2008 Draft Class (Rounds 21-50)

A look into the performance and progression of the players selected by the Kansas City Royals in rounds 21-50 of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

RHP-Jacob Theis (21st Round/625th Overall) Mountlake Terrace HS (Washington)
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
Season does not start until June 21st
Theis pitched only a third of an inning in 2008 for the AZL Royals.  He had a 27.00 ERA and gave up 4 hits.  Not exactly a great debut but it was the smallest of sample sizes.

LHP-Blaine Hardy (22/655) Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho)
Low-A – Burlington Bees
In 2008 Hardy pitched for Idaho Falls and threw 34.2 innings with a 4.15 ERA, 8 BB, and 34 SO in 21 games as a relief pitcher.  The Royals moved him to Low-A to start the 2009 season and even gave him a couple starts.  In 45.1 innings pitched, over 13 appearances, he has a 2.78 ERA with 46 SO and 9 BB.  He has also only given up 41 hits.  In his outings as a reliever, Hardy has been even more impressive.  He has pitched 31.1 innings from the pen and has a 1.72 ERA with 32 SO, 7 BB, and only 21 hits allowed.  By the numbers, Hardy looks like a late round, small college steal.  He is one of the few Royals picks from the 2008 draft to be advanced a level to start 2009.  A very good sign for his future is that his excellent SO/BB numbers have improved from 4.25 to 5.11 even though he is pitching against more advanced competition.

RHP-Dale De Schepper (23/685) Mount San Jacinto JC (California)
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
Season does not start until June 21st
No Stats in 2008

3B-Jason Morales (24/715) University of North Carolina, Pembroke
Rookie – Burlington Royals
Season does not start until June 23rd
Morales hit .187/.279/.260 in 123 AB for the Burlington Royals in 2008.  He played in 35 games, drew 13 walks, and struck out 32 times.

RHP-Carson Bryant (25/745) Azusa Pacific (California)
Low-A – Burlington Bees
In 2008 Bryant pitched for the Burlington Royals and threw 37.0 innings with a 4.62 ERA, 10 BB, 42 SO, and 41 hits.  He pitched in 13 games, 5 of which were as a starter.  Like Blaine Hardy, Bryant was bumped up to Low-A to start the 2009 season.  He hasn’t been as good as Hardy but he has held his own.  In 29.2 innings, over 13 appearances, with the Bees he has a 5.16 ERA with 20 BB, 29 SO, and 30 hits.  After his promotion, he has maintained his SO/9 and H/9 rates from the previous season in Rookie ball.  His walks however have jumped quite a bit.  If he can get his BB/9 number back down he has a shot to open with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in 2010.

RHP-Ryan Morgan (26/775) Rockhurst University (Missouri)
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Season does not start until June 23rd
Morgan pitched 43.0 innings for Idaho Falls in 2008.  He had a 6.70 ERA with 34 BB, 32 SO, and 54 hits.  Of his 15 appearances, 11 of them were as a starter.  Morgan is a Missouri kid, born in St. Louis and played for Rockhurst University in Kansas City, and is definitely someone to root for.  One of Dayton Moore’s goals when he took over as GM was to ensure that the Royals scouted and signed as much local talent as possible, much like the Atlanta Braves have done for years.  Morgan is one of several area players from the 2008 draft that have that “local” flavor.

LHP-Timothy Huber (27/805) University of Nebraska, Omaha
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Season does not start until June 23rd
Huber’s first season in the Royals farm system was a busy one.  He started his career with Idaho Falls and pitched 24.0 innings with a 3.38 ERA, 13 BB, 18 SO, and 19 H in 13 games.  He then got promoted to Low-A where he pitched 6.0 innings with a 10.50 ERA, 5 BB, 3 SO, and 10 H over 4 relief appearances.  After his stint in low-A, Huber was sent down to the Rookie level Burlington Royals.  There he pitched 3.0 innings with a 18.00 ERA, 2 BB, 4 SO, and 8 H in 3 games.  Huber, born and raised in Nebraska, is another example of local talent drafted and signed under Moore’s directive.  Huber should open the 2009 season back where he started in 2008 with the Idaho Falls Chukars.

RHP-Gregory Billo (28/835) Sandburg HS (Illinois)
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
Season does not start until June 21st
Billo pitched 14.1 innings for the AZL Royals in 2008.  He had a 5.65 ERA with 8 BB, 13 SO, and 21 H.  He pitched in 7 games, 4 of them as a starter.

1B-Beau Brett (29/865) Ferris HS (Washington)
Did not sign with the Royals

LHP-Dieterick Dodridge (30/895) Ogemay Heights HS (Michigan)
Did not sign with the Royals

OF-Ryan Curl (31/925) St. Francis DeSales HS (Ohio)
Did not sign with the Royals

RHP-Rey Cotilla (32/955) Miami-Dade CC (Florida)
Did not sign with the Royals

RHP-Eric Swegman (33/985) Young Harris JC (Georgia)
Did not sign with the Royals

RHP-Brett Richardson (34/1015) Wenatchee Valley CC (Washington)
Richardson pitched 19.2 innings for the AZL Royals in 2008.  He had a 1.37 ERA, 3 BB, 9 SO, and 18 H in 14 games.  He was then promoted to the Triple-A Omaha Royals where he pitched 2.1 innings with an 11.57 ERA, 1 BB, 2 SO, and 6 H in 3 games.  I can’t find Richardson listed on any of the 2009 Royals rosters, nor can I find him listed on milb.com as an active player.  I also searched the web for news articles relating to him and came up empty.

RHP-Chris Balcom-Miller (35/1045) West Valley College (California)
Did not sign with the Royals

RHP-Nick Purdy (36/1075) St. Mary’s SS (Grafton, ON)
Did not sign with the Royals

RHP-Bradin Hagens (37/1105) Merced JC (California)
Did not sign with the Royals

RHP-James Thompson (38/1135) Columbus State University (Georgia)
Low-A – Burlington Bees
In 2008 Thompson pitched for Idaho Falls and threw 29.1 innings with a 3.99 ERA, 18 BB, 39 SO, and 28 H in 22 games.  The Royals moved him up to Low-A Burlington to start the 2009 season.  Just like Blaine Hardy, Thompson has continued to be impressive.  He has pitched 25.1 innings with a 2.84 ERA, 17 BB, 30 SO, and 18 H in 17 relief appearances.  On top of those numbers, Thompson has made 7 straight appearances without allowing a run to score.  LH batters are hitting .303 off of him, but he has been absolute death to RH batters holding them to a .140 BA.

RHP-Ryan Modglin (39/1165) Scott City HS (Missouri)
Did not sign with the Royals
Modglin marks another attempt by the Royals to draft and sign a local kid.  He elected to instead play college ball with Missouri State.

RHP-Pernell Halliman (40/1195) Jackson State University (California)
Rookie – Burlington Royals
Season does not start until June 23rd
In 2008 Halliman pitched for rookie level Burlington and threw 26.0 innings with an 8.31 ERA, 16 BB, 20 SO, and 38 H.  He pitched in 12 games, 3 of them as a starter.

C-Doug Joyce (41/1225) Stanwood HS (Washington)
Did not sign with the Royals

RHP-Marc Oslund (42/1255) West HS (California)
Did not sign with the Royals

RHP-Cory Kiefer (43/1285) Valley View HS (California)
Did not sign with the Royals

OF-Patrick Johnson (44/1315) Colony HS (Ontario)
Did not sign with the Royals

OF-Raymond Anderson (45/1344) Lassiter HS (Georgia)
Did not sign with the Royals

1B-William Beckwith (46/1372) West Lowndes HS (Mississippi)
Did not sign with the Royals

LHP-Stephen Gilgenbach (47/1399) University of Arkansas, Little Rock
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Season does not start until June 23rd
In 2008 Gilgenbach pitched for Idaho Falls and threw 25.1 innings with a 9.59 ERA, 25 BB, 26 SO, and 31 H in 20 relief appearances.

SS-Terrence Buchanan (48/1426) Mount Carmel HS (California)
Did not sign with the Royals

3B-Alan Salgado (49/1453) San Ysidro HS (California)
Did not sign with the Royals

C-Travis Jones (50/1480) Sabino HS (Arizona)
Rookie – AZL Royals
Season does not start until June 21st
Jones hit .188/.316/.188 in 16 AB for the AZL Royals in 2008.  He played in 5 games, drew 3 walks, and struck out 7 times.

Thoughts:
LHP-Blaine Hardy, RHP-Carson Bryant, and RHP-James Thompson all were promoted from rookie ball in 2008 to low-A for the start of 2009.  All 3 have held their own against tougher competition.  Hardy, and Thompson to a lesser extent, might be deserving of a promotion to double-A by the end of the season.  Blaine Hardy stands out as the player to watch from this group, but we still have a few weeks before the rookie level play begins.

As a whole, the Royals signed 32 of their 51 selection in the 2008 draft.  They selected 27 players out of high school, 10 from the JC and CC ranks, 1 from the Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico, and 13 out of college.

In less than a week the 2009 draft class will be in the books.  In their latest mock draft, Baseball America has the Royals picking Grant Green with their 1st round pick at #12.  Green is the top rated SS available in the draft and would certainly fill a huge area of need.  The college Junior is represented by Scott Boras and was ranked among the top 5 in most preseason prospect rankings.  He didn’t have a huge season at USC this year, but he is still close to a 5 tool player at a position the Royals are completely devoid of talent in.  As a college player with tools Green could move quickly if the Royals draft and sign him.

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Tags: 2008 Draft AL Central Baseball Blaine Hardy Carson Bryant Grant Green James Thompson Kansas City Royals KC MLB

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