6/8/2013 7:39 P.M. ET
Royals view 14th-round pick as a starter
By Kathleen Gier / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Chase Darhower had a tumultuous collegiate career. He started at the University of Central Florida as a shortstop, but played only seven games. After five games with Northwest Florida State College as a pitcher, he almost left the sport all together.
"I kind of walked away from baseball for a while, but I decided I'm not going to quit," Darhower said. "I started working out by myself."
Darhower said he was actually filling in for a pitcher at Chipola College when the Royals first noticed him. They liked what the saw, selecting the 20-year-old in the 14th round of the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday (414th overall).
"Honestly, I haven't pitched a lot," Darhower said. "I've been a position player, a shortstop or third baseman my whole life, but from what they've talked to me about, they said I could be a right-handed pitcher, a starter type."
Darhower said he plans to sign with the Royals this week.
KC opens Day 3 of Draft with catcher pick
KANSAS CITY -- Although there was no elite prospect from Puerto Rico like last year with Astros No. 1 pick Carlos Correa, there were many solid Puerto Rican prospects, and catcher Xavier Fernandez was one of the better ones in this year's Draft class. The 18-year-old from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy was the Royals' Day 3 opening pick in the 11th round (324th overall) on Saturday.
Behind the plate, Fernandez flashes an above-average arm and good receiving skills. He also shows good agility and has the chance to be an above-average defender in pro ball.
Fernandez is much more raw offensively, but he has a good feel for hitting and displayed some power potential this spring. Most feel Fernandez is ready for pro ball.
Local college kid drafted by KC in 12th round
KANSAS CITY -- Brandon Dulin was overlooked by colleges and professional scouts alike coming out of high school, but he got their attention this spring and parlayed that into a 12th-round selection (354th overall) by the Royals in the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Dulin put up big numbers this spring at Metropolitan Community College-Longview in Kansas City, ranking third nationally among Division II junior-college players with 13 home runs and a .756 slugging percentage. Scouts wonder how he will adjust to elite pitching, though his stint in the MINK Collegiate Baseball League this summer may help answer that question.
Standing 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds with above-average power, Dulin certainly looks the part. He played mostly first base this spring, but he proved capable in the outfield last fall.
KC adds Dziedzic to its stable of lefty picks
KANSAS CITY -- Jonathan Dziedzic was drafted by the Red Sox in the 39th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, but he opted to return to Lamar University and that move turned out to be the right one. The 22-year-old was drafted in the 13th round (384th overall) by the Royals on Saturday, the fourth lefty pitcher drafted by Kansas City.
This season, the Humble, Texas, native was 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA in 16 games for the Cardinals. He held opponents to a .219 batting average.
He missed the majority of his sophomore season with an elbow injury, but he returned the following season and had a 3.47 ERA over 13 games.
Royals take center fielder Taylor in 15th round
KANSAS CITY -- Two seasons at junior college did Dominique Taylor plenty of good as he burst onto the scene and pieced together a solid junior year at UC Irvine, becoming the Royals' 15th-round pick (444th overall) in the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Taylor posted a .309 batting average and seemed to thrive as the season went on, batting .321 in Big West Conference play.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Taylor is a threat on the bases as well, leading the team with 10 stolen bases and four triples.
Kuntz's son selected by KC in 28th round
KANSAS CITY -- With their 28th-round pick of the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday, the Royals decided to reunite a father and son by selecting Kevin Kuntz, son of first-base coach Rusty Kuntz.
"You're grateful to the Royals for giving him an opportunity," Rusty said. "Kevin worked his tail off this year, and he got better enough that I thought maybe somebody would take a chance on him. Luckily for him and luckily for me, it was the Royals that picked him."
Rusty, a former big league outfielder, was helping out at batting practice on Saturday when he heard the news from the Royals' media-relations staff.
"I'm happy for him," Rusty said. "The person I'm probably most happy for is my wife. You think about all the time, the car rides, the sack lunches, the sitting around for practice all afternoon and then the games and all that kind of stuff and I am never there."
Because of his duties with the Royals, Rusty didn't get to see his son play much, but he got to see him at Kansas last season.
Kevin was a senior at the University of Kansas, where he played shortstop primarily, but he made appearances at every position except pitcher and catcher.
The 23-year-old batted .310, and he led the nation with 30 sacrifice bunts in 47 games this season.
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.