With the 18th pick in the 3rd round (94th overall), the Kansas City Royals went back to the college ranks for the 6th straight time and selected outfielder Kyle Isbel from UNLV.
Height: 5’11 Weight: 190 lbs Throws: Right Bats: Left
- Fangraphs: 11th best outfielder (43rd overall!)
- Perfect Game: 67th overall
- Baseball America: 93rd overall
- MLB: 75th overall
- 2080: 62nd overall
Isbel is a grizzled college veteran who’s started nearly every game in his career at UNLV. He doesn’t have the biggest frame in the world, but he’s able to squeeze every ounce of strength and athleticism out of what he has. Projecting to have at least average tools across the board, Isbel could play a number of positions but most believe he’ll stay in the outfield as he transitions to pro ball. A solid arm, average to above average speed, and above average defense could also lead to a utility role considering he has experience at second base to go along with his outfield resume.
At the plate, Isbel has been a steady contributor since his freshman year, including finding success in collegiate summer leagues with wood bats. During his junior year, Isbel saw a significant jump in his power numbers, going from 1, to 6, to 14 home runs over the course of his collegiate career. The raw power is there as are the bat to ball skills. Experts say he could be a candidate to reach 20 HR annually in the bigs. The Royals have now used each of their picks on Collegiate arms and bats. Definitely interesting to note considering they’re at the beginning of a perceived rebuild.