More AL Central analysis, featuring the Kansas City Royals
Kansas City Royals Draft Review
1) Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton: I don't know why some Royals fans are down on this pick; Colon should be a very good player, with defense, some power, some speed, and on-base ability. Picking fourth, they weren't going to get the one of the Big Three, and there wasn't much difference in the rest of this draft class between Colon and other first rounders. I think this is a good pick that balances talent, affordability, and team needs just fine. He's a future major league regular shortstop, and there aren't many of those in this class.
2) Brett Eibner, RHP-OF, University of Arkansas: I love Brett Eibner, and this pick could be a real steal, given that he has first round talent as both a hitter and pitcher. I'd let him hit first if that's what he wants, and if it doesn't work then you can move him to the mound with less mileage on his arm.
3) Mike Antonio, SS, New York HS: Hailing from New York City, Antonio is talented, but rather raw. He's probably a third baseman in the long run, and may or may not hit enough for the position. This strikes me as an overdraft by a round or three, but they have time to develop him and aren't in immediate need of third base help.
4) Kevin Chapman, LHP, University of Florida: Lefty closer, works at 91-94, has a wicked slider, with enough stuff to keep closing and not be confined to a LOOGY role. Could help in the bullpen pretty quickly.
5) Jason Adam, RHP, Kansas HS: Local talent, which the Royals have been collecting: they don't want any more Albert Pujols debacles. Projectable, throws in the low-90s, has a good curve, should be signable away from college ball at Missouri with second round money.
6) Scott Alexander, LHP, Sonoma State University: Live lefty arm at 90-93 MPH, but inconsistent in college due to mechanical issues. Has more developmental potential than most college pitchers, but also more risk.
7) Eric Cantrell, RHP, George Washington University: Excellent performance record with mediocre stuff, gets by with sharp command.
8) Michael Mariot, RHP, University of Nebraska: Another regional talent, smallish at 6-0 but hits 93, started in college but may fit best in bullpen.
9) Whit Merrifield, OF, University of South Carolina: Features touches of power and speed, not overwhelming in any one area but has few real weaknesses, either. Could be a nice utility guy.
10) Tim Ferguson, OF, University of Mississippi: Stole 24 bases, makes contact, good glove, lacks power. Future fourth or fifth outfielder.
FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 13-Jon Gray,RHP, Oklahoma HS; 15-Jason Mitchell, RHP, UT-Arlington; 18-Brian Fletcher, OF, Auburn; 28-Murray Watts,1B, Arkansas State.
COMMENT: I like the first, second, fourth, and fifth round picks a lot, and Eibner has been a particular favorite of mine for awhile. Other picks include a mixture of raw upside with polished college performers. Some Royals fans seem puzzled by the draft, but it looks reasonably diverse to me if you consider what each player actually brings to the table.