Thursday, June 05, 2008

2008 Royals Draft

The draft is set to take place this afternoon, and if you've been following what Deric Ladnier, the Royals' senior director of scouting, and J.J. Picollo, the Royals' director of player development, are saying, then it sounds like the Royals are favoring arms over bats.

Here's what Ladnier is saying about the Royals' direction: "I think you're always going to see us like pitching. High in the Draft, I think everybody is going to be looking for bats, because later on in the Draft, they're not going to be there."

Picollo put it this way: "I hate to be boring with it but, to me, as many good arms as we can have, the better we're going to be. But as we assess our farm situation right now, we feel that catching is a need. It would be pitching, catching and then infielders."

But with all of that said, both of them say that the Royals will take the best player who is available in each round. And neither of them is giving us any hint about who the Royals might take with their third pick in the first round. Knowing what their overall philosophy is, Bob Dutton says:

That suggests the Royals are taking a hard look at prep first baseman Eric Hosmer, whom Baseball America says "has one of the highest ceilings of any player in this year’s draft."

But as a high school player, from Plantation, Fla., Hosmer also provides Boras with maximum negotiating leverage because he can opt to attend college. Hosmer already has signed with Arizona State.

Here's a nice video of Hosmer's swing from YouTube:

Dutton also says that Pedro Alvarez, a third baseman from Vanderbilt, "appears to be the Royals' top preference." Although, he too is a Boras client and it sounds like the Pirates might beat the Royals to the punch. Here's a nice video showing him launching a home run:

Finally, Dutton says that if Alvarez is gone by the third pick, scouts and agents believe that the Royals will consider either Tim Beckham, a high school shortstop, or Buster Posey, a catcher at Florida State.

We'll soon find out.

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