I got the idea to do a shadow draft from John Sickels. He always did a shadow draft over at Minor League Ball which was part of SBNation focusing on the minors. The goal is to pick along with your guys and follow them in your system. You have to pick real time or without the knowledge of other guys who were drafted. That way you can’t cheat. You can’t just pick anyone and everyone because you have to find ways to sign guys. You are playing GM without the ability to give out real contracts. So here is my 2019 Royals shadow draft.
2. SS Bobby Witt, Jr. – I thought he was the best player available and I always want to take a bat first. Pitching will always be there but big time bats are hard to find. You know the scouting report on Witt so I don’t need to explain much more. He is an up the middle core piece to this team. I also think I can save $779K here because the slot is so high. Witt gets $7M and I get to save for someone.
44 RHP Noah Song – Everyone knows the commitment Song has to Navy. However, his arm is electric. To me, this is a place I can save some slot money because of his commitment. Song wanted $1M last season so I offer it to him in an effort to sign a high school guy or tougher sign later. Pick value is $1.7M so I save $700K for someone. Song was the first NCAA player to strike out 100 batters this season for a reason. In two years, we move him quick. He might be able to work something out were he starts earlier as well.
70 RHP Isaiah Campbell – I took a chance here. I really wanted Bryce Osmond but rumors of big money were scaring teams off. I gambled he would last another 10 picks as there were some higher ranked HS arms available still. The Arkansas ace has a big future. He can move quick and will slide into the big 4 immediately on the prospect rankings. I probably move him slowly this season as he has a lot of innings already. You could probably start him in Wilmington next season.
80 RHP Bryce Osmond – So here is where it gets interesting because you have to find a way to sign him. I saved $700K on Song so I can offer $1.45M because slot value is $767K here. I think that gets it done.
109 LHP Erik Miller – I had a few guys targeted here but I missed out so I went for the LHP from Stanford. He isn’t Kris Bubic but he does have some good stuff and I think he can be a solid rotation arm. I wrote a draft report on him so I was familiar with him and that made me comfortable. I need a senior sign somewhere soon to save some more money to move around.
139 OF Bryant Packard – I was going to take Aaron Ochsenbein here who is a power reliever from Eastern Kentucky University who I identified as a target early in March but Packard was still there and I had taken several arms in a row. Packard went three picks later to the Tigers so I knew I made the right choice here. He is a hit machine with a pure swing who had a big time hitting streak and hit well with wood in summer leagues. He is a LF but probably gets to the bigs because he can hit.
169 OF Johnny Rizer – I took the advice of Alex Duvall and took Rizer. He loves this guy and I figured Ochsenbein would last another round at least. Well, I got Rizer but Ochsenbein went 191.
199 RHP Brad Deppermann – So I lost the senior sign I was targetting but at this point it is just a matter of saving $250K. I went for the U of North Florida senior because I saw him throw earlier in the year in a game and thought he could easily move to the pen and have success if starting didn’t work out. He was working 92 to 94 consistently. He just needs a few tweaks.
229 LHP Jake Rice – Afraid of losing my later targets, I took the Presbyterian lefty here. This was my big mistake because he didnt get drafted because of ineffectiveness and injury. Jake beat Kentucky early in the year and I hope he brings that toughness to pro ball with him. He got hurt and shut down but I hope he can bounce back. This is a pick I am kind of regretting because I didn’t look into his late season enough and should of just let him prove it his senior year. But again, it doesn’t cost me a lot of money.
259 C Phillip Clarke – At this point I realized Vanderbilt’s catcher was still available. I gobbled him up immediately. I was looking for a catcher and a few more bats so I gobbled him up for my last pick of Day Two.
289 2B Julian Edouard – Auburn’s offensive second baseman was available and a top 200 talent. I decided to get the bat with a little pop on the infield. I then realized Duplantis from LSU was available and freaked out a little.
319 OF Antoine Duplantis – The senior from LSU survived to get to me. I was thankful the gritty CF and hit machine got to me. I had forgotten about him the day before and should have taken him in the 9th instead of Rice. But you live and learn. Rizer can play RF for Idaho Falls while Packard can go to LF.
349 SS Yan Contreras – This is where the extra $779K from Witt comes into play. This goes to Contreras or Jones who I took in my last round, the 15th. If Witt signs for less than $6.5M I sign both I think. If not, I sign probably just Contreras.
379 RHP Nick Morreale – The righty from Georgetown will end up a reliever more than likely but you don’t teach 6’5″ and 95.
409 RHP Ross Carver – Last year I took Ashby from Crowder and this year I took Carver from the top JuCo in my hometown. He has the chance to be a rotation guy.
439 LHP Spencer Jones – It’s going to take a lot to sign this guy. He is a top arm and possibly a two way guy in college. With the promise of some two way play in the minors, some money in his pocket, and a start in pro ball, I hope Jones signs. I doubt it but it’s worth negotiating until the deadline. We have to wait and see what Witt signs for before we make this deal. And we might not make this deal.
Photo Courtesy of Navy Athletics