As the draft draws closer, more and more mock drafts have been released. So what better time to examine those mocks to try to draw some conclusions on what players might be available to the Royals with their 14th pick? To do this, I’m examining seven different writers or sites that have released mock drafts to date. The mock draft list is comprised of Baseball America, MLB Pipeline mock’s from both Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, d1baseball, ESPN’s Keith Law, Hero Sports Chris Crawford and Perfect Game.
By checking out each mock draft, the conclusion one makes is that there are three Elite prospects that have appeared in the top 5 picks of all seven mock drafts. Those three are Brendon McKay (2.29 average of all 7 drafts), Hunter Greene (2), and Kyle Wright (2.29). It’s highly likely that the top three picks will not feature these names, and even if one should drop out it isn’t likely that they’ll fall lower than the 5th pick in Atlanta.
In addition to those three, there are four prospects that are also highly unlikely to fall to the Royals in Royce Lewis (6.29), Mackenzie Gore (5.6), J.B. Bukauskas (6) and Pavin Smith (8.14). These players are selected in the top 11 of picks of all but one mock draft, with Lewis falling outside the top 15 picks in one. Considering Lewis is selected inside the top seven picks of every other mock, while also being a top four pick in most, it seems unlikely that he, or any of these players, should be available.
There is a third grouping of Adam Haseley (11), Jordon Adell (11.43), Jeren Kendall (11.57), Alex Faedo (12.71), and Shane Baz (13.57) that are likely to be selected just prior to the Royals pick as well. It wouldn’t be shocking if one should fall to KC, but picking which one seems like a rather difficult task at this time. As we draw closer to the draft it looks as if all could be gone.
The one player that seems to be tumbling into the Royals range is one who I highlighted a couple weeks back, Austin Beck (12.43). The three writers with likely the most inside information – Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and John Manuel – all have Beck falling past the Royals pick in their latest mock draft. If the Royals selected him, he would instantly become the top prospect in the system, while representing the highest selection the Royals have made from the state of North Carolina since selecting Kyle Snyder with the seventh pick of the 1999 draft. The Royals haven’t selected a prep position prospect since Bubba Starling in 2011 and while that pick hasn’t worked out like most would’ve hoped, their past selections in this grouping have been some of their better ones overall with Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers being highly selected prep position players.
The current name with the most heat to Kansas City is prep lefty, Trevor Rogers. Currently, four of the seven mock drafts have the Royals selecting the New Mexico product, with the latest mocks issued all having him chosen by GMDM and crew. What is there to know about Rogers?
Trevor Rogers Left-handed Pitcher
6’6 185 lbs
School Carlsbad, NM High School
The height and long arms stand out immediately with the loose arm of Rogers’ delivery as he’s able to pump low to mid 90’s velocity regularly, while getting plenty of extension on his arm. As I wrote about David Peterson in the past, that arm extension allows his fastball to play up to hitters. I could imagine that it actually plays closer to upper 90’s than the reading we see via the radar gun. Despite the long, rangy body that one would believe would lead to varied control with the heater, Rogers shows a penchant for being able to consistently hit the target with the fastball. It’s not plus control or command, but from the video I’ve seen, it’s better than average which makes the pitch one of the better fastballs in the class. In addition, the lefty, has shown the ability to create arm-side run on the pitch to work into lefties or tail away from right-handed hitters.
That arm-side run shows the ability to manipulate the baseball and could mean good things in the future for Rogers changeup, which lags some as he hasn’t had to use it much in high school. In addition to the change, Rogers employs a pair of breaking balls in his slider and curveball. The arm slot leads one to believe that he is better off employing the slider which currently ranks below average, but should develop into a better than average pitch in the future. Should Rogers just keep his velocity where it is, then he should be well positioned
There are a couple reasons to be scared of a Rogers selection. For starters, there’s his age. At nearly 20 years old, he is one of the oldest players in the high school class. At that age, one should wonder why he doesn’t have a better feel for secondary pitches even if he is a high school product. The second reason is the Royals development staff themselves. The Royals in the past have been resistant to young pitchers tossing a slider as their primary breaking ball, and while that may have changed some lately, it is still rumored that a couple of the Royals currently in the system have a better slider than the curveball they’re using primarily. That could be just a rumor based off stories of the past, but there is also the arm slot that Rogers offers. Will the development staff keep it there, or would they move it up in hopes of keeping Rogers over top of a curveball? This is a major question, and given their history it’s something that would scare me away from this pick.
High School Pitchers Signed in the Dayton Moore era
|HS Pitchers (signed)||Year||Pick||Bonus||MLB Innings||WARP|
|Malcolm Van Buren||2016||943||$147,500||0|