After selecting Hunter Dozier, Sean Manaea, and Cody Reed in the first day of the MLB Draft (all college players), the Royals continued that trend, adding six more college players and two high schoolers to their draft class on Friday.
Five players selected in day two are position players, leaving three pitchers in today’s haul.
Third Round – Carter Hope – RHP – DOB: 2/5/95 – Woodlands High School (Texas)
Hope is a 6’3″ 195 pound righty from the same high school that produced current Royals pitching prospect Bryan Brickhouse. Like Brickhouse, Hope was the third round pick by the Royals, and they would hope that he’ll have success like his predecessor. Brickhouse is currently in Low A enjoying his best season to date.
The Woodlands is considered the best high school baseball program in Texas by Perfect Game USA, so going back to the well for another arm isn’t a bad idea at all. Hope threw 52.1 innings this season, striking out 71, walking 16, and throwing three shutouts in nine starts. Overall, he had a 1.34 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. (note: These appear to be non-league games as recorded by MaxPreps. I’ll try to track down more complete statistics.)
Baseball America says that Hope was more of a third baseman prospect coming into the year, but threw a no-hitter in his first start. He’s committed to Oklahoma State, so the Royals may have to pay up for the full slot amount ($660,900) to keep him from going to college. He sounds excited, though, telling the Montgomery County Courier that it’s a blessing to be drafted.
BA’s scouting report discusses his 88-92 mph fastball and his curve and changeup, two pitches that are still developing. They mention that he has a better delivery than his brother Mason, a 2011 fifth round pick by the Marlins.
Fourth Round – Zane Evans – Catcher – DOB: 11/29/91 – Georgia Tech
Evans has split time on the mound as a reliever and some thought that he may be drafted as a pitcher, but he’s a three year starter behind the plate at Georgia Tech who was second in the ACC in homers this season with 14.
Since he’s been accomplished as a pitcher, he has good arm strength as a catcher, but Baseball America suggests he has more work to do with his feet. A Bleacher Report scouting report likes his plate discipline and thinks he’ll be a solid average hitter. Greg Schaum also likes his approach.
Fifth Round – Amalani Fukofuka – Oufielder – DOB: 9/25/95 – James Logan HS (California)
Fukofuka looks to be a bit of a reach, but he’s not unknown in California prep ranks. At 6’1″ 180 pounds, he’s got an athletic build, and was a two sport star at James Logan High School, also playing wide receiver and defensive back. He hit .390 in 24 games and stood out in the North Coast Section Division 1 playoffs.
After being selected, he said he was “Livin a dream” on Twitter.
Sixth Round – Luke Farrell – RHP – DOB: 6/7/91 – Northwestern University
Farrell is a senior out of Northwestern University, so he should be a quick and easy signing. He was ranked by Baseball America as the fourth best draft prospect in Illinois. As the son of John Farrell, manager of the Boston Red Sox, he shows good composure and has “good makeup”, but he also has four good pitches, including a fastball in the low 90s and a changeup and curve that Jonathan Mayo thinks could develop into decent Major League offerings.
He’s had his share of difficulties, having had multiple surgeries to remove a benign tumor in his neck, first in 2009, then again in 2011. The procedures carried some risk of paralysis, but luckily, he came out alright. In his senior season, finally healthy, the 6’6″ Farrell had his best season yet, throwing 84.1 innings with a 2.13 ERA. He struck out 80 and walked 26 over that span.
Seventh Round – Kyle Bartsch – LHP – DOB: 3/10/91 – University of South Alabama
Bartsch comes from the University of South Alabama where he’s started and closed games. This year, he had 12 saves and a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings in which he struck out 35 batters and walked just 11.
His fastball is in the 89-92 range. He’s another senior, so he should sign quickly and start throwing out of the bullpen in short season ball.
Eight Round – Cody Stubbs - 1B – DOB: 1/14/91 – University of North Carolina
If you want a sneak peek at Stubbs, you can check out the NCAA Super Regional game on Saturday between North Carolina and North Carolina State. Stubbs was the MVP of the ACC Conference Playoffs in leading the top-ranked Tar Heels to the tournament championship. He stood out for the team with a .372/.455/.593 line this year, adding 24 doubles and eight homers.
Stubbs offers power from the left side and after four years of high-level college baseball, he’s noted to be mature and has a good work ethic. His power is said to be raw and that he needs more consistent contact, though MLB.com noted that his approach has improved. He’s another college senior, so he’ll likely be signed shortly after UNC finishes their run in the College World Series, and from there he should hit short season ball or perhaps even Lexington.
Ninth Round – Daniel Rockett – Outfielder – DOB: 11/9/90 – University of Texas-San Antonio
With a name like Rockett, it’d be cooler if he were a pitcher, but he’s an outfielder. His brother was a former minor leaguer in the Tigers system who’s currently with Sugarland in the Independent League.
Rockett bats right-handed and played centerfield for UTSA where he made this wild catch:
He hit for average, got on base, and had a good slugging percentage in the West Coast Conference, leading UTSA with a .562 slugging percentage. His overall line was .328/.403/.562 and he added ten homers.
Rockett has had some troubles, however, as he was suspended this season for three weeks for an incident after which he was charged with burglary and intent to assault when he allegedly broke into an apartment and punch a member of the UTSA track team. Apparently, the Royals don’t see that as a red flag.
Tenth Round – Alex Newman – Outfielder – DOB: 12/7/92 – Cypress College
Newman is a Juco player from California who hit well in high school at Gahr High School. He’ll have to hit well since he isn’t much of a power hitter, and looks to be a corner outfielder rather than a regular center fielder.
Rounds 11-40 take place tomorrow, and J.J. Cooper of Baseball America predicts more big names to come off the board than went today. The Royals, like many teams last year, selected multiple college seniors, a creative way to work around some of the cap rules for the first ten picks of the draft.