KC Royals: Dayton Moore’s top first round draft picks

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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KC Royals, Eric Hosmer
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Moore locked in another key KC Royals championship ingredient with the third pick in 2008.

By selecting another high school infielder the following season, Moore managed to set the Royals’ corner infield positions for several years. Eric Hosmer also debuted in 2011 and settled into the lineup by producing well from the beginning.

A couple of off years in 2012 and ’14 did not slow Hosmer down much. He also brought an infectious “never say die” attitude that resonated throughout the clubhouse.

When you look at his overall stats, he finished in the top 10 in team categories of runs scored, hits, total bases, home runs, RBIs, extra-base hits, and intentional bases on balls.  He also captured four Gold Gloves along the way.

Hosmer makes a case for being Moore’s best overall first round pick. That puts him in line with pre-Moore players like Kevin Appier, Willie Wilson, and Johnny Damon.

We never really knew you

An extra pick in the first round of the 2013 draft went to college pitcher Sean Manaea out of Indiana State. He pitched very well his only full season in the KC Royals organization, striking out 146 in just over 121 innings in High-A ball.

He was off to another great start in 2015 before the Royals shipped him to the Oakland A’s. While it may seem frustrating to lose a talented player who’s produced a 39-31 record, 3.85 ERA, and a 1.20 WHIP in five big league seasons, the fact he was traded for World Series hero Ben Zobrist eases the pain.

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It would be interesting to see how Manaea would blend in with the current group of Royals. Just because he never saw major league time as a KC Royal doesn’t diminish the great pick Manaea was.