Round 1 (3): Eric Hosmer
1B, American Heritage High School
L-L, 6’04”, 215 lbs.
RC Notes: Hosmer has been heralded by some scouts as one of the best high school bats in the last decade. He possesses tremendous raw power, along with an advanced approach at the plate, and he’s also a solid defensive first baseman with a strong arm and soft hands. He is represented by Scott Boras and reportedly has high bonus demands, so he could be a difficult sign. However, the Royals wouldn’t have drafted him if they didn’t feel they could get a deal done.
Round 1 supplemental (36): Michael Montgomery
LHP, Hart High School
L-L, 6’05”, 180 lbs.
RC Notes: Montgomery was a late riser on most draft boards, as the tall southpaw added velocity this spring to his fastball, now topping out around 93 mph. Reports are mixed about the quality and consistency of Montgomery’s secondary pitches, but the Royals of late haven’t shied away from such a project. In fact, last year’s second rounder, Sam Runion, also was drafted without a “plus” second pitch, but the Royals liked his projectability and figured they could mold him. That might be the same type of thinking that went into this selection.
Round 2 (49): Johnny Giavotella
2B, University of New Orleans
R-R, 5’08”, 185 lbs.
RC Notes: An interesting pick for the Royals. Giavotella reportedly has good power for a middle infielder, and he hit .354/.470/.591 with 12 home runs for the UNO Privateers this spring. He has a short, compact swing, and although his defense doesn’t project any better than average, he has a reputation for being a pretty gritty player. Additionally, Giavotella’s excellent plate discipline figures to be a welcome addition to the organization.
Round 3 (80): Tyler Sample
RHP, J.K. Mullen Prep School
R-R, 6’07”, 245 lbs.
RC Notes: The Royals nabbed one of the most projectable pitchers in the draft in Tyler Sample. Towering at 6-foot-7, Sample has a huge frame that makes scouts salivate. His fastball reportedly reaches the mid-90s with ease, and that heat is accompanied by a potentially plus breaking ball with great downward action. As is the case with any pitcher of Sample’s size, mechanics and repeatability are a concern, but this seems to be a pick that offers the potential of tremendous upside.
Round 4 (115): Timothy Melville
RHP, Wentzville Holt High School
R-R, 6’05”, 210 lbs.
RC Notes: A shocking selection by the Royals, in that Melville was projected to go in the first round but slipped because of signability concerns. Indeed, it will take a first-round type bonus to sign Melville, but the Royals probably wouldn’t have selected him this early if they didn’t intend to make a serious effort to sign him. Melville was one of the top three high school pitchers available in the draft, and it would be something of a coup if the Royals walked away with him. He has an above average fastball and very promising secondary stuff, including a knuckle-curve and changeup.
Round 5 (145): John Lamb
LHP, Laguna Hills High School
L-L, 6’03”, 185 lbs.
RC Notes: The Royals went with another projectable southpaw in Round 5. Lamb was a solid two-way player at Laguna Hills High School before deciding to focus on pitching. He reportedly has excellent mechanics, and his fastball ranges from 88-91 mph. He also has an improving breaking ball and changeup. Lamb missed some time this spring after suffering an injury in a car wreck in February, and he wasn’t expected to resume throwing until May. He likely would have been selected before the fifth round had he not been injured. It will be interesting to hear the latest report on his health, but clearly the Royals saw something in his upside.
Round 6 (175): Alex Llanos
SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy HS
R-R, 6’01”, 160 lbs.
RC Notes: After four of their first six picks were pitchers, the Royals went with another position player in Alex Llanos. Word is that he’s a good glove man with plus speed and a projectable frame. Other than that, there isn’t much information available about Llanos, but the Royals did make a similar pick last year with Fernando Cruz.
NEXT PICK: Round 7 (205)