Jordan Groshans – Multiple players have been linked to the Royals in the upcoming draft season. However, only a few have multiple links like some who I have written about here at BP KC. One of those who has landed with the Royals on multiple mock drafts is Texas infielder Jordan Groshans. It is with good reason Groshans is being linked to the Royals; first, his brother already plays at the University of Kansas and Jordan has a commitment to play there as well, so there are some ties to playing in the KC area. Second, Groshans’ character as a 4.0 student and commitment to God stand out as similarities to a few prospects already in the system and are known preferences to the staff. Most importantly is the skills as a player the 6’4 190 lbs right-handed hitter showed on the summer circuit last year, and has continued to show off those skills this season for his Magnolia high school club.
Exhibiting both power and contact ability, Groshans, like Nolan Gorman, homered in both of the major All-Star events while showing off hard contact all summer long. With more of a line drive stroke during the summer, evaluators have noticed him adding loft during his senior season, resulting in quite a few home runs in the Texas season. In addition, he has improved his speed into the 6.5-6.6 range in the 60, improving on his ability to stick in the middle of the infield even if it’s more likely that he will move to the hot corner the addition athleticism is a plus. There aren’t many weaknesses in Groshans’ game as he’s at least average at worst in every facet with a tick above in the hit tool and with his arm. I believe he will end up having an above-average power as he fills out.
If there is one thing he could improve on that I see, it’s staying back on the ball and not getting out in front to not be vulnerable when he begins to see more advanced offspeed offerings. Still, Groshans checks plenty of boxes on and off the field. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Royals choose him at 18 if they believe that is where they need to assure themselves of adding him.
Jordyn Adams – Another player who fits the mold of what the Royals like in an athlete and a player is this UNC football commit. A four-star wide receiver in high school, Adams played in the Army All-American game and passed on an offer to go to Clemson to play for his father who is an assistant at UNC. Coming into the spring Adams was a nice baseball player ranked 309th overall by Perfect Game prior to the season. That was all prior to a run that he and his Green Hope High teammates went on during the NHSI tournament where Adams looked like the best prospect there despite a tournament filled with some of the best high school prospects in the country. The center fielder showed off his 80-grade speed in the field and on the bases, while an improved stroke at the plate regularly registered hard line drive contact. The speed Adams plays with reminds scouts of former #2 overall prospect Byron Buxton. Some scouts believe the bat is further ahead of Buxton’s at the same point in their careers. Here is a comparison of Baseball America’s reports on Adams and Buxton:
BA Adams Report – Adams is an 80-grade athlete with impressive makeup, a chance to become an impact defender in center field and possesses a better hit tool than most scouts believed a year ago. Late in Green Hope’s season Adams has also shown enough power in games that might allow evaluators to project future plus power considering his bat speed and wiry frame, although there are scouts who have already put 60-grade power on Adams now.
BA Buxton Report – Buxton’s speed plays more presently, as he steals bases easily and covers acres of ground in center field. Some scouts have given him top-of-the-scale grades for both his speed (others call it well above-average) and at times for his throwing arm. He’s shown a low-maintenance swing with a good path and premium bat speed that should allow him to hit for both average and power. Buxton will have to adjust to quality pitching, especially breaking balls.
The major difference here is where the Royals are possibly drafting Adams at #18 or #33 compared to Buxton at #2. If Adams is available, then the Royals are likely going to have to open up their checkbook to get him away from UNC, perhaps costing them a million or more extra to get him out of his football scholarship offer to play with his father. The Royals have long coveted players with blazing speed and football backgrounds, regularly selecting players with football experience in most drafts. These prospects tend to take extra time in development as we have seen with Bubba Starling, David Lough and Malcolm Culver. If the Royals should sign him, he would be immediately become the best athlete in an organization that already has Rudy Martin, Nick Heath, and Khalil Lee in it.
Featured Photo: Jason Fochtman, Houston Chronicle