Kansas City Royals: An early look at possible draft choices

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 05: Dayton Moore, left, general manager of the Kansas City Royals talks with owner and Chief Executive Officer David Glass during batting practice at Kauffman Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 05: Dayton Moore, left, general manager of the Kansas City Royals talks with owner and Chief Executive Officer David Glass during batting practice at Kauffman Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals have the Number Two overall pick in the upcoming MLB Draft. As the year progresses, the speculations on what direction the Royals will go in will begin to increase. Therefore, let’s take an early look at the possible candidates.

The Kansas City Royals have to hit on this pick. Having the No.2 overall pick in the draft means that they have a chance to pick a player that will be THE player for this team. While baseball is not the same as the NBA or NFL, and drafting early in the draft doesn’t always equate to an above average player, missing on a pick this high can have a negative impact on the teams future plans.

For example. After years of struggling with health, former No.5 overall pick in 2012, Kyle Zimmer has finally made his jump to the big leagues, seven years later. Depending on how this year goes, former No.5 overall pick in 2011, Bubba Starling could make his MLB debut this year, eight years after being drafted.

In both of those drafts, the Royals missed out on players like Anthony Rendon, Francisco Lindor, and Javier Baez taken in the Top-10 of the 2011 draft, and in 2012, while being a lesser miss, the Royals missed on Corey Seager.

We could dig deeper if we wanted too, but I think we are pretty well versed in the “misses” the Royals have had in the early rounds and in the first round prior to 2017.

With hopes and aspirations of being competitive in 2020/2021, this pick is critical. Therefore, we are going to take a quick look at some possible choices as of right now that make sense for the Royals.

Possible Options:

Before we get too far into this, I’m going to go ahead and assume that Oregon State catcher, Adley Rutschman, will be the No.1 overall pick, going to the Baltimore Orioles. The switch-hitting catcher is currently hitting .423/.580/.825 over the Beavers 30 games. He’s also collected four doubles, one triple, and 11 home runs; while striking out 20 times and walking 39 times. Easy to understand why he would be going No.1 overall.

Therefore, that leaves three possible options for the Royals. High School standout Bobby Witt Jr., UNLV junior, Bryson Stott, and Missouri outfielder, once drafted by the Royals in 2016, Kameron Misner.

Bobby Witt Jr.

Bobby Witt Jr. is an absolute freak. after surging into the spotlight last year, he seems to actually be better this year, which is hard to believe. Witt Jr. was a member of the 18U National Team last year, where he hit .576/.615/1.121 over nine games, adding three home runs and 18 RBI as well.

Going into his senior year, he hasn’t let off the gas. He has collected a .577/.653/1.230 slash over 23 games, mashing 10 doubles, four triples, and 11 home runs. He may be playing shortstop right now, but the transition to third base might be in his future.

MLB.com Scouting Grade:

Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 60 | Overall: 60 (Above Average)

Bryson Stott

Which leads to another third baseman. Bryson Stott may not be a flashy name, and according to MLB.com he is the 12th ranked prospect, but I think he might be a decent fit for the Royals. After last years draft and looking at the number of college players the Royals took, it seems like the Royals are wanting to do less developing and take players that are a little more polished.

Former teammates with recent draftee Kyle Isbel, Stott is currently hitting .310/.467/.556 while collecting nine doubles, two triples, and six home runs over 33 games. He also has 25 strikeouts compared to 36 walks and has swiped six bags on eight attempts.

While Stott is not as flashy as Witt, he is a little more of a known product. Stott is already playing third base so the need to learn a new position and get comfortable isn’t required. If the Royals are looking for a more “known” product, Stott might be the best choice if they are looking for a future third baseman.

MLB.com Scouting Grade:

Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55 (Average)

Kameron Misner

Which leads to our final player, and one the Royals are familiar with. Kameron Misner was originally selected by the Royals in the 33rd round back in 2016. Misner decided to go to the University of Missouri instead of the Royals, and he has had some solid success while there.

After starting off extremely hot for the Tigers this year, he has struggled a bit. He is currently hitting .268/.465/.455 with just three doubles and six homeruns over 32 games. He has 32 strikeouts compared to 39 walks, which is not as eye-catching as Witt Jr. and Stott, but his 14 stolen bases will bring you back some to the idea.

The idea of taking Misner with the No.2 pick seems less likely than the other two candidates, but if the Royals decide that the outfield needs a bit more support, depending on how Seuly Matias and company play this year, Misner might be on the Royals radar still.

MLB.com Scouting Grade:

Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 55 (Average)

Final Thoughts

When push comes to shove, the answer to who is going to be taken No.2 overall seems pretty straight forward. With the way that Bobby Witt Jr. has been playing the last two years, the Royals need to make sure they don’t over think this. It can truly be that easy of a decision.

However, I wouldn’t necessarily discount the idea of the Royals taking a more known product in Stott or Misner if they feel like Witt Jr. might take a bit to long to develop.

I know that plenty of people have the desire to take Andrew Vaughn, CJ Abrams, or maybe Daniel Espino at the No.2 spot, and depending on how their year goes it might change to them being more towards the front of the line. However, with the affinity the Royals organization has with Nick Pratto, MJ Melendez, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, Brady Singer, and more, I find it hard to believe that the Royals would make a selection at No.2 in a position that isn’t a huge need.

Looking through the organization, I think we can all agree that outfield and third base might be a higher area of need for the future than first base and pitching. As the year goes on, and the draft gets closer, we will profile some other players to see if anyone jumps into the lead or the race for that No.2 spot.

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What do you think Royals fans? Is it really that easy and Bobby Witt Jr. will be the No.2 pick in the draft? Or is another player lurking around, trying to take that No.2 spot that we should all be paying attention to? Let us know below!