The Royals are staying in the college ranks, making that nine college selections in nine picks. With the 182nd overall pick (sixth round), they selected Zach Haake, RHP out of the University of Kentucky
Weight: 185 lbs
Baseball America: 218th
Minor League Ball: 146th
This is definitely one of the more interesting and intriguing picks the Royals have made this draft. If you were just to look at the history of Haake’s career, you wouldn’t think he’s a draft prospect at all. He started his college career at Arkansas State, where he struggled mightily in limited time, posting a 6.57 ERA in 12 innings, striking out 12 and walking ten. He then transferred to the smaller John A. Logan College, having success as a starter when he put up a 2.52 ERA in 78.2 innings, striking out 91 and walking 37. He moved back on up the ranks after his successful season in junior college, transferring to Kentucky to see some SEC competition. The results didn’t fare well though, as Haake bounced between the bullpen and the rotation, putting up an 8.47 ERA.
The fastball makes me think relief future for Haake. The reports on it are good, sitting around the mid-90s with good movement. The hard offspeeds are serviceable, as he works them both a slider and changeup in the mid-80s. I like the delivery a lot, as he uses a simple, low-effort motion.
It’s pretty clear that Haake is more of a project pitcher. The Royals must see something in him to think he’s a mechanical tweak away from becoming a successful reliever or something.