Baseball America has released its early 2020 MLB Draft predictions and they have the Kansas City Royals taking a second baseman with the 4th pick.
The offseason is in full swing and the Kansas City Royals will officially have the 4th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. This past year, they selected the nation’s top high school shortstop prospect in Bobby Witt Jr. Baseball America has done a fine job recently, giving various praises to the Royals prospects and they just released their early 2020 MLB Draft predictions.
In a surprising move, they have the Royals taking Nick Gonzales, a second baseman from New Mexico State. To provide some perspective, they have the Detroit Tigers taking Austin Martin (Vanderbilt) with the first overall pick, Spencer Torkelson (Arizona State) to the Orioles at number two, and Emerson Hancock (Georgia) to the Marlins before the Royals get to make their pick.
"Bobby Witt Jr. was the only exception to Kansas City’s recent college-heavy approach during the first two days of the draft in 2018 and 2019, and at this moment the 2020 draft class doesn’t offer a talent like his. In that case, the Royals could take their pick of the college pitching crop sans Hancock, or go with the best available bat. That could very well be Gonzales, who led the nation in hitting this spring before becoming the No. 1 prospect in the Cape Cod League this summer. This pick would make Gonzales the second-highest drafted second baseman ever, behind Rickie Weeks, who was drafted No. 2 overall out of Southern University in 2003 by the Brewers. – Baseball America"
The two players that I had thought would be good fits for the Royals were Torkelson and Martin. Torkelson has a ton of thunder in that bat of his and he performed well in the Cape Cod League last year, batting 0.333 with 9 doubles, 7 home runs and 25 RBI’s in 25 games. As Brandon Marklund had alluded to, I personally like to see prospects that have performed well in wood-bat leagues because players can fight off a hit with a metal bat in cases where a wood bat would normally break.
Turning our attention to Gonzales, he slashed 0.432/0.532/0.773 with 19 home runs, 4 triples, 16 home runs and 80 RBI’s. He is not big in stature at just 5’10 and 190 pounds but displayed an impressive walk to strikeout ratio while stealing 7 bags as well. As noted above, his batting average led college baseball last season and carried that trend over into the Cape Cod League this past summer. Gonzales batted an impressive 0.351 with 14 doubles, 4 triples, 7 home runs, 33 RBI’s and was named the League’s Most Valuable Player.
Pretty impressive stuff from the Vail, Arizona native who was named the WAC Freshman of the Year. His primary position is second base but he can also play the outfield, which will be vital given the potential log-jam the Royals have on the infield. We’ll keep close tabs on Gonzales as he prepares for the 2020 season but right now, he looks like he could end up being a perfect fit.