Kansas City Royals: Reviewing debut seasons for top 2017 draft picks
LHP, Daniel Tillo, third round, pick No. 90, Iowa Western CC
The fourth Kansas City Royals pick inside the top 100 landed them another left-handed pitcher. A former basketball standout in Iowa, Daniel Tillo spent an abbreviated freshman season at Kentucky. He then transferred to Iowa Western, where the Royals selected him in the third round.
Tillo, who turned 21 on the day he was drafted, has incredible size at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds. Despite struggling in limited action in the Arizona League, he received a promotion to Burlington after just three outings. That’s when Tillo turned his 2017 season around.
After allowing six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings for the AZL Royals, he only gave up 12 earned runs in 31 innings at Burlington. Overall, he showed good control — only allowing six total walks (although he did have four hit batsman) against 32 strikeouts. In his seven starts with Burlington, Tillo managed a 3-2 record with a 3.48 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. One of his greatest strengths appears to be keeping the ball out of the air. Tillo gave up just one home run, while compiling a 2.43:1 groundout-to-flyout ratio.
Currently 20th in the Royals farm system, according to MLB.com, Tillo has the upside to be in a big-league rotation one day. Based on the MLB.com projections, that could be as soon as 2021.