As Dayton Moore’s 15th full season with the KC Royals nears, his best draft picks merit review.
KC Royals General Manager Dayton Moore seems to have a split following among fans of the team. Despite back-to-back World Series appearances, many people have issues with the amount of losing that has bookended that success.
With the June anniversary of his 2006 hiring approaching, it’s worth reviewing the successful first round draft picks made under his command. On our list will be players etched in Royals’ lore, hope for the future, and maybe a surprise.
Good first impression
Moore had just completed his first full year in charge when the 2007 draft rolled around. The Royals had the second overall pick and all eyes were on the GM.
Insert Mike Moustakas, a lefthanded hitter from Chatsworth High School in California. “Moose” had no problem acclimating himself to pro baseball, tearing through all levels of the minor leagues before making his major league debut in 2011.
Although he struggled his first few years in the big leagues, Moustakas had a bulldog mentality and was a key component of the 2014 playoff team. His breakout 2015 season was a major reason the Royals won their first World Series in 30 years.
He would go on to break the single season home run record for the club in 2017 (although Jorge Soler broke it again in 2019) before being shipped off to the Milwaukee Brewers in ’18.
Although being ranked No. 9 in total homers is the only major all-time KC Royals offensive leaderboard he appears on, Moustakas definitely was a draft pick that changed the team’s fortunes.