My top 10 for the Kansas City Royals in the 2011 draft
I know the “experts” are all saying the Royals will take a college P in this draft but I do not believe it…Given a chance to take a HS arm over a college arm would be choice #1 for the Royals. Aaron Crow has performed admirably but the arm that got away for the Royals in that draft was Shelby Miller….Miller, a HS arm went a few picks later and is looking like a legitimate future ace for the Cardinals.
There are two really good arms that will go in the first 10 picks and they are both very close friends currently working out together in Oklahoma. Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley both touched 100 this year and have very projectable arms. Bundy is a workout and health junkie and his buddy Bradley has began taking on Dylan’s workout after his team knocked off Dyan’s team for the state title.
Bundy is the quieter one that loves to hunt and be outside….Bradley is the kid with ton of personality that the media will love that committed to Oklahoma to play football and baseball. I think one or the other ends up with the Kansas City Royals. But, this is my top 10 list
1- RHP-Dylan Bundy Owasso HS, Oklahoma – If you want projection the #1 guy in this draft is Dylan Bundy. A power right hander from a 6’1 frame with arguably the best work ethic of anyone in the draft. Many believe Dylan can make the big leagues as a 20 year old which puts him in the Royals rotation in 2013. He has a advanced feel for pitching and was built to be a big league ace.
2- RHP-Trevor Bauer UCLA- The Royals simply will not look past Bauer because of his routine. The son of a engineer Bauer has everything Brian Bannister had with 50 times the talent. He will out think you and out pitch you. He has thrown 8 straight complete games and struck out the side in the 9th against a talented Arizona State offense hitting 96 on his final pitch. People question his high pitch counts but Bauer would argue that his program has prepared him like no other.
3- RHP- Archie Bradley Broken Arrow HS, Oklahoma- Archie is a charismatic young man blessed with a powerful right arm. He touched 100 mph this year and in my interview I did with his pal Dylan Bundy, Bundy said “I wish I had his Curveball, when he is on with it itâ€™s the best I have seen at any level. Archie and I are great friends but total opposites. Iâ€™m all business and he is animated on and off the field. If he throws a good pitch everyone knows it if he throws a bad pitch, well everyone knows that too, this works for him and he is very competitive. Archie is very good and I think he will be a dominant guy at whatever level he is at. I miss playing with him because we have made each other better.”
4- RHP- Gerrit Cole UCLA- Cole left a ton of money on the table when he turned down the Yankees 3 years ago to go to Westwood. Cole still might be the #1 player taken in this draft but many believe he has slipped because people question whether or not he will hold up as a starter. There is a belief he could be better suited for a spot as a closer down the road even though he has the prerequisite 3 pitches to be a effective starter.
5- LHP Danny Hultzen Virginia- Hultzen is a fastball/curve/change guy who spots his fastball in the low 9′s but can dial it up to 95 on occasion.His change has the potential to be a plus pitch for him. He gets excellent movement on his pitches and creates havoc for righties with his change. I could see him go #1 in this draft to the Pirates.
6- LHP-Jed Bradley Georgia Tech- Bradley is also a fastball/change/slider guy but his slider is his best pitch. He has a ton of late run o n his pitches and he uses a solid 93-94 mph fastball to set up his secondary pitches well. He oozes with potential and might end up being the better of the 2 collegiate lefties. But, I believe Hultzen is closer to the majors.
7- OF- Bubba Starling- Gardner HS KS, Bubba is a 6 tool athlete. Blessed with character, charisma, and talent he could be the super star of this draft. But, he will run a hefty price tag and the team that takes him has to be convinced he will not be going to Lincoln in the fall.
8- RHP Sonny Gray Vanderbilt- I am a big Sonny Gray fan and could see him as a elite closer at the next level with his awesome fastball/curve combo. The 5’10 righty has the make up that you want. He is a very like-able young man that has learned to pitch in a very tough conference. He has a feel for a change and if he can get that pitch to even be average he could be a very solid #2 SP for years to come. Sonny just told me that he had a nice feel for his slider last summer but has not used it much this year.
9- 3B Anthony Rendon Rice- The main reason I have Rendon so low is that I believe this is a draft for Pitchers….especially at #5. I think the massive upside of Starling slots him ahead of Rendon. Plus the shoulder concerns over Rendon are concerning. Rendon can hit and he will give you stellar defense but he just is not the right guy for KC at 5. Yes, the Royals need to be drafting based on talent and not need but I still believe at the end of the day I have Rendon slotted in the right place for Kansas City.
10- RHP-Taylor Guerrieri Spring Valley HS, SC- Taylor has a big time arm and a great pitchers body. The 6’3 RHP has the biggest helium of anyone in this draft. There have been some questions about his character and off field stuff have shaded a otherwise bright report. He throws a heavy fastball that has touched 97 but settles into the 93-94 range. He has a solid curve and change and will throw a pitch that cuts too. I don’t think the Royals will take Taylor but they have been very active in the state of South Carolina in recent years.
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