3 college players KC Royals could take first in 2023 MLB Draft

The KC Royals sit at 8th overall in the upcoming MLB draft. Who are some college names the team could focus on?

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SS Tommy Troy

I will be honest here: Jared Perkins of Just Baseball sold me on infielder Tommy Troy over other bats like shortstops Jacob Wilson or Matt Shaw. The Stanford Cardinal standout may not have a clear defensive position, but he does have what the Royals need the most: a consistent bat.

Like Teel, Troy's swing is a very repeatable motion that creates a great pop off the bat. He is another borderline power hitter that could add more muscle at the next level. At 5'10" and 197 lbs., Tory is not going to be a hulking presence in the batter's box. But he doesn't have to be to win. Prospects will regularly have the bat speed or make contact that sounds good, but few do it as often as Troy does. In 2023, he set career-highs in virtually every offensive category, including a .696 SLG, four triples, and 17 home runs. There is a lot to like about Troy at the plate.

Troy's biggest weakness is his lack of a clear spot in the infield. Heck, he can even play the outfield pretty competently. He has above-average speed, serving him well if a team wants him as a shortstop or centerfielder. His arm does leave something to be desired, making a more permanent move to shortstop or second base likely. Law suggested (subscription required) that Troy could get a chance at centerfield, letting that speed go to work.

His jump in stolen bases at Stanford is worth noting. Troy stole 17 bags in 58 games during the 2023 season, which doesn't sound like much in relation to MLB seasons, but is a good collegiate clip. It was an unexpected facet of his game, as Troy had four stolen bases in each of the two previous seasons. I am unsure if that is a new baserunning approach or more speed, to be honest. He certainly was a baserunning threat in his junior year though. All in all, I think Troy is a malleable prospect in the field, but one with a plus-hit tool and power that would play well for the Royals.