Despite obstacles 2020 brought to baseball, this recent draft pick was able to excel.
The KC Royals had three first round picks in 2018, with Brady Singer being the first selected at the 18th slot. He was also the first to make the major leagues after he tore through the minors with a 1.19 WHIP in 26 starts in 2019.
Singer managed to better that performance last season with a 1.17 WHIP in 12 big league games while striking out 61 batters in 64.1 innings pitched. Combine that with a 2.73 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in his last five starts and it’s easy to see why he leads a top-notch draft class from 2018.
It will take several more years for Singer’s career to play out but at this point, it appears that he’s easily a great pick by Moore. The team has not had a first round starter to hang its hat on since Zack Greinke in 2002. This pitcher should end that drought.
Witt Jr. should make his KC Royals mark soon
The final player for consideration is an infielder from Colleyville, Texas whose father was also a big league player. Bobby Witt Jr. was the second overall pick in 2019; because COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 minor league season, we only have his statistics from 37 games in Rookie ball to use, which is an incomplete metric.
What we do know is that Witt ranks as mlb.com’s eighth-best prospect in the entire Major Leagues, a very impressive feat. At 6-feet-11 and 190 pounds, this righthanded hitter has tools that continue to grow and impress.
Initially a shortstop, the speculation is that Witt will soon fill a hole at the hot corner for the Royals. He’s only 20 years old, so it may be another year before we get to see how he competes in the big leagues, but with a strong spring and explosive start in the minors he might force a decision.
It’s not often that the KC Royals have a Top 10 overall prospect; if he can live up to his potential, Witt will end up being one of the better picks in Moore’s reign.
That wraps up our list of best first round picks by Moore over the last 15 years. Baseball is notorious for early selection busts, but there have been smart choices during his time in charge.