Perfect Game released their first version of the 2018 MLB Draft. They mocked all the way to pick number 43 which means they mocked four picks for the Royals! Let’s look at them!
18. Kansas City Royals | Jonathan India, 3B, Florida
The Royals have four picks in the top 40, giving ample opportunity to make a run at high priced high schoolers who slide and making this a good spot to lock in a college producer. India has been one of the best in the business this year, slashing .436/.561/.863 through 36 games to go with soft hands and above average speed and arm strength. (NF)
33. Kansas City Royals | Jeremy Eierman, SS, Missouri State
Eierman offers a rare combination of quick-twitch and strength from a premium position and has turned a corner offensively after a slower start to the season. He hasn’t quite shown the same power as he did a year ago, but he has swiped 17 bags, and as draft history has shown, true collegiate shortstops always rise come June. (JB)
34. Kansas City Royals | Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS (Ill.)
Thomas looks the part of a future leadoff hitter capable of 35-plus double per year along with quality on-base production and contact rates. He’s a double-plus runner with a good chance to sticking in center thanks to advanced reads and efficient routes. The Royals should have ample draft budget to buy him out of his two-way (baseball/football) commitment to TCU. (NF)
40. Kansas City Royals | Tristan Pompey, OF, Kentucky
Pompey is having a monster year for the Wildcats this season, leading the team in batting average and doubles. He has a frame that scouts love and the potential to be a five-tool player. With four Day 1 picks, the Royals have the opportunity to load up on big-time talent. (GG)
I’m not really concerned with the players that were chosen but PG has a pretty good feel for what teams will do. Usually if they mock a position guy the team ends up with a position guy. Well, what’s interesting here is that all four players that were mocked to the Royals are position guys. I would have expected at least one or two pitchers in those first four picks.
But if we look at how the Royals created their last wave of talent, this actually seems like a fairly likely scenario. The Royals created a wave of position player talent that moved through the system together. They did that by drafting position players early, high school first and then college. Those guys all seemed to catch up to each other in Wilmington or Northwest Arkansas. If you add three impact college bats to the current wave of Lee, Pratto, Melendez, Matias, Gigliotti, Viloria, Vallot, and more, they should all end up together around NWA. The exception may be that of Lee who may move quicker.
To finish out your 2018 draft, you can draft some solid college arms in rounds 3 through 10 with some solid positional depth. In rounds 11 and higher you can take a shot on some prep players who have dropped with your bonus money. Most likely those are pitchers who would infuse your pitching depth. The 2019 draft will be the end of this wave. With the 2nd overall pick (can we catch Cincinnati?) we should take the best player available. I would guess it would be a position player who is advanced to catch the tail end of the wave and we would take some quick moving pitchers in the next several rounds to add the pitching depth to the wave that is needed. Your more advanced pitchers are ahead of the hitters because it usually takes them a little longer to adjust to the big leagues and get established. We already seem to have this in the system in Omaha and NWA. If you are short on pitching, you can always trade a position player or two to add depth as needed such as the Wil Myers trade.
The Royals have done this formula once before and had success. Now I think they tweak it slightly, and try it again using more position players than pitchers. Knowing our weakness to develop pitchers, the best strategy may be let others develop pitching for us and use our position players to pay the price. This strategy could be way off the mark, or could be spot on. We won’t know until draft day.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? What strategy would you use? We would love to hear on Twitter @RoyalsFarm!