The signing deadline has come and gone. Now that the dust has settled, RHP-Aaron Crow is now the only Royals draft pick from the first 23 rounds that has not signed with the team. Crow has until one week before next year’s draft to reach an agreement with Kansas City, but one way or another I don’t anticipate it will take that long.
In honor of the signing deadline, I thought it would be a good time to check in on how some of the other Royals 2009 draft picks are faring in the minors.
It is important to keep in mind that these are very early returns and the sample sizes are small. Still it is never too early to hope that some of these guys will turn into something special down the road. That said, here are the picks from rounds 5-10.
RHP-Louis Coleman (5th Round/152nd Overall) LSU
High-A – Wilmington Blue Rocks
Coleman has appeared in 7 games as a reliever this season. He started out in Low-A with the Burlington Bees and threw 7.1 innings with a 2.45 ERA, 0.409 WHIP, and 6.00 K/BB. He has since been promoted to the Wilmington Blue Rocks in High-A and has continued to impress. In 4.2 innings as a Blue Rock he has a 0.00 ERA, 0.214 WHIP, and has struck out 7 without issuing a single walk.
RHP-Cole White (6/182) New Mexico
Low-A – Burlington Bees
White, like Coleman, has been pitching in relief since signing with the Royals. He started out with the Idaho Falls Chukars and in 12 games compiled an 1.29 ERA, 1.333 WHIP, and 1.77 SO/BB over 21.0 IP. He was then promoted to the Bees and, heading into last night, had thrown 8.0 IP with a 3.38 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 1.00 SO/BB. In his appearance last night, White struggled a bit and gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, and 1 run in just 1.1 innings of work. He has now walked 19 and struck out 27 in 30.1 innings of work between his time with the Chukars and the Bees.
LHP-George “Buddy” Baumann (7/212) Missouri State
Rookie – Burlington Royals
Baumann threw 5.o innings with a 1.80 ERA, 0.800 WHIP, 5 SO and 0 BB in his first 3 relief appearances. He has not appeared in a game since July 16th and was placed on the 7-day DL on July 20th.
RHP-Dusty Odenbach (8/242) Connecticut
Low-A – Burlington Bees
Odenbach started out with the Burlington Royals and in 16.1 IP he had a 0.55 ERA, 1.041 WHIP, and 2.40 K/BB. He was promoted to the Burlington Bees and has since pitched 17.0 IP with a 3.71 ERA, 1.411 WHIP, and 2.13 SO/BB. Dusty got off to a rough start and gave up 4 ER in his first 3.1 innings in Low-A but he has adjusted quickly and has only given up 3 ER in his last 13.2 IP.
C-Ben Theriot (9/272) Texas State
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Theriot has hit the ground running with Idaho Falls. In 82 AB on the season he has hit 0.317/.404/.390 with 11 BB and 15 SO. He hasn’t shown much power, but he hits left handed, has stayed a catcher, and seems to have a good grasp of the strike zone.
1B-Geoff Baldwin (10/302) Grand Junction HS, Colorado
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
The left handed Baldwin has hit 0.257/.352/.417 with 18 BB and 51 SO in 144 AB. Baldwin has impressive batting practice power, but his struggles with a wood bat in professional baseball were anticipated by scouts. While his numbers don’t jump out at you, this 18 year old has hit better than I would have expected at this stage of his career. He was committed to Nebraska before signing with the Royals.
Again it is early, but Louis Coleman already stands out. Not only is he pitching for Wilmington, he is pitching extremely well. 12.0 innings pitched with 13 strikeouts and only 1 walk is a good way to get noticed and get yourself labeled as a top 30 prospect. Odenbach and Theriot seem to have acclimated to professional baseball rather well. While White and Baldwin have not been stellar thus far, they have not been disasters either. It also is important to keep in mind that Baldwin is the only HS player from this group. Not only is he adjusting to wood bats, he is also adjusting to life away from home, traveling, and other circumstances that college players are more prepared to handle when they get drafted. Baumann’s injury and limited sample size make forming an early opinion on him nearly impossible.
Stay tuned for more on the rest of the Royals 2009 draft picks in the coming days.