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
.267/.452/.493/.945, 9 HR, 6 2B, 16 SB, 44 K, 48 BB
Currently trailing only Adley Rutschman in walks in all of D1 baseball, Misner has been something of a question mark as the June draft approaches. Is it good plate discipline? Is he being pitched around due to a weaker Mizzou lineup? Is that why his power has seemingly disappeared? Everything I’ve seen of Misner suggests a potential five-tool CF that fits into the middle of a lineup, but the numbers have been far less than most expected. Is he worth the risk at #2? I think he might be, so long as the Royals scouts can come to an agreement on his plate discipline.
TJ Sikkema, LHP, Mizzou
61.2 IP, 1.46 ERA, 71 K, 22 BB, .199 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 #44, but if he keeps pitching like this, #44 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 or beyond.
Bryson Stott, SS, UNLV
.358/.500/.623/1.123, 7 HR, 17 2B, 2 3B, 9 SB, 29 K, 44 BB
Uhh, don’t look now, but Bryson Stott is heating up. He may be my favorite option for KC at #2 at the moment (assuming Adley is gone, as always).
Adley Rutschman, C, Oregon State
.419/.585/.812/1.397, 13 HR, 5 2B, 1 3B, 22 K, 51 BB
Expletive you, Baltimore.
Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CAL
.364/.525/.694/1.219, 11 HR, 7 2B, 2 SB, 26 K, 37 BB
Another popular choice for KC at #2. There’s even rumblings that Baltimore could be involved at #1 (though hopefully that’s just jockeying). The kid can hit. That’s for damn sure. Can his offense make him more valuable than Stott who plays a premium position? I guess we’ll see what teams think in June.
Hunter Wolfe, SS, TCU
.278/.397/.435/.832, 4 HR, 3 2B, 1 3B, 11 SB, 30 K, 21 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
65.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 77 K, 12 BB, .215 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
.314/.405/.496/.901, 5 HR, 8 2B, 1 3B, 7 SB, 24 K, 21 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
Witt Jr. has quieted concerns about his hit tool and looks like a favorite once again amongst fans for KC at #2.
CJ Abrams, SS, Blessed Trinity HS
.406/.450/.712/1.163, 4 HR, 13 2B, 3 3B, 23 SB, 6 K, 8 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
.346/.464/.639/1.103, 11 HR, 6 2B, 26 K, 30 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
56.1 IP, 3.36 ERA, 69 K, 30 BB, .186 BAA
Zeferjahn remains in the conversation at #44 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.
JJ Bleday, OF, Vandy
.363/.462/.796/1.258, 20 HR, 8 2B, 32 K, 30 BB
Umm, hello. A new name for your consideration at #2 overall is one JJ Bleday, your D1 HR leader. Power was the question for Bleday heading into 2019 and he has answered those questions quite nicely. A college corner OF, it will remain to be seen how high his draft stock can climb before June.