The KC Royals are sitting on the sidelines while the rest of major league baseball kicks off the first round of the June draft on Thursday, 6 PM CST. The Kansas City Royals don’t have a pick until the second round due to signing free-agent Ian Kennedy from the Padres.
In past years, the KC Royals won competitive balance picks sandwiched between the first and second rounds (round A) and between the second and third rounds (round B) in the annual lottery. However, this season, the Royals lost out and won’t get a bonus pick when they really could have used it.
Thus, the Kansas City Royals first pick comes at the tail end of the second round at no. 67 overall. Add in that the KC Royals also have the second-smallest bonus pool in baseball (only better than the Cubs) at $3.2 million), and the draft shapes up to being a real dud of a party.
The Kansas City Royals can’t even make up for the dearth of talent on the foreign market. Kansas City also has the second smallest international bonus pool at $2.08 million and they’re restricted to no more than $300,000 bonuses due to busting their international cap in 2015.
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In short, it doesn’t shape up to be a great talent acquisition year for the Kansas City Royals unless they can find an overlooked gem that blossoms into a star. Even if the KC Royals can pull off such a feat, it will be many years before fans and pundits realize they’ve succeeded. In the short term, the 2016 draft will probably cause most analysts to downgrade the Kansas City farm system.
Oh joy. The KC Royals farm system was already pegged in the bottom third before the 2016 season. The winter before the 2017 season could see them sink into the bottom five.
Needless to say, I doubt there will be many Kansas City Royals fans holding draft watch parties. For the few hardy souls willing to sit through hours of coverage on MLB Network to see the KC Royals make the no. 67 overall pick, they’ll probably be either 1) numb from watching many hours of draft coverage or 2) green with envy at the talent other teams are adding.
Rounds 3-10 will take place on June 10, with the final 30 rounds (11-40) on Saturday.
Let’s just hope the Kansas City Royals can defy the odds and find a treasure trove of late-round gems.