2024 MLB Draft: Multiple outlets mock this top prep player to KC Royals

Lauren Witte/Clarion Ledger / USA TODAY

The annual baseball shuffle can easily obscure the MLB draft. MLB is trying to fix that by having the amateur draft take place during the All-Star Game festivities. Why go to Jerry World when you can watch your team draft a player you won't see for years? KC Royals fans in attendance will not have to wait long for their first selection. Despite sharing the best odds at the top overall pick, the Royals secured the sixth overall pick in the draft lottery.

It was a frustrating moment for Royals fans—another kick to the gut after a 106-loss 2023 season. Conventional thinking says having a higher pick gives any team a greater chance of drafting impact players, but every team swings and misses in the draft. Kansas City has plenty of its own in the top-10 picks alone. This front office hopes to put those lame-duck picks behind them, and that means taking some risks. There may be no bigger risk at the sixth overall pick than prep player Konnor Griffin.

The Jackson Prep product, out of Flowood, Mississippi, plays all over the field for his high school team. Griffin's professional future, however, lies in the outfield, thanks to his strong arm, speed, and tantalizing bat. Griffin is a solid prospect, but both MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and On3's Jonathan Wagner mocked the Mississippi position player to Kansas City.

Here is what Mayo said about Griffin's fit with the Royals.

"This seems like the first spot a high schooler could go, and new scouting director Brian Bridges does like prep bats. Griffin has perhaps the best all-around tools in the class and if there weren’t some small questions about his hit tool, he might be in the 1-1 conversation."

Wagner focused on Griffin's collegiate outlook rather than his fit in the Kansas City organization.

"Konnor Griffin is committed to play college baseball at LSU, but it’s unlikely he makes it to campus as maybe the top high school prospect in the 2024 MLB Draft class. Though Griffin still has room to grow, he looks to be a very high-upside prospect that could go in the top ten. LSU is hoping Griffin somehow makes it to campus, but that doesn’t appear likely to happen."

I am far from a baseball draft savant, but this pick seems like a stretch at this point. The guys I trust the most for Royals draft-specific evaluation, Farm to Fountains' Jared Perkins and Royals Review's Preston Farr, both seem amicable to Kansas City possibly drafting Griffin.

"While the Royals did not fare well drafting Bubba Starling out of high school, and the book is still out on Nick Pratto, other first round picks out of high school like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and current star shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. paid off handsomely.

Griffin brings a lot of tools without the red flags that other raw toolsy athletes bring. He is fairly polished for a high school player, but at a very young age, which gives him more time to develop"

Preston Farr

There is still plenty of evaluating and big board shuffling to do in the coming months, but the MLB Draft machine is starting to turn. Griffin is among the dozens of choices available to the Royals during this summer's proceedings. No matter the front office's direction, the bar for drafting talent is low in Kansas City.

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