KC Royals’ draft record is dismal under Goldberg’s tenure

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals, Sean Manaea
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One of the KC Royals’ best draft picks of the past 10 years plays for another team now.

2013 draft

Cumulative WAR: 9.7; 10 of 41 picks have reached majors

Good news: Starting with 2011, Manaea has been Kansas City’s most successful draft pick thus far. He never pitched for Kansas City, but his trade to Oakland for Ben Zobrist helped the Royals win the 2015 World Series. Dozier finally broke through in 2019, batting .279 with 26 home runs. Reliever Kevin McCarthy was a good find in the 16th.

Bad news: Pitcher Luke Farrell (-0.2) is the only player from the third through 15th rounds who have reached the big leagues.

Bottom line: During the Goldberg era, the 2013 draft has accumulated the most major league talent. Even better, Dozier has a chance to add a significant number to the total.

Grade: B-

2014 draft

Cumulative WAR: 0.6; 6 of 42 picks have reached majors

Good news: Finnegan made the majors the season he was drafted and even contributed during the Royals’ 2014 postseason run. He was traded to the Reds in a package for Johnny Cueto, who like Zobrist helped Kansas City win a World Series in 2015. Left-hand reliever Tim Hill (0.5) was a steal in the 32nd round. Eighth-rounder Ryan O’Hearn (-0.7) was expected to battle for the starting job at first base in 2020.

Bad news: The KC Royals had high hopes for supplemental first-round pick Chase Vallot, but the catcher struggled with a .190 batting average for Low-A Lexington in 2019. After a memorable debut where he out-dueled Justin Verlander in 2017, Eric Skoglund (-0.9) has failed to recapture that initial magic.

Bottom line: Despite the instant gratification this draft received with the selection of Finnegan, this is among their worst. Any turnaround will rely on improvement from O’Hearn and Hill and pitcher Foster Griffin cracking the big league roster.

Grade: D-