Kansas City Royals

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 3 Eric Hosmer 1B American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla. Fla. $6,000,000
An Aflac All-American and preseason High School All-American, Hosmer is one of the most decorated prep players in this year's draft class. He played for Team USA's junior squad last summer and this spring is a member of one of the nation's top high school teams, which won a state championship. Regularly compared to fellow Floridian Casey Kotchman, Hosmer is a physical specimen with bat speed to spare. Swinging from the left side, Hosmer has as much raw power as anyone in the draft. His power ranges to all fields, as he is known for letting balls get deep and driving them for opposite-field home runs. While his approach at the plate is advanced, Hosmer's pitch recognition has been a concern for some scouts. In the field, he's a solid defender with athleticism and a well-above-average arm. He is the closer on his high school team, regularly touching 95 mph off the mound. While his actions at first base need refinement, he could be an above-average defender. Hosmer has the tools to be an all-star first baseman and has one of the highest ceilings of any player in this year's draft. As an Arizona State signee and a client of the Boras Corp., however, signability could be an issue.
1s 36 Mike Montgomery LHP Hart HS, Santa Clarita, Calif. Calif. $988,000
With Anthony Gose battling shoulder tendonitis, Montgomery has emerged as the top high school lefthander in an unusually deep and talented Southern California crop. He's a Cal State Fullerton recruit who would benefit by studying under coach Dave Serrano, but his strong spring likely means he won't make it to college. That was despite some makeup questions about the athletic Montgomery, who was kicked off the Hart High basketball team for racking up too many technical fouls. Montgomery was the team's top scorer at 20 points per game, and at 6-foot-4 and 180 pounds, he has a long, athletic build that attracts scouts. So does his fastball, which sits in the 88-92 mph range and peaks at 94. His high quality secondary offerings include a sharp, if slow, 71-72 mph curveball and a 79-81 mph changeup with sudden late drop. Montgomery will need to correct a series of subtle mechanical deficiencies that tend to impede his command, but when those problems are solved, he profiles as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. He was rising up draft boards as June approached as he showed a feel for pitching, rather than trying to just blow high school hitters way. He does an excellent job of mixing pitches, changing speeds, setting hitters up and finishing them off.
2 49 Johnny Giavotella 2B New Orleans La. $787,000
At 5-foot-8 and 185 pounds, Giovatella is the smallest player on our Top 200 Prospects list, but his bat isn't short. He has hit .348 or better with more walks than strikeouts in each of his three seasons at New Orleans, including an outstanding 48-18 BB-K ratio in the regular season this year. Using a short, compact swing, he waits patiently for pitches he can drive to either of the gaps. He also hit a respectable .255 with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer. As an offensive second baseman, he draws comparisons to the likes of Dustin Pedroia (without the same defense), Dan Uggla (without the same power) and Mike Fontenot (with more strength). Giovatella is a solid-average runner who can steal a few bases. He also has arm strength, though he's just an adequate defender at second base. He receives praise for his passion and toughness.
3 80 Tyler Sample RHP Mullen Prep, Denver Colo. $500,000
Sample began the year behind Kentucky recruit Andy Burns on the Colorado pecking order, and he didn't figure to move up draft boards after perennial power Cherry Creek High torched him in his second start of the spring. But Sample bounced back from his only poor start to emerge as the state's best prospect and the latest heir to Colorado's recent pitching tradition. The state has produced six pitchers who were first-round picks since 1994--Scott Elarton (1994), Roy Halladay ('95), Brad Lidge ('98), Kyle Sleeth (2002), David Aardsma ('03) and Luke Hochevar ('06). While only Elarton and Halladay came out as high schoolers, Sample looks like he may sign prior to college as well, due to a big, physical body at 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds. Sample's fastball sits 90-92 mph and touches 94 regularly when he's fresh, which wasn't always the case this spring; he sometimes started one day and then relieved three days later for his high school team, a dangerous proposition for a pitcher who already had Tommy John surgery as a prep sophomore. What separates Sample is his knuckle-curveball, an above-average pitch at times. It's especially impressive considering he's doing it at altitude. Sample has development to make, such as refining his command and finding a changeup, but his present stuff and body make him a good bet in the sandwich round.
4 115 Tim Melville LHP Holt HS, Wentzville, Mo. Mo. $1,250,000
A number of teams don't like to take high school righthanders early in the draft, and that bias may be all that stands in the way of Holt High producing a first-round pitcher for the second straight year. Holt High grad and Missouri State product Ross Detwiler went sixth overall in 2007, and while Melville won't go that high, he's the top high school arm for 2008. Melville hasn't pitched as well as he did last summer, when he tore up the showcase circuit, with his velocity slightly down and his curveball losing some tightness. He struggled in his first two starts but was throwing better as the draft approached, operating from 91-94 mph with his fastball and flashing a plus curve on a more regular basis. Melville is a very athletic 6-foot-5, 210-pounder who could be a star third baseman at the college level. He repeats his stress-free delivery with ease, allowing him to fill the strike zone. As a pro, he'll have to throw more two-seam fastballs and changeups. Melville probably won't follow through on his commitment to North Carolina unless he somehow falls out of the first round, and that would be an upset.
5 145 John Lamb LHP Laguna Hills (Calif.) HS Calif. $165,000
The draft season kicked off with a Major League Scouting Bureau event at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, and lefthander John Lamb was one of the best players in attendance. Lamb has an ideal and projectable pitcher's frame and showed improving raw stuff. His fastball sat from 87-91 mph and he showed a smooth, fluid arm action and easy release. His curveball showed great improvement, with good tilt and late break. He also showed feel for his craft, mixing pitches, altering eye levels and working both sides of the plate. In February, however, Lamb was rear-ended in a car accident, and lingering soreness in his elbow was diagnosed as a fracture. He didn't need surgery, but his arm was immobilized for 12 weeks, and he didn't pitch all spring.
6 175 Alex Llanos OF Westlake HS, Westlake Village, Calif. P.R. $125,000
Center fielder Alex Llanos saw his stock rise at the Excellence Tournament. A plus runner who ran a 6.5 in the 60-yard dash, Llanos is a converted shortstop who has been playing center field for just a few months. His speed plays well in the outfield. At the plate, he has a physical frame (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) with good bat speed and contact-hitting ability. He could land in the top five to 10 rounds.
7 205 Jason Esposito LHP Amity Regional HS, Woodbridge, Conn. Conn.
Amity High third baseman Jason Esposito has committed to Vanderbilt, and like them he's considered a difficult sign. Esposito's bat draws comparisons to another Northeast high school product who went to Vanderbilt, Ryan Flaherty, but he lacks Flaherty's instincts and ability to play shortstop. Esposito is an aggressive line-drive hitter with above-average raw power, but his swing has some length to it and he swings and misses a lot. He has good actions and decent hands at third base to go along with an above-average arm. He closes games for Amity and reaches 90 mph with his fastball.
8 235 Malcom Culver RHP Palmdale (Calif.) HS Calif. $125,000
Palmdale High infielder Malcom Culver has athletic bloodlines; his brother Tyrone is a safety for the Green Bay Packers, his father played in the minor leagues, cousin Calvin is the center fielder at Pierce JC, and cousin Vonnie is a defensive back for San Diego State. Culver has committed to SDSU as a wide receiver but could play both sports. He showed raw power at the MLB preseason event in Compton and has flashed above-average speed and defensive ability at second base. His arm is a bit short for him to play shortstop. He remains raw, though, and is probably further ahead in football.
9 265 J.D. Alfaro OF/LHP St. John Bosco HS, Lakewood, Calif. Texas $75,000
10 295 Mauricio Matos LHP Clinton HS, Bronx, N.Y. N.Y. $150,000
11 325 Malcolm Bronson OF Monte Vista HS, Spring Valley, Calif. Texas
12 355 Allen Caldwell OF Miami Northwestern HS S.C.
13 385 John Flanagan RHP Southwestern Illinois JC Ill.
14 415 Chase Hentges RHP Shakopee (Minn.) HS Minn. $150,000
Righthander Chase Hentges, who has committed to Iowa Western CC rather than a four-year school, is one of the more signable prospects in Minnesota. He's not as refined as the other high school players, but he's projectable (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) and already reaches 88-92 mph with clean mechanics. His slider is more flat and slurvy than reliable at this point.
15 445 Alberto Espinosa RHP Broward (Fla.) JC Fla.
16 475 Derrick Saito LHP SUNY Cortland Calif. $100,000
Five-foot-9 lefty Derrick Saito was making noise early, pusing his way toward the first three rounds with a devastating 92-93 mph fastball and a curveball that Big West Conference coaches tabbed the best in the league entering the season. Saito lost velocity and his release point as the season went on, and his control wavered so much that he lost regular playing time. He could still go before the 10th round to a team that saw him good early, but his stature and short track record of success hinder his chances.
17 505 Jake Kuebler 3B Meridian (Miss.) JC Neb. $150,000
Third baseman/righthander Jake Kuebler not only is Nebraska's best high school prospect, but he also has the best bloodlines. Alex Gordon's cousin has a projectable 6-foot-5, 195-pound frame and could grow into a slugging third baseman. He shows a quick arm and a high-80s fastball on the mound, though his fastball is in the remedial stages. He's considered unsignable and will likely follow in Gordon's footsteps at Nebraska.
18 535 Carlo Testa OF Belmont Tenn.
At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Carlo Testa is a lefthanded pitcher and outfielder for Belmont, leading the team in both batting (.387) and wins (6). He profiles best as a position player at the next level and will likely end up in right field. With an above-average arm and average speed, Testa is an athletic defender with good instincts. At the plate he is an above-average hitter, making consistent solid contact.
19 565 Miguel Moctezuma C DeKalb HS, Auburn, Ind. Okla.
20 595 Shawn Griffin RHP Tennessee Tenn.
Shawn Griffin is a senior outfielder with a good lefthanded swing and plus power. He is an average defender at best and will likely play in left field at the pro level. Griffin hit .314 this season with 12 home runs.
21 625 Jake Theis RHP North Rockland HS, Haverstraw, N.Y. Wash.
22 655 Blaine Hardy LHP Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) Idaho
Lefthander Blaine Hardy throws strikes with a fastball that reaches 90 mph but more frequently sits in the 86-87 range. His breaking balls are short for the lefthanded reliever role and he fits better as a senior sign.
23 685 Dale DeSchepper RHP Georgia College & State Ga.
24 715 Jason Morales 3B Inglewood (Calif.) HS N.C.
25 745 Carson Bryant RHP Wheaton (Ill.) Warrenville HS Calif.
26 775 Ryan Morgan RHP Col de Levis HS, Montreal Mo.
27 805 Tim Huber RHP Rensselaer Polytechnic (N.Y.) Institute Neb.
28 835 Greg Billo RHP Sandburg HS, Orland Park, Ill. Ill. $150,000
29 865 Beau Brett 1B Artesia HS, Lynwood, Calif. Wash.
The biggest prep name in the state belonged to first baseman Beau Brett, a Southern California recruit and nephew of ex-big leaguers Ken and George Brett. His father Bobby Brett owns the Northwest League's Spokane Indians, so Brett has been around the game all his life. He has a long lefthanded swing that generates good loft power, and most scouts consider his raw power well ahead of his hitting ability. Most expect him to go to USC.
30 895 Rick Dodridge LHP Ogemaw Heights HS, West Branch, Mich. Mich.
31 925 Ryan Curl OF Punahou HS, Honolulu Ohio
Outfielder Ryan Curl has more upside than any high schooler in the state, but he's more of a raw athlete than a finished product. The Rangers sent in a crosschecker to evaluate him, but pro teams probably will let him attend Miami (Ohio) for three years rather than spend a six-figure bonus on him at this point. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder has plus speed and arm strength to go with projectable power, but he's not ready to hit pro pitching. Curl has a bat wrap that makes it difficult for him to catch up to breaking pitches, though he can drive balls when he squares them up.
32 955 Rey Cotilla RHP Miami Dade JC Fla.
33 985 Eric Swegman LHP William Penn (Iowa) Ga.
Righthander Eric Swegman is projectable and has been seen in the low 90s, but command problems prevented him from getting on the mound much and hurt his draft stock.
34 1015 Brett Richardson RHP Wenatchee (Wash.) Valley JC Wash.
35 1045 Chris Balcom-Miller RHP West Valley (Calif.) JC Calif.
36 1075 Nick Purdy RHP St. Mary's SS, Cobourg, Ontario Ontario
37 1105 Bradin Hagens RHP Briarcliff HS, New York Calif.
38 1135 James Thompson RHP Clovis West HS, Fresno Ga.
39 1165 Ryan Modglin RHP Scott City (Mo.) HS Mo.
40 1195 Pernell Halliman RHP Jackson State Calif.
41 1225 Doug Joyce C University HS, Malibu, Calif. Wash.
42 1255 Marc Oslund RHP West HS, Torrance, Calif. Calif.
43 1285 Cory Kiefer RHP Valley View HS, Moreno Valley, Calif. Calif.
44 1315 Patrick Johnson OF Colony HS, Ontario, Calif. Calif.
45 1344 Ray Anderson OF Lassiter HS, Marietta, Ga. Ga.
46 1372 William Beckwith 1B West Lowndes HS, Columbus, Miss. Miss.
47 1399 Steve Gilgenbach LHP Arkansas-Little Rock Ark.
Steve Gilgenbach lacks consistency, but he's a 6-foot-3, 220-pound lefty who pitches at 90-92 mph on his best days. He's still fine-tuning his delivery, his command and his slurvy slider.
48 1426 Terrence Buchanan SS Mount Carmel HS, San Diego Calif.
49 1453 Alan Salgado 3B San Ysidro HS, San Diego Calif.
50 1480 Travis Jones C Sabino HS, Tucson Ariz. $100,000
Tucson's Travis Jones had shown raw power and a solid catcher's body while hitting 15 homers this spring, and he's committed to Arizona. Jones also could wind up at Pima CC if he decides against committing to three years of college.