06/04/2002 9:01 pm ET
KC thrilled with draft selections
Royals believe they have added big bats
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
Royals round-by-round picks
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals haven't had much power hitting at the Major League level recently, but they feel as though they attacked that problem on the opening day of the First-Year Player Draft.
In addition to reeling in first-rounder Zack Greinke, a right-handed pitcher Kansas City feels can blossom into a premier starter,
the Royals went for some hitters early in the draft who are projected as
players that could eventually provide plenty of pop.
Kansas City used three of its top five picks on catcher Adam Donachie, first baseman David Jensen and shortstop Donald Murphy. Scouting director Deric Ladnier thinks all three have long-ball potential.
"I think Donachie is going to end up with power, I think Jensen is going to end up with power and I think Murphy is going to end up with power," Ladnier said.
Overall, Ladnier was extremely pleased with what the Royals accomplished through the opening 22 rounds.
"We got the player we wanted No. 1 and we wanted to get position players without sacrificing talent," Ladnier said. "I fell we were able to get the guys we wanted. A lot of times, you're sitting there with somebody's card and somebody selects that guy right before you pick them. And then, you have to go in a different direction. We got a good balance of players."
Here's what the Royals replenished their system with on Day 1 of the draft:
· 1st Round - Zack Greinke, Apopka (Fla.) HS, RHP, 6-2, 200.
Ladnier's comment: "Front-line talent. Has a chance to be a No. 1 starter."
· 2nd Round - Adam Donachie, Timbercreek (Fla.) HS, C, 6-2, 180.
Ladnier's comment: "Has a chance to be a No. 1 catcher. Has a chance to be an offensive guy who can handle any pitching staff. He can really catch and throw. He's got some type of hands. His ability to catch would allow him to go to a higher level. I think we would hold him back to allow the bat to catch up. Probably would send him to the Gulf Coast League."
· 3rd Round - David Jensen, Brigham Young, 1B, 6-3, 215.
Ladnier's comment: "A premium college bat. More of a line drive/doubles guy now, but we've seen him hit with power. A really high energy type person."
· 4th Round - Daniel Christensen, Xaverian HS, LHP, 6-2, 205.
Ladnier's comment: "Has a chance to be a No.2 type starter. Three average to above average pitches with tremendous makeup."
· 5th Round - Donald Murphy, Orange Coast College, SS, 5-10, 175.
Ladnier's comment: "Will be an up-the-middle type infielder. Maybe go to second base. Maybe go to third base. But the reason we drafted him was because of the bat. He's got a chance to really hit."
· 6th Round - Brandon Jones, Wewahitchka HS, SS/LF, 6-1, 180.
Ladnier's comment: "He's an athlete. Tools guy. He played shortstop, but we don't see him as a shortstop. We think he's going to have to make the conversion to the outfield, whether it's center field or left field. We really think he has tremendous upside with his athleticism and his bat."
· 7th Round - Jonah Bayliss, Trinity College, RHP, 6-2, 210.
Ladnier's comment: "He's a polished pitcher. He's a No. 3 type starter. Has a plus fastball, a plus slider and a usable changeup."
· 8th Round - Kenard Springer Nettleton HS, 3B, 5-11, 200.
Ladnier's comment: "An athlete from Mississippi. Kind of a Dmitri Young-type mold. A right-handed hitter who's strong and has power. We'll try him out at third base. He'll go to the Gulf Coast League. A high-energy guy who really wants to go play."
· 9th Round - Mathew Tupman, Massachusetts- Lowell, C, 6-0, 190.
Ladnier's comment: "In our opinion, he's front line in terms of catch-and-receive skills. His bat is a little bit less than his ability to catch, but he handles pitching staffs well and he's very intelligent."
· 10th Round - Alonzo Atencio, Lamar CC, RHP, 6-3, 200.
Ladnier's comment: "High upside. A No. 3 type starter. Has a good arm. Big, strong guy."
· 11th Round - Kainoa Obrey, Brigham Young, 3B, 6-2, 225.
Ladnier's comment: "He's an interesting guy. Was a red-shirt sophomore eligible for the draft. Did not play this year. Our guys had seen him play in the past. We had a workout with him. . .tremendous power. Maybe the best power that we got in the draft."
· 12th Round - Adam Keim, Coastal Carolina, SS, 5-11, 185.
Ladnier's comment: "Scrappy second baseman, a baseball player. Can do some things, can run. Good defensive guy."
· 13th Round - William Meyer, Texas A&M, C, 6-1, 200.
Ladnier's comment: "He's a local kid from Blue Springs. Catch-and-receive type guy and he has some power."
· 14th Round - Stephen Chamberlain, University of Portland, RHP, 6-2, 205.
Ladnier's comment: High upside, a No. 4-type starter. A big, strong, durable guy with an above-average fastball.
· 15th Round - Micah Kaaihue, Iolani HS, 1B, 6-3, 205.
Ladnier's comment: "We'll follow him over the summer. Big power guy. Signability was a little bit of a question, but we wanted to take a kid with some thunder in his bat. This guy has as much power as anybody, like Obrey. Both of them are from Hawaii."
· 16th Round - Eric Ackerman, University of Pittsburgh, LHP, 6-0, 180.
Ladnier's comment: We see him as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter. A guy who could eat up innings. Plus fastball, up to 92 mph.
· 17th Round - Jason Bartz, South Florida, RHP, 6-2, 212.
Ladnier's comment: "A guy who can pitch. Fifth-type starter, kind of a middle man. A college guy we can get into the system and push his development."
· 18th Round - Donald Poles, Pitt CC, RHP/OF, 6-2, 190.
Ladnier's comment: "Projectable right-handed pitcher. Hasn't pitched very much. Has a good fastball, a good body. Would have to go to the Gulf Coast League and basically learn how to pitch."
· 19th Round - Alex Crooks, Sierra Vista HS, 1B, 6-2, 240.
Ladnier's comment: "Another big power guy. Signability is a question. Probably won't get him done until the end of the summer. If we don't, he's going to go to a junior college. A lot of upside with the power potential."
· 20th Round - Nathan Zettler, Union (Ky.) College, RHP, 6-1, 195.
Ladnier's comment: "College senior. Kind of a max-effort right-hander. We see him as a set-up type guy. Has an above-average fastball, an above-average slider. Inconsistent with his command. We'll have to work on that, but he's a guy we feel can get through the system quickly."
· 21st Round - Steve Mena, South Miami HS, 3B/SS, 6-3, 195.
Ladnier's comment: "A kid from the Dominican Republic who lives in Miami. Has a high upside, a lot of projection to him. Has some power and some arm strength."
· 22nd Round - Nicholas Bates, Michigan State, RHP, 6-3, 210.
Ladnier's comment: "We see him as a set-up type guy. Had a 9-2 record this past year. We feel we can get him into the system, let him go to Spokane and next year's he'll probably be in Wilmington."
Robert Falkoff covers the Royals for MLB.com. This story was not subject to
approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.