Feeling a Draft

We’re mere weeks away from the 2010 MLB Draft, and, like in recent years, Kansas City is at the front of the line. If done right, Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, Delmon Young (who turned into Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett), David Price join your ranks and you go to the World Series. If done wrong, you’re the Royals of the 1990s.

Thankfully, this year there’s a good amount of talent loaded in the first round, so no matter who Kansas City selects, they should get a good prospect. But which direction should they go?

Let’s assume Bryce Harper is gone. Maybe Washington will pass him up, but that’s highly unlikely. At any rate, he won’t slip to the fourth pick. Which is okay. There’s still plenty of talent left to choose from.

I won’t pretend to be the expert. Draft coverage has been done better by Andy Seiler and Greg Schaum among others. But here are the players the Royals could choose from (and you get a chance to vote on what direction you want them to go at the end!):

-Jameson Taillon: A tall right-hander with a 97-98 mph fastball and ace upside. He’s a high-schooler but could be a fast riser through any system.

-Drew Pomeranz: A 6’5″ college lefty starter who projects as an MLB #2 starter. His fastball hangs around 92-93 mph and he has a strong curveball and solid mechanics.

-Manny Machado: One of the top hitters in the draft. Some project Hanley Ramirez-type career path. He may stay at shortstop, but there’s a likelihood he may have to move if he can’t maintain the range necessary.

-Nick Castellanos: Dubbed the best pure hitter in the draft (a la Eric Hosmer), Castellanos is a third baseman in a first baseman’s body.

-Yasmani Grandal: A college catcher, Grandal has plus power and above average defense. He would have the added benefit of being the catcher of the future, allowing Wil Myers to move to the outfield and speed up his progress up the minor league chain.

I’m intrigued by Grandal, though it may be poor value from that spot in the draft.  I’ve harped on the Royals utter black hole of shortstop depth, so Machado would be my top choice – and remember it’s highly likely that Pittsburgh and Baltimore could take Taillon and Pomeranz to make the decision much easier. If Taillon or Pomeranz do slip, I don’t think you can ever have too many young arms with upside.

There are plenty of other options, but this is a loose consensus of what I’ve read on various Royals and draft blogs. Have a different opinion? Chime in below in the comments.

Who should the Royals take with the fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft?

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Bryce Harper Dayton Moore Drew Pomeranz Eric Hosmer Jameson Taillon Kansas City Royals KC Manny Machado MLB MLB Draft Nick Castellanos Royals Wil Myers Yasmani Grandal

  • Wally Fish

    Micheal -
    Thought I’d weigh in with a few thoughts since I am a draftnik,” and am also working on the 2nd 2010 Mock Draft to be posted over on Call to the Pen next week.

    In my book, Taillon is the biggest no-brainer, outside of Bryce Harper, for a team willing to ignore the price tag. He is head and shoulders above all the other pitching prospects in this class.

    Grandal is a massive reach at #4. The highest I’ve seen him with any logical connection is #7 to the Mets.

    With respect to Machado, a lot of scouts project him to either slide to 3B or land in RF. Even if he can stay at SS, you NEVER draft for position of need in the MLB draft. Teams should always take the best player available based on their own talent evaluation regardless of current or projected position. That’s my belief anyway, and is one that is shared by most experts you will come across.

    The way it is shaping up, I anticipate that the Royals will miss out on the “big three” that have separated from the rest of the pack (Harper, Pomeranz, and Taillon). But that doesn’t mean the Royals don’t have a chance to get elite talent.

    My personal choice would be to take LSU RHP-Anthony Ranaudo assuming the staff feels good that the injury that sidelined him earlier this season will not be a problem down the road. If you’re not aware, Ranaudo was regarded as the top pitching prospect of this draft class before the HS/College seasons got underway and all the stuff that landed him there still exists. He has struggled with his control since returning to the mound so there are concerns there but he deserves a real long look from the KC scouting department.

    Also don’t sleep on HS RHP-Karsten Whitson.

    The other guy for me would be Machado, but not because he is currently a SS. I’d draft him because I think he is a special talent. Whether he sticks at SS, slides over to 3B or lands in RF he’d be a fairly solid pick at #4. Of all the position players not named Bryce Harper, he’d be the guy I’d want, but there are pitchers I’d rather have.

    For the Royals I’d line them up like this:
    1) Harper
    2) Taillon
    3) Pomeranz
    4) Ranaudo (Depending on final scouting evaluations and health)
    5) Whitson
    6) Machado

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