3 prep players KC Royals could take in 2023 MLB Draft

The KC Royals have several routes at eight overall in this year's MLB Draft. What are some high school players they could target?

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C Blake Mitchell

There are only two first-round catching prospects in this year's draft. The Royals could well be interested in one, namely catcher Blake Mitchell. The Texas native plays a position with notorious volatility in the first round, but wow the tools are evident.

Mitchell's left-handed swing features a nice combination of bat-to-ball skills and potential power. Because his hands are quick, he has elite bat speed for a prep hitter, which should enable him to develop a good deal of pull-side power as he matures as a hitter. He recorded exit velocities in the high 90s, reaching 102 mph, and he possesses obvious raw power to go along with an approach at the plate that should only help him further.

He won the award for best player in the state of Texas in both his junior and senior years, solidifying his position as one of the top high school players in the United States. He has a strong floor in every aspect of his game, including the ability to potentially transition back to pitching if he is unable to continue his career as a catcher, even though the risk is obvious for all catchers at the prep level.

Mitchell's athleticism translates well behind the plate, sporting a pop time of 1.86 seconds last summer. Scouts say that time has only improved since then too. His lightning-fast reaction time should equip help him stick behind the dish for years to come. The Athletic's Keith Law also helps this projection (subscription required), linking Mitchell to Kansas City in his most recent mock draft.