2008 Draft Class (Rounds 11-20)


A look into the performance and progression of the players selected by the Kansas City Royals in rounds 11-20 of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

OF-Malcolm Bronson (11th Round/325th Overall) Jasper HS (Texas)
Did not sign with the Royals
Signed to play baseball and football for McNeese State University

OF-Keven Allen Caldwell (12/355) Spartanburg Methodist College (South Carolina)
Rookie – Burlington Royals
Season does not start until June 23rd
Caldwell hit .201/.268/.327 in 199 AB for the Burlington Royals in 2008.  He played in 54 games, drew 17 walks, and struck out 44 times.

LHP-John Flanagan (13/385) Southwestern Illinois JC
Rookie – Burlington Royals
Season does not start until June 23rd
Flanagan pitched for the Burlington Royals in 2008.  In 45.2 innings pitched, he had a 2.56 ERA, 14 BB and 43 SO.  He appeared in 12 games, 7 of them as a starter.

RHP-Chase Hentges (14/415) Shakopee HS (Minnesota)
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
Season does not start until June 21st
Hentges pitched 15.1 innings, all in relief, for the AZL Royals in 2008.  He had a 4.11 ERA with 3 BB and 11 SO.

1B-Alberto Espinosa (15/445) Broward CC (Florida)
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Season does not start until June 23rd
Espinosa hit .216/.275/.296 in 199 AB for Idaho Falls in 2008.  He played in 56 games, drew 16 walks, and struck out 45 times.

LHP-Derrick Saito (16/475) Cal Poly (California)
Low-A – Burlington Bees
In 2008 Saito pitched for Idaho Falls where he pitched 33.0 innings with a 4.36 ERA, 19 BB, and 37 SO.  The Royals moved him up to Low-A to start the 2009 season and he is performing well against more advanced competition while improving his numbers across the board.  In 27.2 innings pitched this season he has a 3.90 ERA with 25 SO and 7 BB.

3B-Jacob Kuebler (17/505) Lincoln Southeast HS (Nebraska)
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
Season does not start until June 21st
Kuebler hit .187/.231/.244 with 5 SB in 123 AB for the AZL Royals in 2008.  He played in 35 games, drew 6 walks, and struck out 23 times.

OF-Carlo Testa (18/535) Belmont College (Tennessee)
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Season does not start until June 23rd
The Royals started Carlo Testa off in Low-A with the Burlington Bees, but he lasted only 7 games there.  In his 16 AB with Burlington, he hit .188/.350/.313 with 4 BB and 5 SO before he was demoted.  Instead of letting the demotion consume him, Testa performed well in Idaho Falls.  He hit .304/.395/.462 in 171 at bats with the Chukars.  In his 51 games in rookie ball, he drew 25 walks, struck out 51 times, and stole 12 bases.  He will begin the season in Idaho Falls again, but a quick promotion to Burlington is probably in his future if he continues to perform.

C-Miguel Moctezuma (19/565) University of Central Oklahoma
Rookie – Burlington Royals
Season does not start until June 23rd
Moctezuma hit .158/.211/.218 in 101 AB for the Burlington Royals in 2008.  He played in 31 games, drew 6 walks, and struck out 31 times.  While catchers aren’t relied on to hit, putting up numbers like Moctezuma did in 2008 will end a professional career in a hurry.

OF-Shawn Griffin (20/595) University of Tennessee
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Season does not start until June 23rd
Griffin played in 69 games for Idaho Falls in 2008.  In 257 AB, he hit .249/.346/.389 with 14 SB, 38 BB and 83 SO.

Thoughts:
It is always hard to judge players based on how they do in their 1st season of professional ball.  Not only are they playing against the best competition of their life, they are also having to adapt to a new environment socially, physically, and mentally.  3 players of the 9 stand out among the rest, LHP-Derrick Saito, OF-Carlo Testa, and OF-Shawn Griffin.  Not surprisingly, all 3 played college baseball giving them a leg up on their typically younger competition. Reliever Derrick Saito is the most promising of all. In addition to already advancing a level and improving his ERA and SO/BB in the process, Saito is left- handed which will help him climb the minor league ladder.  Baseball America ranks Saito as the 2nd best LH reliever in the Royals minor league organization.  The Royals #1 LH Reliever prospect is Ben Swaggerty who is pitching for High-A Wilmington after being signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007.  Swaggerty has a 2.51 ERA in 14.1 IP this season, but his 9 BB and 12 SO are not as impressive.

Tags: AL Central Baseball Bronson Caldwell Espinosa Flanagan Hentges Kansas City Royals KC Kuebler MLB Moctezuma Saito Shawn Griffin Testa