Kansas City Royals: An early look at the 2020 MLB Draft

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Royals look destined for another top five pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Let’s take a look at a few players they should select.

For the second consecutive season, the Kansas City Royals look like a lock to pick within the top five of the 2020 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. This past June, the team selected the highest-ranked high school shortstop in Bobby Witt Jr. with the second overall pick. It’s difficult to watch the big league club at times right now and, while not ideal, it increases their chances for a better pick next year.

Entering Monday, the Royals had the fourth-worst record in baseball, percentage points ahead of the Miami Marlins who have played two fewer games than the Royals. If not for a series win this past weekend, the Royals would be right on the heels of the Baltimore Orioles for the second overall pick.

Baseball America recently ranked the Royals farm system as the 19th best, giving most of the credit to the development of the pitchers in the lower levels. This team really needs a big bat in their future lineup and that’s exactly who they should be targeting with their pick. Let’s look at three guys that are projected to go within the top 10 of the 2020 MLB Draft that would be good fits:

1. Spencer Torkelson, 1B (Arizona State)

If Torkelson is on the board when the Royals make their selection, they don’t even need to think about the pick. The junior first baseman slashed 0.353/0.449/0.702 with 17 doubles, 22 home runs, and 65 RBI’s as a sophomore.

He smacked 25 home runs as a true freshman but showed tremendous patience this season, having nearly a 1:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’s not a stolen base threat but would be the future middle of the order bat this team needs.

I personally like players who have shown the ability to hit in wood-bat leagues like the Cape Cod Baseball League. Torkelson took part in this league during the summer and batted 0.333 with 9 doubles, 7 home runs, 25 RBI’s and maintained that 1:1 K/BB ratio. All very good signs.

2. Austin Martin, 3B (Vanderbilt)

It’s hard to go wrong with a Vanderbilt product, especially one that’s projected to be a top 5 pick. Martin doesn’t have as much power as Torkelson, but he’s a terrific hitter overall, slashing 0.392/0.486/0.604 with 19 doubles, 4 triples, 10 home runs and 46 RBI’s.

Martin can also steal some bases, swiping 18 of them last season and 22 as a true freshman. In his College World Series debut this past June, Martin smacked two home runs providing all the offense for the Commodores in a 3-1 victory over Louisville.

3. Casey Martin, SS (Arkansas)

I was tempted to go with Garrett Mitchell from UCLA, but he had just 6 home runs last season and doesn’t appear to be the ideal bat the Royals would need. Casey Martin slashed 0.286/0.364/0.548 as a sophomore last season with 21 doubles, 4 triples, 15 home runs, and 57 RBI’s.

He has some speed as well, swiping 10 bases last year and 8 as a true freshman. Martin saw his OPS dip from 2018 to 2019, so that will be something to monitor this season. He was supposed to take part in the Cape Cod summer league but decided not to play.

Trending. Team should explore Merrifield trade in offseason. light

Honorable Mentions

  • Pete Crow-Armstrong (OF): He’s considered to be the most polished player in the 2020 high school class and currently has a verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.
  • Patrick Bailey (C): He would likely be the successor to Salvador Perez and slashed 0.288/0.390/0.513 with 17 doubles, 3 triples, 10 home runs and 46 RBI’s for NC State last season. Bailey played in the Cape Cod League this past summer and batted 0.235 with 1 home run and 3 RBI’s in 8 games.