Major League Baseball’s annual amateur draft begins its three-day 2022 run Sunday and, as always, gives the KC Royals the chance to pick up a plethora of young talent. By the time the draft winds up, everyone will know the short-term results of the club’s scouting and analytics efforts.
In other words, we’ll know who the Royals picked, and that’s about it. Only the passage of time will tell us how the chosen players work out.
What’s there to know about the mechanics of this year’s baseball talent fest? Here are some questions and, of course, some answers.
Where is the 2022 Major League Draft, and when does it start and end?
Major League Baseball makes the draft part of its All-Star Game festivities, which means it will take place in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers are hosting the Midsummer Classic.
The draft begins Sunday at 6 p.m. CDT and concludes Tuesday before the American and National League All-Stars square off at Dodger Stadium.
The first day includes Rounds 1 and 2 and, between them, compensation picks for Colorado and Cincinnati and Competitive Balance Round A selections. Losing players to free agency this past offseason entitles the Rockies and Reds to those extra selections; certain teams in small markets, or that have small revenue pools, qualify for the extra Competitive Balance picks.
Monday’s rounds begin with the third at 1 p.m. CDT and conclude with the 10th. The final 10 rounds begin Tuesday at 1 p.m. CDT.
ESPN and MLB.com have Day 1 coverage. MLB.com will carry Days 2 and 3.
How many selections do the KC Royals have in this year’s big league draft?
Until Monday, Kansas City had 21 picks—their 20 regular selections plus a Competitive Balance A choice.
Now, though, the Royals have 20. That’s because they traded their Comp A pick (the only kind of pick teams can swap) to Atlanta for three minor league prospects Monday.
Kansas City first goes on the clock with the ninth overall pick Sunday. That initial selection, obviously the most important among the club’s 20, will come after Baltimore, Arizona, Texas, Pittsburgh, Washington, Miami, the Cubs, and Minnesota all make their first round selections.
The Royals had the 35th overall pick—that Comp A selection—until they traded it, so they’ll pick next with the 10th pick of the second round (49th overall). They’re not ninth in that round because the Dodgers get the first shot in the second by virtue of having lost their first round choice when they went over the competitive balance tax threshold.
The draft order for all 20 rounds is here.
Can the KC Royals spend as much as they want to sign their draft picks?
Not without financial consequences. MLB allots a bonus pool to each club—for this draft, Kansas City’s is $9,466,200—which is the sum of slot values assigned to their picks in Rounds 1-10. Slot values notwithstanding, though, the Royals can spread that money however they want over their first 10 selections, but pay “taxes” on an upwardly-sliding scale if they exceed their pool.
And what of players picked in Rounds 11-20? Those picks carry a presumptive $125,000 per-player allotment which is in essence a soft cap—Kansas City can sigh a player for more than the allotment, but the portions of any payments exceeding $125,000 are assessed against the $9,466,200 pool, which implicates the rules regulating it.
Who are some players the Royals might consider picking in Rounds 1 and 2?
Our Kings of Kauffman writers have had a few thoughts about just that question.
Preston Farr likes these four hitters in particular.
The Royals begin making their 20 MLB Draft picks Sunday evening.