Hello scouting assistants. This is your scouting director speaking to you. This is a pretty key draft for the Royals. An organization recently known as having a great farm system (the best farm system of all time!!!11!1!). Recently the talent pool has dried up due to promotion and desertion of prospects not panning out. There is a good group of talent in the minor league system with 2 or 3 players who could be above average to star level MLB players and some good organization depth and solid prospects. It doesn't contain the #4, #8, or #9 hitting prospect in the game anymore, and it doesn't contain the #18, #19, and #83 pitching prospects either. With the #24 overall (Zimmer), #35 overall (Starling) and #85 overall (Ventura) this system needs an injection of more high level talent to return it to the top system we are used to.
Luckily this year the Royals were the winner of the first pick of the inaugural Competitive Balance Draft Pick lottery and will have an additional first round pick which also gives us more money in the pool.
The Royals will have 11 picks in the first 10 rounds. They have $8,290,700 to spend which is the 6th overall highest amount.
The Royals will have picks: #8, #34, #46, #82, #114.
The slot values for our 5 picks:
Which is $7,070,600 for those 5 picks or 85% of the total pool.
The current system:
Starting pitching: A weak spot in the Royals system since Monty, Dwyer, and Lamb fell off the cliff, there is some good young blood in the system with Zimmer, Ventura, Selman, Smith, Almonte, and others.
I still think this is an area of need for the Royals. Santana will be gone this year, Shields will likely be gone after next year and Guthrie can't anchor a rotation and neither can Duffy or Paulino. There a good players in the ranks behind them, but only Zimmer has the upside of a true #1 while most are a #2 but probably a #3-4-5.
Relief pitching: Maybe the Royals strongest suit. Everyone in the bullpen is still pretty young, and looks to be under control for the next 3-4 years at least. Possible bullpen arms include Ventura and Selman.
This really isn't an area of need for the Royals.
Catcher: The Royals have put all their faith in defensive God Salvador Perez by signing him to a long term deal. There aren't any very good options behind him so an injury would hurt the Royals, especially with Ned Yost's need to play Perez every day, that could happen.
Cam Gallagher is the Royals only real prospect at the catcher position.
This is an area of somewhat need.
The Royals are pretty set at first base for the foreseeable future with Butler and Hosmer. There is obviously the chance that Hosmer could leave via free agency down the road, but right now the team is set here.
On the minor league side the Royals are pretty thin at 1B and an injection of a player into the system wouldn't hurt.
This is an area of marginal need and would be worth pursuing if a 1B option was presented that was just too good to pass up.
Maybe the biggest need for the Royals after pitching. The current combo of Getz/Johnson isn't getting the job done, Giavotella may never get a full seasons chance, and Christian Colon would be lucky to see a role with the Royals for anything other than a utility man.
Mondesi or Calixte could slot over to 2nd if need be but Mondesi is years away and Calixte is a questionable long-term option at 2B.
This is an area of considerable need and needs to be a focus in the draft.
With Alcides Escobar locked up for the long term (the Royals hold options that would delay free agency until 2018) the Royals are set at SS for the foreseeable future as well.
There are decent options behind him in Mondesi, Calixte, and possibly Colon, but one of them is again years away and the other two aren't very safe. Humberto Arteaga is also a marginal option.
This is an area of slight need. Shouldn't be a major focus in the draft, but you can never have too many good middle infield prospects.
Thirdbase: The Royals are going to give Moustakas every chance in the world to play 3B for the next 4 years. He's off to a poor start, and besides a month or two in 2012, he really hasn't been very good. Defensively he's been very impressive, but his bat is what made him the #8 prospect in the minors.
In the system the Royals have Cheslor Cuthbert and Kenny Diekroeger as options there. Giavotella has also been rumored to start playing third. Cuthbert is the most serious option here in the future, but he's not a guarantee and doesn't carry the prospect pedigree to warrant a for sure shot at the major league level.
This is an area of somewhat need. Again if a player is too good to pass up at this position he should get every shot at being discussed to be taken that we can give him.
This is an area of mixed need. The Royals have Gordon and Cain for the future. Dyson and Francoeur are no more than platoon options at this point. Lough seems to be either a AAAA player or a platoon player as well.
On the minor league side the Royals traded away their best prospect at this position, and overall, but have some options behind the major leaguers. Bubba Starling is still the most obvious heir to an outfield spot. Behind him are Jorge Bonifacio, Elier Hernandez, Alexis Rivera, Brett Eibner, Brian Fletcher, and Fred Ford.
While only maybe two or 3 of those guys are legit options, there is some depth at the position.
This is always an area of need. Outfielders are prone to injury often and the draft is ALWAYS full of high talent outfield prospects. The Royals aren't exactly flushed at this position. And with their second pick of the draft considering an OF wouldn't be a bad idea.
So let's have some discussion on what you think is the biggest need for the Royals.
As always, the Mock Draft is open for Mock Draft Assistants to help decide players and give input. While the final decision comes up to me, I will be more than willing to listen to everyone's opinion on the matter and I don't consider myself an expert or above anyone.
Also the Assistants will fill in for me if for some reason I can't make it to the draft day.
#2: 1st Round selection list
#3: 2nd round selection list
#3: 3rd and 4th round selection list