Sometimes, you get bamboozled. Hoodwinked. The jig. Run amuck. What ever. That happened last night when the Kansas City Royals selected five 5 cinco fünf college pitchers last night. They only selected five times total. Every single one of their picks on day one of the draft were college pitchers. When all of the signs pointed to the Royals going high-upside prep talent, they went high-floor college talent instead. So what happened?
To be honest, I think what happened is actually easily explainable. The fact that Brady Singer was still available at #18 was sort of unexplainable (unless KC dangled a bunch of money at him) and the Royals felt like they had to jump at Baseball America’s College Player of the Year. There’s an easy explanation for pick number one.
Pick number two was another unexpected sort of pick. Brady Singer’s teammate Jackson Kowar, who was mocked in the first round with regularity, fell to 33 and the Royals jumped at the opportunity to draft a guy with a ceiling that is even higher than Brady Singer’s. Kowar may have the ability to run his fastball into the upper-90’s as he develops and his changeup is one of the best off-speed offerings in the entire MLB Draft.
Then the Royals third pick rolled around. Daniel Lynch. Really? I mean. I guess. The lefty has a chance to be a Major League starter one day but, weren’t there better options available? Ethan Hankins went 35 to Cleveland after all.
Here’s the issue, the fact that Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar could have both returned to Florida this season gives them a little bit of leverage in contract negotiations than if they were seniors. Signing Singer and Kowar could get a bit expensive and the Royals needed to save money on their other picks.
Enter Kris Bubic, Daniel Lynch, and Jonathan Bowlan. All of these guys could also return to school next year, but all of them may have just been selected as high as they were going to be picked as well. They probably won’t be able to improve their draft stock enough in one year to warrant going back to school, giving the Royals a little leverage with all three of them to be cheap-ish signs.
Here’s my issue with that, weren’t there higher upside guys to gamble on if you’re gonna save that much money early on? I mean, it’s not like they drafted Bowlan because he’s a top 58 player in this draft. That was a low-risk low-pay selection. If you’re going to pick THAT low-risk and THAT low-pay, why not gamble a little more at pick 34? Why not Kumar Rocker instead of Daniel Lynch?
My guess is that Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar will cost the Royals more money than we all think. Rumors were that Singer would be an expensive over-slot at 18, but I just can’t see him being THAT expensive. We’ll have to hold off too much judgement until we see the price tags on Singer and Kowar, but unless they’re going to be ridiculously expensive, the back end of yesterday’s draft is a bit confusing to me.
Here’s what is clear though: the Kansas City Royals have every intention of competing again by 2021. Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, and Kris Bubic all figure to be quick risers through the system and ought to be ready to roll by the time the core is ready in 2021. Dayton Moore isn’t having any of this “5-6 year rebuild” stuff and last night he went out and got the pitchers to expedite this rebuild.