2012 Draft Report Cards: Kansas City Royals




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See also: Draft Report Card Index
POSITION PLAYERS


QUICK TAKE
The Royals' plan to focus on pitching paid off when Zimmer, Selman and Rodgers were all available. Considering Kansas City's crying need for arms, Zimmer becomes the system's most important prospect.
Bonus Spending: $7.6 million
Best Pure Hitter: The Royals drafted OF Alexis Rivera (10) primarily for his power, then were floored when he hit over .400 for much of his debut before slumping in August. He has a short swing, uses the whole field and controls the strike zone well. Best Power Hitter: OF Fred Ford (7) hit four home runs for Jefferson (Mo.) CC at the Junior College World Series, then 13 more at Rookie-level Burlington. He has well above-average raw power, though he also has holes in his swing that led to 83 strikeouts in 214 pro at-bats. Fastest Runner: OF Marsalis Holloway (34) is the Royals' annual raw draftee with well above-average speed. OF Ethan Chapman (30) is a plus runner who knows how to use his speed better than Holloway. Best Defensive Player: C Chad Johnson (5) has steady receiving tools and savvy to go with an average arm. He has added strength since signing, and his overall package resembles that of Brian Schneider.

PITCHERS

Best Fastball: RHP Kyle Zimmer (1) was the top pitcher on the Royals' board thanks to a four-seam fastball that ranges from 92-98 mph. He threw 23 straight fastballs for strikes in his second start of the spring for San Francisco. He had surgery after the season to remove bone chips from his elbow, but the Royals don't think it's a long-term concern. LHP Sam Selman (2) topped out at 98 this summer and sat at 90-95. Best Secondary Pitch: Zimmer throws a hammer curveball with power and downer action. LHP Colin Rodgers (3) has the makings of a plus curveball and changeup.

ODDS AND ENDS

Best Pro Debut: Selman was the Rookie-level Pioneer League pitcher of the year, going 5-4, 2.09 with 89 strikeouts in 60 innings. Idaho Falls teammate Chapman was a leadoff force, batting .313/.383/.420 with 25 stolen bases. Rivera finished at .341/.417/.477 in the Rookie-level Arizona League season after his fast start. Best Athlete: In a pitching-focused draft, Zimmer stands out. He played basketball and water polo as well as baseball in high school. OF Alfredo Escalera (8) is the best athlete among Kansas City's position players. Most Intriguing Background: Escalera was the youngest player in the 2012 draft class, having turned 17 in February. Unsigned OF Raphael Andrades (36) is a freshman wide receiver at Florida. C Beau Maggi's (24) brother Drew is a Pirates farmhand. Closest To The Majors: In spite of his surgery, Zimmer still should move quickly. RHP Andrew Triggs (19) could do the same as a reliever after a strong debut in low Class A. Best Late-Round Pick: RHP John Walter (29) quickly adapted to a relief role as Burlington's closer. Chapman's polish and speed fit the fourth-outfielder profile. The One Who Got Away: The Royals thought they could sign 2B Jackson Willeford (12), but he'll help defending national champion Arizona reload instead.