The Draft took some crazy and unexpected twists and turns last night. When the Royals pick came calling at number four overall, they had their choice between the best all-around position player in the draft, the best college LHP in the draft, the best college RHP in the draft, and the best high school player in the nation. Wow. What a decision they had to make at the point.
Ultimately, the Royals made the decision to go with who they thought was the best pitcher in the draft. I haven’t seen the Royals board, but comments made by Dayton Moore made it sound like they had Asa Lacy ahead of every other player.
There were rumors of the Royals having a deal with Kjerstad at four leading up to the draft, which would have been a solid pick but a discount pick. Kjerstad went at number two and is expected to take $1 million to $2 million less than slot value.
So what ended up happening is the Royals took the best player available on their board. Many of us had Austin Martin ranked higher than Lacy, but we can’t complain if the Royals truly took who they thought was the best player available. We often talk about not drafting for need or position but taking the best player available, and the Royals went with that philosophy. Great job by them to stick with their board even if it wasn’t the same as yours or mine. Here is an awesome GIF by the Pitching Ninja showing some of the stuff Lacy has.
Later in the night, the Royals took Baylor shortstop Nick Loftin 32nd overall. In post-draft comments, Royals brass brought up the fact that they considered Loftin at 4th overall. (See tweet above) Now, if Loftin was that high on their board, and they got him at 32nd, that is a steal for them. One important point to make is that many evaluators have Lacy and Loftin with extremely high floors. This means their chances of making it to the big leagues and being contributing players is really high.
Loftin has tremendous contact skills and is a solid defensive player who can play any position not behind the plate. And he could probably catch, but I don’t know. Loftin played LF, RF, 3B, SS, and 2B for the USA Collegiate National team. He told the coaches just to put him on the field wherever they needed him.
Loftin was described as having an 80-grade on his character and makeup by Kendall Rogers. The Royals are big on character and makeup and it sounds like they got two guys with both.
There were several comparisons of Loftin to Walt Weiss, Ian Kinsler, and Michael Young. Those are some solid players to be compared too.
Here is an absolute bomb that Loftin hit.
This on Lacy.
Here is the Rapsodo data on Lacy if you want to see it.
The Royals have four more selections to make today starting at 4 PM on ESPN2 and MLB Network. Make sure to follow us for more coverage.