KC Royals draft check-in: 2017 edition

(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Daniel Tillo
(Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images) /

After throwing cold water on our top picks in 2017 it is probably important I point out what an excellent job the KC Royals did with the rest of the 2017 draft.

With the 73rd overall pick in 2017, we chose Evan Steele. Steele is a lefty that throws a mid 90s fastball with movement and a devastating slider for an out pitch. He needs to stay healthy. He missed 2018 and only made it through 49 innings in 2019. But, I ultimately think he winds up as a bullpen arm before he makes the big leagues. He strikes guys out and he does not issue walks.

Daniel Tillo was the 90th overall pick in 2017. Tillo is an excellent pitching prospect. He is a big man who throws a 96 MPH sinking fastball from an odd release point. His groundball rate last season was over 60 percent. He has not struck out a ton of guys thus far in his career, but he is a weak contact creating machine.

Tillo has been a starter thus far in his career, and I expect that to continue at least for the near future. But he worked as a reliever in both the Arizona Fall League and for Team USA this offseason. He appears to be suited for that role. Out of the pen, his fastball touches as high as 98 MPH. This seems to have increased the usefulness of his 88 MPH slider. I expect he will be in the big league bullpen at some point this season.

Michael Gigliotti was the fifth player chose by the KC Royals in 2017. I am not as high on Gigliotti as some, but the young man gets on base. His On Base Percentage through more than 150 minor league games is nearly .400. He is also 24 years old and has yet to see even AA ball. And he has almost no pop. This is a big season for him. He is reportedly an excellent defensive center fielder. If he can keep hitting and getting on base he can become a big leaguer.