As the KC Royals move towards a rebuild it is vital that we keep in mind how we got to this point. Revisiting our recent drafts is a good place to start.
In the 2015 draft, the KC Royals had two first-round picks. They used both of those picks on high school pitchers from Indianapolis and…well, it did not go well.
Ashe Russell never made it beyond rookie league ball. His numbers were not great, also not terrible. But they were certainly not the numbers you would hope for from a first-round draft pick. His entire minor league career consists of just over 38 innings of rookie ball and he is now out of baseball.
Nolan Watson was the other first-round pick for the KC Royals in 2015. His career has also been a struggle. The furthest along he has made it is 63 innings of A+ ball in Wilmington. He missed almost all of 2019 with an injury. But even when healthy he has never struck many guys out and gives up a lot of hits.
The most useful selection of the 2015 draft was the second-round pick of Josh Staumont. Staumont’s tendency to issue free passes has always been a concern. But his ability to strike guys out has never been questioned. He has all the makings of a bullpen arm that can contribute. He has also proven everything he needed to in the minor leagues. I would take this pick as a win. He was a raw fireballer out of a small college when he was drafted. And he has developed into a big-league bullpen arm.
Garrett Davila was another high school pitcher. The KC Royals selected him with their fourth-round pick in 2015. He also missed 2019 with an injury. He is not without ability. He has a decent fastball/changeup combo. But in almost 300 innings of pro baseball, he has yet to make it above A-ball.