With the MLB Draft just a month away, its’s a sure bet the KC Royals are burning the midnight oil trying to match recent high school graduates and draft-eligible college players with the club’s greatest needs. Intrigue will, as always, surround each of the Royals’ 21 picks—although this year’s draft numbers 20 rounds, they get a Competitive Balance pick between the first and second—with their first round pick (ninth overall) drawing the most attention.
But there’s something and someone else for Kansas City fans to keep a close eye on when the draft begins July 17 in Los Angeles.
Robert Moore, the University of Arkansas’ standout second baseman, is eligible to be drafted.
Yes, that Robert Moore, also known as the son of KC President of Baseball Operations Dayton Moore.
The question is obvious—will the Royals pick Robert Moore with one of their 21 selections?
The KC Royals just might choose Robert Moore in this year’s MLB Draft.
The idea that Kansas City could spend a pick on Robert Moore shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows even a little bit about him. He starred at Shawnee Mission East (Kansas) High, then graduated early to play at Arkansas for longtime Razorback coach Dave Van Horn.
Moore immediately made his mark. He slashed .318/.403/.444 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 16 games before the pandemic abruptly ended the 2020 NCAA season. He followed that freshman effort in 2021 with 16 homers, 53 RBIs, and a .283/.384/.558 line and .942 OPS in 61 contests.
Unfortunately, Moore slumped this season—his average dropped 60 points to .223 and his homers by half to eight.
Will Moore’s decrease in production so concern big league clubs, including the Royals, that they’ll shy away from him in the draft, then pursue him later as an undrafted free agent?
Nevertheless, expect Moore to hear his name called during the draft. He’s a capable switch hitter who, despite a deceptive 5-feet-9, 170-pound frame, has 26 homers, 112 RBIs and a .378 OBP in 137 collegiate games. And despite otherwise disappointing numbers this season, his .366 2022 OBP proved his knack for getting on base. Moore’s glove is also decent.
Picking Moore makes some sense for the Royals. He’s a solid big league prospect who can hit and field. And while the club is for the short term secure at second base with Whit Merrifield and Nicky Lopez, and Michael Massey, whose excellent hitting at Double-A Northwest Arkansas earned him a recent promotion to Triple-A Omaha, may well be the heir apparent to the position, the organization doesn’t have stellar second sackers at every level. It could use another, especially one with a baseball pedigree.
So, the Royals just might add another Moore to their family next month.
Will Kansas City draft Dayton Moore’s son? It’s definitely possible.