MLB Draft: Grading the KC Royals’ Day 2 selections

(Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports) /

The KC Royals’ first 10 picks of the 2022 MLB Draft are in. After making their first two picks Sunday night, the Royals chose eight more players Monday.

Kansas City gets 10 more selections today before this year’s edition of the draft wraps up not long before tonight’s All-Star Game begins. Draft action begins at 1 p.m. CDT.

The Royals’ trend through Days 1 and 2 has been to focus on the collegiate ranks—all 10 of their picks have been college players. And they were hurler-heavy Monday, taking six pitchers with their eight picks.

Here’s are grades fore Kansas City’s Day 2 picks.

On Day 2, the KC Royals followed their early strategy by taking collegians.

It seems Kansas City is looking for developed college talent after pursuing some prep arms early in last year’s draft. Although college players still take time to develop, they typically come with a more refined approach than prep players.

Round Three, Pick 87: Mason Barnett, RHP, Auburn

Coming into the draft, ranked Barnett as the 209th best draft prospect.  Although he certainly carries some upside, control issues have marred his baseball journey: he posted a 4.5 BB9 in three seasons at Auburn. Barnett was 3-3 with a 4.38 ERA in 19 appearances (14 starts) this season. This pick seems like a slight reach for the Royals but could save them some slot value to spend up on their earlier draft picks. Grade: C- 

Round Four, Pick 115: Steven Zobac, RHP, Cal

Zobac,’s 241st-ranked prospect, began his NCAA career in 2020 as a two-way player (pitcher and outfielder) and, after becoming primarily a pitcher this season, lowered his BB9 to 2.9 after posting a 5.1 as a freshman. And he can strike out batters—he had a 1.5 SO9 this season to go with a 4-4, 4.09 record. Zobac could be a good addition to the KC farm system. Grade: B-

Round Five, Pick 145: Hunter Patteson, LHP, Central Florida

Patteson came to the draft ranked 239th among Prospects Live’s Top 600 draft prospects. Noting his fastball that reached 97 mph this season, Prospects Live said, “…it can be pretty tough to find this sort of gas from the left side, especially from a good body like Patteson’s.” Unfortunately, he had Tommy John Surgery in April but was 2-1, 1.82 with a 12.4 SO9 and 1.5 BB9 before that. Grade: A-

Round Six, Pick 175: Hayden Dunhurst, C, Ole Miss

Dunhurst is a three-year NCAA catcher whose power output has decreased in every season. After slugging .577 in 2020, he slugged just .435 in 2021 and .385 in 2022. Despite this worrisome decline, his three-season slash at Ole Miss was .261/.376/.433. This spring, he walked 17.0% of the time, but his K% was an alarming 32.7%. He was’s 155th-ranked prospect entering the draft. Grade: B-

Round Seven, Pick 205: Mack Anglin, RHP, Clemson

Anglin, like Dunhurst, ranked higher on’s draft ratings (179th) than the Royals’ third and fourth-round selections. Despite the higher ranking, there is cause for less optimism surrounding his prospects as a major league starter—according to his scouting report, “Though he has served as Clemson’s No. 1 starter for most of the last two seasons, Anglin profiles strictly as a reliever as a pro. He has below-average control and command…” Anglin was 6-6, 4.48 this season with a 6.1 BB9 and 9.2 SO9. Grade: C

Round Eight, Pick 235: Wesley Scott, RHP, Walters State CC

The only community college player drafted by the Royals so far, Scott has promise. In 15 starts for Walters State Community College this spring, he was 9-2, 3.60 in 71 innings and his 118 strikeouts gave him an impressive 14.1 SO9. He’s faced lesser competition than many other draftees, which may explain why he fell to the eighth round. Grade: B

Round Nine, Pick 265: Brandon Johnson, RHP, Ole Miss

Johnson is a fiery reliever who posted a 4.32 ERA in 24 relief appearances this year. His ability to strike out batters should help him make a case as a future late-inning reliever—in 41.2 innings in 2022, he struck out 71 and walked only 21. The Royals likely consider him a future option for their major league bullpen. Grade: C

Round 10, Pick 295: Levi Usher, OF, Louisville

Usher came in at No. 587 in Prospects Live ‘s Top 600, which said that “…plus wheels, a strong throwing arm and elite bat speed…” make him “…an exciting prospect on both sides of the ball.” He slashed .285/.362/.455 with seven home runs, 36 stolen bases in 39 attempts, and an 8.9 BB% in 64 games this season and can only improve if the Royals’ hitting development staff can work on his approach at the plate. Usher is definitely a prospect to keep track of. Grade: A

KC's Day 1 draft grades. dark. Next

The future careers of the eight players the Royals drafted Monday will bear close watching.