MLB Draft 2021: 3 straight days of KC Royals surprises

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
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Day 3: The KC Royals reversed course and focused on college players Tuesday.

Kansas City proved in Days 1 and 2 that it wasn’t afraid to spend draft picks on high school players. And lest anyone doubted KC’s willingness to take risks on prepsters, they grabbed one with their very first Day 3 selection.

The Royals took a shortstop, Brennon McNair from Magee (Mississippi) High. McNair’s 2021 numbers suggest he has a good bat: he hit .527 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs in 35 games.

But with McNair the Royals’ high school selections ended, a bit of a surprise considering they spent almost half of their Round 1 and 2 picks on prep players. Kansas City’s final nine choices were all collegians.

Not surprising, though, was that six of those nine turned out to be pitchers, giving the club 12 hurlers in 21 picks. The best of the bunch may be righthander Anthony Simonelli, the Royals’ 16th pick who was 5-2 with a 3.91 ERA at Virginia Tech this season. A fastball, cutter, changeup and knuckle-curve give him an eclectic assortment of pitches.

Hurlers Caden Monke (Round 14) and Tyson Guerrero (Round 12) also bear watching. Monke, a lefthanded reliever, was 5-1, 3.71 in 27 games with Arkansas; southpaw Guerrero started 11 times for Washington and went 3-3 with a 2.96 ERA.

Then there’s righty Patrick Halligan (Round 13), who averaged over 12 strikeouts per nine innings and went 7-3 with a 1.87 ERA in 13 starts for Pensacola State College in Florida. Halligan, though, was also 4-7, 5.51 in two seasons at George Mason before he transferred to PSC; time will tell how much the difference in competition accounts for the statistical disparity.

Dallas Baptist outfielder River Town (Round 15), North Carolina State catcher Luca Tresh (Round 17), TCU pitcher Harrison Beethe (Round 18), Texas shortstop Cam Williams (Round 19), and Tulane pitcher Jack Aldrich completed Kansas City’s Day 3 picks.

Kings of Kauffman will have more on the KC Royals’ draft picks in the coming days.

Next. All-Star Game recap. dark

The 2021 draft is over and the Royals have 21 potential new players. August 1 is their deadline to sign, so how many will join the organization remains to be seen.