learned this at a young age so in my opinion he is ahead of the game. (2nd pick RHP Robery Benicasa Florida State, 3rd choice Fred Ford)
Signed for $25,000/ $4,596,399 (I have $1,413,200 left) this gives me a nice budget to possibly get a player I like after round 10. But, letâ€™s see how the next 3 rounds play out.
Best MLB career- (#249) Tyler Heineman UCLA C- I think he ends up having a long career as a Mike Matheny type of C playing excellent defense and spending his finals seasons as a veteran backup.
Royals pick- (#253) OF Alfredo Escalera-Maldonado HS Pendleton School (FLA) The Royals saved money again with this pick getting Maldonado for 50K. The native ofPuerto Ricois a plus runner who came along late in showcases. 17 year old with upside is a nice pick here. To me, even though this was a draft pick it was a signee very similar to an international player.
My pick: Kris Hall RHP Lee University- Picked by the Aâ€™s at #259. Hall is a pitcher I liked quite a bit for a few months leading up to the draft. I had him ranked higher actually so I have to grab him here. The former D-1 pitcher and now NAIA talent just dominated his competition the last 2 seasons. He was 11-0 with a 1.52 e.r.a and 115 K and 43 BB in 95 IP last year helping his team win the NAIA World Series. A 6â€™3 220 pitcher with a low 9â€™s fastball and plus slider is a good combo for a potential 4th SP or quality middle reliever. He also has a power curve and a change but both are very inconsistent at this point. (pick #2 Taylor DugasAlabama, #3 Jamodrick McGruderTexas Tech)
Signed for $137,200/ $4,733,599/ I have $1,276,000
Best MLB career: Utility Jamodrick McGruder Texas Tech (#281) A gritty utility type who at 5â€™7 gets the â€œway to easyâ€ moniker. He is a good enough athlete to learn the OF and with his ability to play 2B I see him as a Bip Roberts type at the next level.
Royals pick: LHP Daniel Stumpf San Jacinto JC- The 22 year old has a nice 3 pitch mix and is viewed as a starting pitching candidate. He is old for a JC player as he took a year off from school. He signed for $125,000
My pick: 2B Micah Johnson Indiana â€“ Johnson had a rough junior season as an injury suffered last year pushed him way down on draft boards when the White Sox drafted him. He decided to have in season surgery and missed 2 months. He is a potential steal here though as he is a crafty hitter who can spray the ball all over the field and also has some pop. A solid speed guy too he could be a CF In the future if that is needed. But, certainly an athlete (he beat Greg Oden in one on one in high school) who could be a 2B/OF bench guy. I have him ranked just under McGruder but he gets the nod here because McGruder was taken before the Royals pick. (2nd choice- Zachary Bird RHP HS Mississippi, 3rd choice Michael Roth LHP South Carolina)
He signed for $127,600/ $4,861,199/ I have $1,148,400 left
Best MLB career : 1B Ron Miller Serra HS, CA- the Marlins drafted Miller with pick #317 and signed him for $125,000. He has solid RH pop with some speed. Power potential is real and the Marlins might have a 10th round steal.
Royals pick- OF/1B Alexis Rivera Montverde Academy HS (FLA) The Royals signed him for $125,000 and he slipped under most radars even though he had been a high school teammate of Franky Lindor in 2011. He is a bat first prospect
My pick- Ron Miller (see above) RH power is hard to find and the raw abilities of Miller would be exciting to see developed by the Royals. (2nd choice Jeremy Kivel RHP HS Texas, 3rd choice Taylor Rogers LHP Kentucky)
He signed for $125,000/ $4,986,199/ I have $1,023,400 left
Clearly I left quite a few bucks on the table. I will also tell you that I would have taken Derick Velasquez in the 2nd round for 500K but remember I am doing this based off of how the draft went down. I will continue with the guys I would have drafted late to get my number.
Round 11: I select Matt Milroy RHP Illinois– Signed by the Marlins for $100,000. He is repped by the agent of Jason Adam and Lane Adams. I like this arm as he throws a mid 90â€™s fastball as a reliever with a very solid slider that could become a plus pitch.
My number $923,400
Round 12: I select Max Foody LHP IMG Academy, FLA- Foody would be a guy that I would have had to be in constant contact with to make this pick.. He signed for $385,000 which is why it was nice to have some dollars left over. The 6â€™3 225 pounder was a great selection for the Cardinals who had one of the five best drafts in my opinion.
My number is $538,400
Round 13: Michael Morin RHP North Carolina– the Royals took the Shawnee Mission South alum once before and now I am taking him again. He had a fine career as the closer at UNC and I like the arm. The 6â€™4 205 pounder was taken by the Dodgers and he features a fastball and plus change but will need to get that curve/slider and the next level. I am not sure what he signed for but my guess is 100K
My number is $438,400
Round 14: Parker Morin C Utah– I will stick with the Royals original pick and guess he signed for $75,000. I like the new found love for the game this kid has and think he has a shot to be a quality organizational C with backup upside. LH bat with some pop.
My number is $363,400
Round 15: Carlos Escobar C Nevada– I will take my 2nd catcher in a row here. I liked what I heard about him leading into the draft. Plus, he was HS teammates with Mike Moustakas so maybe that matters just a tad. The 6â€™3 200 pounder went to the Cubs and is a fine receiver with solid technique. Backup C ceiling but again remember I want a solid C at every level of my organization. Suggesting he signed for $50,000
My number is $313,400
Round 16: Ronnie Richardson OF Central Florida– I would have liked to stayed in my backyard with former Shawnee Mission Northwest 2 way star Adam Giacalona (Brewers pick this round) but I like the athleticism and ability to get on base thatRichardson brings.
My number is $263,400
Round 17: Sammie Ayala C La Jolla Country Day (CA) My run on catchers continues as I add a younger back stop to add to the fold. He was really a under the radar guy until he shined in the So Cal Invitational at theMLBYouthAcademy last June. He held his own against big time prospect Max Fried. Plus, he displayed solid tools behind the dish. He has some room to grow as a catcher but I like his chances.
He is leaving behind a UCSB education so my guess he costs 100K plus so we will say $125,000.
My number is $138,400
*from here on out I will take players on the cheap that I believe I can sign so I wonâ€™t track budget but know that I should be able to fit these guys into my total number.
Round 18: Austin Elkins 2B Dallas Baptist- Solid college player I think I can get here to maintain my budget. He had a terrific season after slumping as a sophomore. He is a smart player that makes consistent contact.
Round 19: Andrew Triggs RHP USC– I liked the Royals pick here and I would know I could lose him to the professional world if he does not progress as a pro. I am willing to take that risk knowing he has already began grad school at the prestigious school of business at USC. A former potential #1 pick that has been set back by injuries but the upside is significant
Round 20: RHP Greg Larson University of Florida– The Royals drafted a couple of former Gator relievers in the past with Patrick Keating and Kevin Chapman so Lawson will look to continue that trend. He was part of an excellent college pen who I thought would play for the CWS championship this year. Good arm that should at least make AA ball
Round 21: I have priced myself out on the real Royals pick Matt Strahm from Neosho CC who signed for 100K and I liked that pick and would have had him hereâ€¦.So, I will draft college senior LHP Jordan Remer the teammate of Kyle Zimmer at USF. He struck out 11.57/9 innings this year and held opponents to a .146 average. He pitched in 25 games striking out 39 in 30.1 IP holding lefties to a .130 .avg.
Round 22: RHP Shae Simmons Southeast Missouri State- 3 pitch guy with 89-93 fastball but will bump up into the mid 90â€™s out of the pen. A role most believe is in his future if he is to have a chance to climb the ladder. The Braves signed him and everything I read about him screams reliever (max effort guy) so I will take another college arm for the pen here.
Round 23: I will stick with the Royals selection of RHP Kevin Allen out of TCU
Round 24: 3B Mark Ginther Oklahoma State- Ginther looked like a potential future 1st round pick coming out of HS in Tulsa.Â He was a standout athlete at Jenks as their startng QB as he led his school to 2 state titles. He is a solid 3B who has shown power potential but has really struggled with the new bats and in wood bat show cases.
Round 25: RHP Vince Spiker Lee University- I saw Spiker at Johnson County Community College and will dip into my back yard to take another local talent. He is a product of Raytown. MO. He was drafted last year by the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks get him here. He throws a live mid 9â€™s fastball with the makings of a solid secondary pitch.
Round 26: 3B Trenton Moses Southeast Missouri State- I could have taken another local kid in Blake Holovach here who was taken by Seattle just before the next Royals pick. Holovach is a Blue Valley grad and Missouri P. But, I like the bat of Moses who is somewhat of a local kid from the middle of Missouri.
Round 27: Â RHP Alex Kuedell Oregon â€“ Kuedell is a senior SP who turned down the Twins last year with their 38th round pick. He was the Pac-12 pitcher of the year with a 10-4 record and a 2.12 e.r.a striking out 65 and walking 26 over 110 innings. He is a RH without much oomph that simply knows how to pitch. He works with a mid 80â€™s fastball and can get up to 89. He is a groundball type guy who locates his pitches well.
Round 28: RHP Martin Viramontes USC– Viramontes was interviewed by this site when he looked like a potential top 3 round guy a couple of seasons ago when he was at Loyola Marymount. But, injuries have derailed his once promising career. I like the risk/reward pick here and will cross my fingers for a really good guy.
Round 29: SS Adam McConnell Richmond- I will select the RS Junior here. He was drafted by the Dodgers last year in the 30th round and the Diamondbacks this year in the 29th round. Hit .283 with 2 HR, 12 SB and 24 RBI this season. He missed 2011 after undergoing hip surgery. He put himself on the map with an excellent freshman season hitting .355 with 31 SB and striking out just 21 times in 197 at bats.
Round 30: LHP R.C. Orlan North Carolina– He is a reliever who gets lefties out. He was 8-1 with a 2.01 e.r.a in his career at UNC with very good control. He has solid break on his curve with a low 9â€™s fastball and change with plenty of deception.
Round 31: LHP Brent Suter Harvard– Who doesnâ€™t want an Ivy Leaguer mingling with your other minor leaguers? Suter held his own at the Cape Cod League last summer and the former Moeller HS inCincinnati product has had a terrific career for the Harvard 9.
Round 32: I will stick with the Royals pick of LHP Patrick Conroy out of Marin CC here
Round 33: INF Tyler Hanover LSU– I have always been impressed watchingHanover in his 4 years at LSU and I know I am getting a player that knows how to go about his day to day business.
Round 34: C David Lyon Kent State – I jump all over this guy because honestly I would have taken him a lot earlier. I know I have a couple other college catchers in Murphy, Morin, and Escobar but Lyon is just a great defensive C I would not want to pass up. He also shows a pretty good bat and I am surprised he is available here.
Round 35: SS Jose Sermo Bethany College – I do like the Royals pick this round in LHP Tyler Joyner fromEast Carolina but I donâ€™t think he signs. Sermo is an interesting story as a native of Puerto Rico who ended up at a small school inKansas. He has a very good arm and it is so good that he give you the option of trying him at pitching if the bat doesnâ€™t play. He projects as a RF or 3B.
Round 36: LHP Andrew Barbosa South Florida– The oldest player in this draft who has had his name called 2 times before this year (15th round in 2006 by Giants, 48th round in 2007 by Giants) .I believe he is 24 or 25 but I mentioned him in my mock draft as a guy I would take a chance on. He has a LIVE arm at times and at 6â€™8 is an imposing figure on the bump. He missed 2011 with Tommy John surgery.
Round 37: I will take RHP Jake Newberry who the Royals picked and signed out of HS inCalifornia. If you can sign a HS player this late that is a guy I will select to balance out my college heavy draft.
Round 38: OF Corey Embree Maple Woods CC– I will keep it local and get the JC player from Moberly, MO. He is a 6â€™3 210 pounder who was taken last year out of HS by the Indians in the 47th round. The Dodgers, who do an excellent job scouting this area, got him this year. He throws 91 off the mound so his arm will play in RF. He hit .451 this year for Maple Woods
Round 39: OF Anthony Renteria Cal State San Marcos- Hard to pick guys here as many have not signed. He was selected by the Padres where his dad Rick is the bench coach. So, probably not a likely pick for KC but I am going with guys who have signed at this point (we are 13 days from the final day to sign as I write this) He hit .331 with 12 HR and 46 RBI this season.
Round 40: OF Pat Stover Santa Clara- This one is a no brainer for me as I liked the toolsy OF before this draft. I really am surprised he slipped this far and I am guessing I would have to stretch the budget a bit. He is a 6â€™4 215 pound corner OF who can run a little bit and drive the ball out of the park. He is similar to current Royals prospect Brian Fletcher as he might be a guy without a position as he is not a very good defender. But, I like the bat as a guy that could sniff AAA but do well as a player to fill out a roster for a few seasons.