Good thing the KC Royals won the World Series in 2015. The team’s drafts since then haven’t been very good (things have been looking up, though).
Cumulative WAR: 0.0; 2 of 41 picks have reached majors
Good news: Second-round pick Josh Staumont (-0.1) made his MLB debut in 2019 and possesses the velocity of a backend bullpen piece if he can control his pitches. Catcher Nick Dini is the only other Royals 2015 draft pick to reach the majors.
Bad news: Almost everything else about this draft. Top pick Ashe Russell hasn’t pitched since 2016 when he was 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in two appearances at the rookie ball level. Pitcher Nolan Watson, a first-round supplemental pick, hasn’t pitched above A ball and is recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Bottom line: There is little reason to expect Kansas City will ever get much value out of this draft outside of Staumont.
Cumulative WAR: -0.1; 3 of 39 picks have reached majors
Good news: Infielder Nicky Lopez (0.1) and lefty reliever Richard Lovelady (-0.3) have already reached the majors. Outfielder Khalil Lee, who stole 53 bases at Double-A last year, remains one of Kansas City’s top prospects.
Bad news: Top pick A.J. Puckett was traded for Melky Cabrera in 2017. Lovelady, Lee and outfielder Nick Heath are the only 2016 Royals draft picks who are considered in their top 30 prospects by Baseball America.
Bottom line: What Lee can contribute to the Royals will play a huge factor in deciding the future grade of this draft.
If Goldberg’s draft record is going to see any rapid improvement, it’s going to be because of these three drafts.
The KC Royals’ hopes rely on 2017 picks Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez and 2018 pitchers Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, Brady Singer, and Kris Bubic, as well as from 2019 first-round pick Bobby Witt Jr., to prove that their days of being one of the worst teams at drafting are over.