KANSAS CITY -- Catcher Cameron Gallagher, the Royals' second-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft in June, has signed a contract, the club announced on Monday.
Gallagher, 18, is from Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, Pa., where as a senior he batted .434 (23-for-53) with four home runs, 19 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. A right-handed hitter, he also played in the Aflac All-American Baseball Classic after his junior year.
"He's a very tough, physical kid and he addresses a need that we currently have at a defensive position," said J.J. Picollo, the Royals' assistant general manager for scouting and player development. "We think he's going to be a plus defender behind the plate and he's got upside with the bat. He's strong, he's got power and he can use it to right-center field as well. He's a pretty advanced hitter for his age."
Gallagher comes from a baseball family. His father, Glenn, was selected in the third round of the 1981 Draft and pitched four years in the Toronto organization. His old brother, Austin, was a third-round pick by the Dodgers in 2007 and is a first baseman for Rancho Cucamonga in the Class A California League.
"He kind of knows what it's all about, and that will give him a little bit of an edge as well, just having grown up in that atmosphere," Picollo said.
The elder Gallagher, a former college and high school coach, currently operates a baseball school in Lancaster, and when his son was drafted, he provided a scouting report.
"Cameron's only been catching for two years," said Glenn Gallagher. "This is his second full year. He is a big, strong kid, has very good hands for having only caught for two years. He's pretty polished for just catching for two years. He's got real quick hands, great arm strength. He's got a lot of power potential with his bat."
In signing with the Royals, Gallagher passed on a chance to play at East Carolina University. He's been assigned to the Royals' Rookie classification team at Surprise, Ariz., and then will be in the Arizona instructional league.
"He'll get a lot of time in between now and Halloween," Picollo said.
The Royals have signed 26 of their 50 choices in the 2011 Draft, along with 11 non-drafted free agents. Still unsigned is top pick Bubba Starling, an outfielder from Gardner, Kan., who is currently in football workouts at the University of Nebraska.
Picollo remains optimistic that the Royals will sign Starling.
"I feel the same way now that I did the day we drafted him," Picollo said. "We drafted him because we feel like he wants to play baseball and we knew there would be some challenges along the way with the football option, but if we didn't feel good about his desire to play baseball, it would've been hard to take him with the first pick. We just have to be patient with it, and it's two weeks from today [to sign picks], so there's plenty of time."
The deadline for signing picks is 11 p.m. CT on Aug. 15.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.