Early Returns: Royals 2009 Draft Picks (Rounds 11-20)

It has been 6 days since I posted the Early Returns piece on Rounds 6-10.  Here is the second installment covering the picks from the 11th to the 20th round of the 2009 Royals draft class.

RHP-Ryan Wood (11th Round/332nd Overall) East Carolina University
Low-A – Burlington Bees
Drafted as a pitcher, Wood has started out his professional career playing SS and 2B.  He made his debut with the Burlington Royals in rookie ball and hit 0.174/.303/.217 with 16 BB and 15 SO in 92 AB.  Wood was promoted to the Low-A Bees and has hit 0.224/.321/.328 with 10 BB and 14 SO in 67 AB.  If his last 10 games are any indication, he appears to be adjusting.  In those 10 games and 33 AB Ryan has hit 0.303 with 6 R, 4 2B, 3 BB, and only 5 SO.  Plate discipline and strike zone judgment don’t seem to be a problem.

RHP-Nick Wooley (12/362)  William Woods University, Missouri
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Wooley has spent most of this season as a member of the Chukars rotation, but has also made a handful of relief appearances.  He has pitched 44.0 innings with a 4.91 ERA, 1.432 WHIP, and 3.89 SO/BB.  In 7 starts he has thrown 33.0 innings with a 5.18 ERA to go along with 8 BB and 21 SO.  In his 3 relief appearances and 11.0 innings pitched, he has a 4.09 ERA with only 1 BB and 14 SO.  The splits suggest a future as a reliever may be in the cards, but it is still early.

OF-Lane Adams (13/392)  Red Oak HS, Oklahoma
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
Adams has hit 0.233/.339/.291 with 16 BB, 32 SO, and 14 SB in 103 AB to start his professional career.

LHP-Crawford Simmons (14/422)  Statesboro HS, Georgia
Not assigned to a roster and has not appeared in a game as a member of the Royals organization.

SS-Scott Lyons (15/452)  Arkansas
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
Lyons was assigned to the AZL Royals on June 24th, but has yet to appear in a game with the team.

LHP-Eric Diaz (16/482)  New Mexico JC
Rookie – Arizona League Royals
Diaz has made 13 appearances, including 2 starts, to begin his professional career.  He has thrown 30.0 innings with a 6.90 ERA, 1.967 WHIP, and 1.76 SO/BB.  Diaz has put up a solid 11.1 SO/9 but along with that has come a less desirable 6.3 BB/9.  In July he threw 14.2 innings with a 2.45 ERA to go along with 8 BB and 16 SO, but August has been a different story.  So far this month he has a 12.08 ERA with 12 BB and 17 SO in 12.2 IP.  Control is clearly going to be a factor in how far he can advance, but some of his August performance can be attributed to hitting the wall.  It appears the stuff is there, so he bears watching in 2010.

2B-Ben Tschepikow (17/512)  Arkansas
Rookie – Burlington Royals
Tschepikow made his professional debut with the Arizona League Royals and went 1 for 3 in his one game there before being moved to the Burlington Royals.  In his 51 Appalachian League ABs he has hit 0.216/.293/.294 with 5 BB and 10 SO.

LHP-Brendan Lafferty (18/542)  UCLA
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Lafferty has thrown 42.0 innings for the Chukars with a 2.57 ERA, 1.333 WHIP and 2.92 SO/BB.  He has appeared in 12 games on the year, one of which was a start.  The last two times he has taken the mound he has thrown a total of 11.1 innings with 2 W, 10 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 10 SO.

3B-Ryan Stovall (19/572)  Thomas University, Georgia
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
Stovall started his professional career with the Arizona League Royals and hit 0.235/.290/.400 with 7 BB and 29 SO in 85 AB.  He was then moved up to Idaho Falls and has hit 0.294/.319/.456 with 3 BB and 12 SO in 68 AB with the Chukars.  Stovall has hit 0.303 in his last 33 AB over 10 games with 7 R, 5 2B, and 1 3B.

RHP-Patrick Keating (20/602)  Florida
Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars
The early returns on Keating are very good through 19 appearances as a reliever.  In 25.1 innings with the Chukars thus far, he has a 2.13 ERA, 1.066 WHIP and 4.75 SO/BB.  Over his last 10 appearances he has thrown 10.2 shutout innings with 7 H, 2 BB, 17 SO, and 6 SV.  Next year will go a long way toward determining his prospect status within the organization as he moves up, but he has done everything possible to put himself on the map in 2009.

Thoughts:
As a whole, this 10 player group doesn’t appear to hold a lot of promise.  The early returns on the picks in rounds 11-17 are not too promising.  However, the selections of Lafferty, Stovall, and Keating have more than held their own and that in itself speaks volumes since, for many picks, just treading water in their first season is enough of a challenge.

Keating strikes me as the one who has the potential to establish himself as a true prospect going forward thanks to his excellent control and his ability to miss bats.  It will be very interesting to see how he handles more advanced competition and if he will be able to continue striking out more than a batter per inning.  Whether the Royals move him up to Low-A Burlington or all the way up to High-A Wilmington for the 2010 season will speak volumes about how the organization feels about him.

Brendan Lafferty hasn’t been as good as Keating, but he has turned in a solid first season thus far.  2010 should see him pitching for the Low-A affiliate, perhaps as a starter.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Ben Tschepikow Brendan Lafferty Crawford Simmons Eric Diaz Kansas City Royals KC Lane Adams MLB Nick Wooley Patrick Keating Royals Ryan Stovall Ryan Wood Scott Lyons

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