Grading the last 5 top KC Royals MLB Draft picks

How are Kansas City's most recent first choices doing?
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STORY UPDATE: When this story was originally published July 11, the KC Royals held a Competitive Balance Round A pick in this year's draft. They no longer have that selection after including it in their July 13 trade with Washington that is bringing reliever Hunter Harvey to Kansas City. The story has been modified accordingly.

The MLB Draft, baseball's annual amateur talent crapshoot, begins Sunday in Fort Worth where the KC Royals will roll the dice 20 times in hopes of hitting prospect paydirt.

Kansas City has the sixth overall pick, their highest position since 2020 when they went fourth. The Royals get 19 shots after that — in addition to their first-round choice, they'll pick second in each of the following 19 regular rounds.

Just who the Royals will, under the leadership of new amateur scouting director Brian Bridges, choose with their top pick is a mystery the club can't resolve until the five teams ahead of them in the order — the Guardians, Reds, Rockies, Athletics, and White Sox — announce their selections.

What isn't a mystery, though, is how the last five drafts have, in hindsight, gone for Kansas City. Let's grade them in chronological order.

2019: Bobby Witt Jr., shortstop

Because the pandemic forced cancellation of the 2020 campaign, Witt, 2019's second overall pick, played only 160 minor league games before the Royals started him at third base on Opening Day 2022. He hasn't seen the minors since.

Witt's .254/.294/.428 rookie line wasn't much to shout about, but he homered 20 times, drove in 80 runs, and stole 30 bases in 150 games. Witt was even better last season — he led the majors in triples with 11, slugged 30 homers, had 96 RBI, hit .276, and became the first Royal ever to post a 30-30 season.

Named to the American League All-Star team for the first time just a few days ago, Witt leads the majors in hits and is slashing .326/.372/.561 with 15 homers, 62 RBI, and 22 steals through Wednesday's doubleheader at St. Louis.

We'll give him an A+.