4.) Another solid draft class should be coming
After several recent uneven draft performances, the Kansas City Royals finally put together a standout 2017 class. Of course, things could change over the next several years, but early indications are this should be one of the best crops of prospects in recent memory. And that’s saying something for an organization that built a winner almost exclusively through the draft.
The franchise’s first-round pick came from Huntington Beach, California, in the form of Nick Pratto. A first baseman well-remembered for his game-winning hit in the Little League World Series in 2011. Pratto is considered the top-ranked prospect in the organization. But more incredibly, the next four picks from that draft class all rank inside the top 25 for the Royals farm system.
Second-round pick MJ Melendez stands at No. 10 on MLB.com’s rankings — one spot ahead of highly touted Nicky Lopez, who himself put together an incredible Arizona Fall League season. The team’s next three picks — Daniel Tillo, Michael Gigliotti and Evan Steele — rank 20-22, respectively. The best part is that next year’s draft class could be even stronger.
With the possibility of landing three compensatory picks if Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas all leave, the Kansas City Royals could be picking five times in the first 50 selections of the draft. That’s an almost unheard of situation. It gives the franchise a huge leg up in the rebuild. Even if the front office manages to sign Hosmer, for instance, there would still be four high draft picks to be had. Couple that with the most recent draft class, and the Royals could have their next championship core.