Rookie ball got underway this past week and many of the KC Royals latest draft picks got their first professional innings under their belts. Despite the fact that last year’s top pick Bubba Starling is injured and still has yet to debut, others have gotten some action.
Idaho Falls is 4-3 to start the Pioneer League season, two games back in the South Division. They have seen a few players already promoted to Low-A Kane County (Jack Lopez, Julio Aparicio, Bryan Brickhouse, and Kyle Smith).
The Chukars have quite a few 2012 draft picks in the pitching ranks, six to be exact. Kevin Allen (23rd round) has made two appearances out of the bullpen, while picking up a save. He has allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks. Alec Mills (22nd round) has also made two relief appearances. Over three innings, he has allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits. Sam Selman (2nd round) picked up a win in one relief appearance (2.2IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 3K).
Zeb Sneed (11th round), one of the best names to be drafted this year, has made two appearances (one start). Over six innings, he allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Matthew Strahm (21st round) has made two relief appearances. He allowed six runs (one earned) on one hit and three walks over 1.2 innings. Andrew Triggs (19th round) has also made two relief outings (3.2 innings). He has allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out three.
Dan Hernandez returned from Tommy John surgery and pitched five perfect innings in his first start. 2012 draft pick Patrick Conroy (32nd round) has pitched in two games (one start). He has allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks over 5.2 innings. Fellow 2012 draft picks Daniel Stumpf (9th round) and Colin Rodgers (3rd round) have yet to allow a run. Stumpf has pitched four innings over two relief appearances. He walked just one while striking out two (no hits allowed). Rodgers has made one start (two innings). He allowed one hit and two walks while striking out two.
Catcher Beau Maggi has seen some more playing time with the injury to Cameron Gallagher (injured his hand on catcher’s interference). Maggi, a 2012 24th round pick, is 0-for-14 in five games, though he has walked five times. Gallagher was 2-for-12 with two RBIs in four games before getting hurt. Stanford 2012 draft pick (4th round) Kenny Diekroeger has played in three games (1-for-15) at second base. 2012 7th round pick, outfielder Fred Ford, is 4-for-19 in five games.
The power hitter for the Royals is third baseman Patrick Leonard, who has four homeruns in six games (four of his six hits). He was a 5th round pick in 2011 and is in his first professional season.