The 2009 First-Year Player Draft took place last week, with the Royals selecting 49 players. The club has signed seven selections, plus a pair of non-drafted free agents. Here is a list of players signed to date:
10th round selection Geoffrey Baldwin, a first baseman from Grand Junction High School in Colorado
11th round selection Ryan Wood, a shortstop from East Carolina University
12th round selection Nicholas Wooley, a right-handed pitcher from William Woods University
16th round selection Eric Diaz, a left-handed pitcher from New Mexico Junior College
20th round selection Patrick Keating, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Florida
25th round selection Richard Folmer, a right-handed pitcher from Stephen F. Austin State University
30th round selection Josh Worrell, son of former Major Leaguer Todd Worrell, a right-handed pitcher from Indiana Wesleyan University
Non-drafted free agent Jose Sanchez, a left-handed pitcher from Montgomery College – Germantown
Non-drafted free agent Kyle Sweat, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Central Florida
Coming along Callaspo
Manager Trey Hillman is very impressed with the seemingly natural progression of his second basemen Alberto Callaspo. “I am very pleased with his improvements this season, both at the plate and in the field,” said Hillman. He stated, “Laterally I think there is room for improvement and I would like him to slow down on double play possibilities, otherwise I am very happy with his fielding.” Hillman was asked about his home run capabilities in the future, “He is a doubles guy, if he starts thinking otherwise he won’t get that barrel where it needs to be and corrections will have to be made. I like the Alberto we have,” said Hillman.
Hillman was asked what he thought baseball would look like in ten to fifteen years. Hillman said, “You can pretty much expect to see more and more athletes on the field, who carry skills pertaining to agility, speed, and smarts. I think it will resemble the game of the past, with the emphasis put more on the finer points of the game, and not so much on the home run and how bulky can a guy get.”
One tough Crisp
Royals centerfielder Coco Crisp has been injured for a while now, but you wouldn’t know it if you asked him. Hillman says, “Crisp has quite the pain threshold, and is stubborn to a fault in dealing with his pain and playing. I thought the six days off would be enough, but his shoulder just isn’t healing up like we thought, the DL is not out of the question at this point.”
What a game last night! Luke Hochevar threw his first complete game in the Majors, using just 80 pitches in a contest that lasted just 2:12. It’s a good thing that the game wasn’t any shorter, because we needed the sun to go down for the KC Sky Show, which followed the 4-1 win over Cincinnati. Here are a few pictures courtesy of team photographer Chris Vleisides.
Short Term Memory
Manager Trey Hillman was asked about the importance of forgetting a difficult loss like yesterday’s against the Cleveland Indians. “I would like in some form or another like to put the last five weeks out of my mind, you have to learn from your mistakes and move on,” Hillman said. He stated that being home and starting interleague play could be the spark this team needs to catapult them into a winning streak and propel them in the right direction. “It’s always nice to see other teams from around the league, I’m a baseball fan too, it should be a fun a homestand,” said the manager.
No Pessimism in this Clubhouse
Manager Trey Hillman has told us on numerous occasions this season that at no point will he ever give up on this team, nor will they as a club ever count themselves out. “Hey man, there is optimism in that clubhouse, it’s hard to play ball like this but you have to let it go,” Hillman said. “We have not lost hope, our confidence is high, and we are thankful every day for our jobs, the ballpark we play in and the city we play for,” exclaimed Hillman.
Alex Gordon has been doing two reps of ground ball drills, and has been taking light batting practice. He is also jogging on a consistent basis, but his lateral movement is being watched rigorously and evaluated daily.
Robinson Tejeda pitched last night for the Double-A affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals and he is progressing nicely and is being monitored for reassignment.
Mike Aviles is still resting his elbow and there can be absolutely no movement in his elbow for up to one more week.
Sidney Ponson threw a promising bullpen session yesterday, and is scheduled for another in the coming days.
John Buck is felling much better then he had in past days, but is nowhere near being ready to put on a uniform for the Royals.
With all of these players, Hillman says, “There is not a set timetable for any of our injured players, as each day comes they get healthier and when they are ready to perform, we will let you know.”
The Cincinnati Reds are in town for the first time since 1999. It’s also time for the Kansas City Sky Show! It’s an event that you won’t want to miss!
DeJesus – LF
Bloomquist – SS
Butler – 1B
Jacobs – DH
Guillen – RF
Teahen – 3B
Callaspo – 2B
Olivo – C
Crisp – CF
Hochevar – P
The 2009 Draft is in the books, with the Royals selecting 49 players. That doesn’t mean that the Royals are taking any time off. Scouts are headed to Minnesota this weekend to look at players and the Royals will continue to look at international talent. Here are a few notes from both today’s press conference and yesterday’s teleconference.
J.J. Picollo noted that Myers, a third-round selection, played seven positions in high school and that he has expressed a desire to catch. Picollo says that the Royals will start him as a catcher.
Kansas City selected 27 college players this year, plus Aaron Crow, who was listed as unaffiliated. That’s up from 23 college players last year. The Royals had just two high school picks among their first 11 selections this year. Last season, Johnny Giavotella was the only four-year college player in the first 10 rounds. Moore said that he likes a blend of high school and college pitchers. Some of the college pitchers from this year’s draft will be relievers. He hopes that they can reach the Majors at the same time.
Strategy and budget
Moore noted that Picollo used a strategy in which he chose three to four players with top round talent. He also said the Royals must strive to use every penny of their scouting budget wisely. Many of the players chosen in the final ten rounds are summer follow selections who have several college options. Moore is hopeful that the Royals can budget their dollars in a way that will allow them to sign a few of the summer follow picks.
The Royals made several picks with local ties, starting with Aaron Crow, their first-round selection. Moore noted that it is important to “scout your own backyard aggressively.” He also said that the Royals employed “good old-fashioned scouting.”
The Royals selected a pair of local prep pitchers today. Michael Morin of Shawnee Mission South was selected in the 40th round and Jeffrey Soptic from Shawnee Mission East was nabbed in the 43rd round. ATH just spoke with the local high school baseball fanatic in the Royals front office, Sr. Director of Corporate Sales, Mitch Wheeler. His son Seth has caught Morin since they were nine years old. Mitch says that Morin and Soptic faced off twice this season, including once in the Frank White Classic right here at Kauffman Stadium! What an exciting moment for these two players to be selected by their hometown team!
Here’s a great deal…the Royals are now offering a $10 Unlimited Play Pass for the Outfield Experience! That’s right, for $10 per person, you can ride the Carousel, putt a few rounds at Sluggerrr’s Golf Stop at The K, hit at the John Deere Little K and more!
On the day of the game, the passes are available at the Box Office, the Majestic Team Store and the Outfield Experience Ticket Booth. For future games, please visit the Box Office or call the Royals Sales and Group Sales Department at 816-504-4040 or 1-800-6ROYALS.
Here’s your Royals lineup for Thursday. We just returned from a press conference on the 2009 Draft. We’ll bring you a few notes on that in a bit.
DeJesus – LF
Crisp – CF
Butler – 1B
Guillen – RF
Callaspo – 2B
B. Pena – DH
Olivo – C
Bloomquist – 3B
T. Pena – SS
Greinke – P
ATH would like to congratulate Royals farmhand and fellow blogger Chris “Disco” Hayes on his promotion to Triple-A Omaha. Hayes went 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA and 3 saves in 36.2 IP this season for Northwest Arkansas. Chris has impressed at every level since being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Northwestern. You can read about Chris in Issue 2 of Royals Gameday Magazine. By the way, Issue 3 will go on sale for the Arizona series. The new issue features a cover story on Coco Crisp and his family, so check it out!
Photo courtesy Tom Ewart – NWA Photography