Thoughts on the Royals first 11 picks of the 2021 MLB Draft

Here is a quick recap and scouting report of the Royals first 11 picks of this year’s draft:

#7: Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic HS (CT)

Mozzicato is 6′ 3″ and weighs 175 lbs. His fastball sits 90-92 t94. Best pitch is the curveball with over 3,000 RPMs at times. At best, Mozzicato was ranked in the low 20’s of some boards, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN had him #21. It sounds like he could sign for $3M or less saving the Royals over $2M in signing bonus money for their picks later on. Best guess, he’ll slot into our midseason top 15, but I’m going to have to look at it a little longer.

#43: Ben Kudrna, RHP, Blue Valley Southwest HS (KS)

Kudrna is 6′ 3″ and weighs 195 lbs. His fastball sits 93-95 t97. He controls his breaking ball well but it doesn’t have great shape yet. Tons of projectability here. Could be hitting 100 mph as soon as next year. Gonna be rather expensive but I’d assume that has already been taken care of, all things considered.

#66: Peyton Wilson, 2B/OF, Alabama

Peyton Wilson *might* be my favorite pick the Royals have made so far. The hit tool is outstanding, I think there’s 20 HR potential there, he runs really well, and I think he can play a number of positions really well. The plate discipline needs work, but all the tools are there for a Whit Merrifield type of player.

#78: Carter Jensen, C/CIF, Park Hill HS (MO)

I wouldn’t let Jensen catch professionally. It’s not that I don’t think he’s capable, the bat is just too good. Get him out from behind the plate, put him on the corners either in the IF or OF, and let him hit. He absolutely hammers baseballs. Good approach, advanced feel for the barrel, just needs to get it in the air more often. Excited to see how he handles pitchers in Arizona.

#108: Shane Panzini, RHP, Red Bank Catholic HS (NJ)

Panini is already almost 20 years old making him one of (if not the) oldest prep players in the class. 91-94 t97. Stands 6′ 3″ weighs 200 lbs. Offspeed stuff has good Rapsodo data but I think it still needs work. Good raw stuff. Raw arm.

#139: Eric Cerantola, RHP, Mississippi State

6′ 5″ RHP whose fastball has been clocked as high as 100 mph. 60-grade curveball with over 3,000 RPMs. Some thought he was a better prospect than Bednar before this spring. Probably a reliever.

#169: Dayton Dooney, 2B, Central Arizona College

OPS over 1.000 at the University of Arizona as a freshman. Transferred out after last spring. Hit 9 HR and 21 doubles at JUCO this spring. Switch hitter. Good batted ball data. Could Michael Massey his way up the rankings.

#199: Noah Cameron, LHP, Central Arkansas

6′ 3″ LHP with a big fastball. Didn’t pitch this year. St. Joe native. 122 K in 122 innings in college. Just 21 walks. ERA under 3.00.

#229: Ryan Cepero, SS, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (PR)

Report I got: “Phenomenal athlete. Good swing. Great kid.” So, we’ll see.

#259: Parker Bates, OF, Louisiana Tech

Lowkey kind of like this pick. Big time producer as a fifth year senior. Should sign for like, a couple thousand dollars. Might have some Clay Dungan type of value. Better bat. Not as good in the field. We’ll see.

#289: Shane Connolly, LHP, Virginia Tech

Funky lefty. AJ Block ish. Wait and see.


  • I’m okay with how the Royals chose to allot their bonus pool. If we’re removing the context of how bad they’ve been at developing prep arms, I love the talent they acquired today. Even Mozzicato, I know he wasn’t the best option, but he’s going to allow the Royals to keep Kudrna and Jensen away from LSU and keep Peyton Wilson from going back to Alabama. I don’t love it….but it’s not the worst they could’ve done.
  • I’ll give this draft a C+. Worse talent could’ve made it a D+ pretty easily and a better track record of player development could’ve made it a B+ pretty easily. I like the talent a lot. I don’t have a problem with WHO they drafted. It’s more of an issue with who they drafted as it relates to their players development strengths and weaknesses.
  • If I had to guess…’s how I think I’d rank the first 7 of these guys…
    1) Ben Kudrna
    2) Peyton Wilson
    3) Frank Mozzicato
    4) Dayton Dooney
    5) Carter Jensen
    6) Eric Cerantola
    7) Parker Bates
  • I need to see the signing bonus info first and get another opinion or two on some of these guys, but that’s what I’m thinking at the moment. Decent chance all 7 actually make our top 50. They’ll probably definitely be in the top 50 next spring if Lynch, Kowar, and Witt Jr. all graduate.
  • I really don’t know what to make of the process here. Loading up on guys to fill in the lower levels of the minors? Kind of a screaming endorsement of the guys they have at the upper levels. Lonnie Goldberg made the comment that this could help create a new wave of pitchers after their older guys graduate…idk. Like I said, I love the players. I don’t know about the process or organizational fit.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Royals first 11 picks of the 2021 MLB Draft

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