This will just be a quick catcher upper on how some guys I like for Kansas City in this June’s draft are doing so far this spring. Some guys will be options at #2, some will be for later on in the draft, so don’t freak out if you haven’t heard of some of these guys.
Kameron Misner, OF, Mizzou
.255/.429/.443/.872, 6 HR, 2 doubles, 12 SB, 32 K, 30 BB
Misner is quickly falling out of contention for the Royals at #2. I don’t think there’s any way Misner could slip all the way to KC’s second pick at #42 (he’d have to be awful down the stretch), meaning Misner probably isn’t going to be a Royal in June. The athleticism is there, the kid can run, and he can glove it in CF, but I’m not sure the bat has been good enough to deserve contention at #2. Lots can change between now and June, obviously.
TJ Sikkema, LHP, Mizzou
42.2 IP, 1.05 ERA, 43 K, 13 BB, .208 BAA
Sikkema continues to deal against the best conference in baseball. He is by no means going to be considered at #2, and I don’t think he’d even be in the conversation at #42, but if he keeps pitching like this, #42 may not be that ridiculous. Though, I have a feeling the lack of velocity (89-92) is going to push the Tigers’ ace into the 3rd round.
Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
.306/.480/.550/1.030, 5 HR, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 4 SB, 23 K, 36 BB
Stott was my favorite option at #2 for a while, and he still probably is, but Andrew Vaughn’s bat closes the gap on Stott’s defense every day. If I thought Stott was going to be a Gold Glove SS, this would be a no-brainer. But I think he projects as just average in the 6-hole and I don’t think he’ll hit enough to move to 3B full time (considering we’re talking about the #2 overall pick). Stott is slugging the life out of the baseball, and the power from the position is super intriguing, I just worry about the lack of “loud” tools at #2 overall.
Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
.427/.595/.813/1.408, 8 HR, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 15 K, 34 BB
Expletive you, Baltimore.
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
.366/.536/.732/1.268, 9 HR, 3 doubles, 2 SB, 15 K, 26 BB
The lack of walks for Vaughn is interesting given the profile, but the kid is absolutely destroying the baseball in his third year at Cal. I don’t think the Royals will seriously entertain Vaughn at #2 given his lack of size, speed, and defense, but my gosh can he hit.
Hunter Wolfe, SS, TCU
.288/.442/.424/.866, 1 HR, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 7 SB, 20 K, 16 BB
A defensive wizard at SS, the Royals drafted Wolfe in 2018 and simply couldn’t get a deal worked out. Wolfe is playing really good baseball at TCU and I fully expect the Royals to draft Wolfe again in 2019, somewhere in the 5th round or beyond.
Nick Lodolo, LHP, TCU
48 IP, 1.13 ERA, 63 K, 10 BB, .178 BAA
Lodolo is still my sleeper pick at #2. The kid is really good, he’s 6′ 6″, left-handed, throws in the mid-90’s, and Baseball America said his slider and changeup were both the best respective pitches in college baseball heading into 2019. The Royals made it pretty clear in 2018 that they didn’t like their pitching depth in the minors, and Lodolo could be the Royals best pitching prospect the day he enters the system. Could legitimately be in the big leagues by 2020.
Johnny Rizer, CF, TCU
.333/.450/.500/.950, 2 HR, 7 doubles, 1 triple, 4 SB, 15 K, 18 BB
More known for his speed and defense, Rizer has broken out in a big way at the plate for the Horned Frogs in 2019. Given the Royals love for speed and defense, I’m pretty sure they’re going to have their eyes on Rizer in June, the question figures to be when. Rizer is a 22-year old senior, so he’s not particularly young, but the tools suggest a look after the 8th or 9th rounds would be in order.
Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Colleyville Heritage HS
CJ Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS
.400/.447/.657/1.104, 1 HR, 9 doubles, 3 triples, 19 SB, 5 K, 5 BB
The other prep SS rumored to be in play for KC at #2, CJ Abrams can absolutely fly. He doesn’t quite hit for the same power as other options here, and at 5′ 10″ I’m not sure what kind of power we should expect Abrams to develop, but the Royals like him and many in the industry think they could lean Abrams’ way in June. I’m not a huge fan of Abrams at #2, given the other options available, but he certainly fits the profile for KC.
Jaxx Groshans, C, Kansas
.362/.470/.723/1.193, 10 HR, 4 doubles, 17 K, 20 BB
Questions about Groshans’ ability to stick behind the plate long-term have diminished his stock in the early rounds, but the bat has been really good in 2019. The Royals try to invest in catchers every year, and I think Groshans would be worth a serious look starting in round 6 this June.
Ryan Zeferjahn, RHP, Kansas
41 IP, 2.20 ERA, 49 K, 20 BB, .182 BAA
Zeferjahn remains in the conversation at #42 for me. The kid has some electric stuff and has a floor, in my opinion, of a really good reliever in the big leagues. His fastball/slider combo give him a great floor while the control issues create a really good ceiling for him as well, should he ever start to correct them. The control is admittedly a pretty big issue (he walked 7 against Baylor last weekend), but the stuff is really intriguing.
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