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.