Draft Report Cards: Kansas City Royals





QUICK TAKE
There was no slam-dunk pick at No. 4, and the Royals went with Colon, arguably the safest bet to be a big league regular in the entire draft. Kansas City continued to spend in later rounds, paying $1.25 million for Eibner and $800,000 for Adam.
Bonus Spending: $6.7 million
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER: One of the best hitters available in the draft, SS Christian Colon (1) has a quick bat and the ability to consistently barrel balls. The Royals sent him to high Class A, where he more than held his own. » BEST POWER HITTER: OF/RHP Brett Eibner (2) had borderline first-round talent as both a position player and a pitcher, and both he and Kansas City want him to be an everyday player. He hit 42 homers in three years at Arkansas and should tap into his power more now that he'll be fully focused on hitting. » FASTEST RUNNER: OF Darian Sandford (47) can flat-out fly. He can run the 60-yard dash in 6.2 seconds and get from the left side of the plate to first base in 3.65 seconds on a jailbreak swing. He led the Rookie-level Arizona League with 30 steals in 38 games. » BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: SS Alex McClure (11) gets the nod over Colon because of his superior arm strength. Both have good hands, footwork and instincts. Some scouts think Colon is destined for second base.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: Eibner can throw 97 mph, but he's done pitching. RHP Jason Adam (5) reached 96 mph during instructional league and has more projection in his 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame. Nondrafted free agent RHP Nick Rogers, a two-way player at North Carolina A&T, also can hit 96. LHP Kevin Chapman (4) and RHP Mike Giovenco (14) peak at 95. » BEST SECONDARY PITCH: Chapman's slider is his out pitch and gives him closer potential. Adam has the best curveball in this group, though it's inconsistent.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: Colon had no problems competing in high Class A, batting .278/.326/.380 with three home runs in 60 games. 1B Murray Watts (28), a 6-foot-7, 270-pound hulk, hit .279 with 14 homers to make the Rookie-level Pioneer League all-star team. » BEST ATHLETE: Eibner's raw power and arm strength are borderline plus-plus tools, and he also has slightly above-average speed. » MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Unsigned C Joe Jackson (50) is the great-great nephew of Shoeless Joe Jackson of Black Sox infamy. Unsigned RHP Mark Blackmar's (34) dad Phil is a pro golfer who won three times on the PGA Tour and most recently on the Champions Tour in 2009. OF Brian Fletcher's (18) father Scott played 15 years in the majors and is a roving infield instructor for the Royals. » CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Colon and Chapman both debuted in high Class A and will open 2011 in Double-A. As a lefty reliever, Chapman could move a little quicker. » BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: C Kevin David (19) has power potential and arm strength. Watts' power bears watching as well. » THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: Kansas City signed 21 of its first 22 picks. The lone exception was RHP Jon Gray (13), who has a heavy 88-93 mph fastball and a hard slider. He's attending Oklahoma.