Kansas City Royals: Checking in on the Royals first 8 picks

The Kansas City Royals seemed to have had a very solid draft. They went pitcher heavy, and they went college heavy. We are all familiar with two names, but what about some of the other?

At the conclusion of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Kansas City Royals were thought to have one of the better drafts. According to MLB.com, the Royals had the second best draft class.

But let’s not kid ourselves, baseball is a different world when it comes to drafts. Our favorite teams draft players, we get excited, then we forget them. Not because they are bad, but because it takes so long for players to make the jump to relevancy.

We know the big names. Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar, the teams 18th and 33rd pick in the draft. We had a chance to see both in action during the College Playoffs. However, the Royals made 41 other picks. And some of those players will most likely be with the Royals big league team when they are competitive again.

Which probably means we should keep track of how they are doing from time to time.

I wanted to see how they are adjusting to the league. If a player can go from high school or college to a minor league team and have success, usually that means you’re onto something good. Which, let’s be honest, the Royals need more guys to have success for a “quicker” rebuild.

When looking at each player I decided to look at the first five rounds. Over that stretch, the Royals made eight picks. The hope is that at least one will be competitive at the big league level. If they had more than one then they would be sitting pretty sweet.

So, here we go. We will look at each player, the round and pick they were drafted. We will also look at the level they are currently at, and what they have done production wise.

  1. Singer (RHP) – Round 1: 18th overall – unassigned
  2. Kowar (RHP) – Round 1 Comp: 33rd overall – Lexington – first start tonight.
  3. Daniel Lynch (LHP) – Round 1 Comp: 34th overall – Lexington: 3 starts, 1.59 ERA, 11.1 innings, 14 strikeouts to 2 walks (7:1 K/BB).
  4. Kris Bubic (LHP) – Round 1 CBA: 40th overall – Idaho Falls: 1 start, 6.75 ERA, 2.2 innings, 1 strikeout to 2 walks (0.50:1 K/BB).
  5. Jonathan Bowlan (RHP) – Round 2: 58th overall – Idaho Falls: 4 starts, 2.25 ERA, 16.0 innings, 11 strikeouts to 4 walks (2.75:1 K/BB).
  6. Kyle Isbel (OF) – Round 3: 94th overall – Idaho Falls: 21 games, .371/.446/.539 with 9 doubles, 2 home runs, 14 strikeouts to 12 walks, 12 of 15 stolen bases (80% success)
  7. Eric Cole (IF/OF) – Round 4: 122nd overall – Burlington: 1 game, .500/.500/750, 1 double, 0 home runs, 0 strikeouts to 0 walks.
  8. Austin Cox (LHP) – Round 5: 152nd overall – Burlington: 3 starts, 0.77 ERA, 11.2 innings, 23 strikeouts to 3 walks (7.67:1 K/BB).

Everything so far is encouraging for the Royals future.

I understand that they haven’t played much with the Royals. Their professional careers have just started. However, all eight are college players. Meaning, their skills are a little bit more refined and the development time shouldn’t be as long as most high schoolers.

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So far, Lynch has already been promoted from Burlington to Lexington. Isbel seems to be on the verge of getting promoted, and Cox has been absolutely dominant. In fact, two-thirds of his recorded outs have been by strikeout.

If both Singer and Kowar can become the pitchers the organization hopes for, it is easy to see why it is believed the Royals have a strong draft class.

It is still early, and this is only eight of the 26 players the Royals drafted and signed. Keeping your eyes on the future means keeping your eyes on these players though. If these players continue to develop the way that they seem to be, this could be a big shift in the Royals future and rebuild. Especially if they continue to rise in the system quickly, or traded for more known talent.

So what do you think Royals fans? Are you excited to see how the new additions continue to develop? Do you have one that has peaked your interest more than the others? Let us know below!