The Royals completed the second day of the 2010 First-Year Rule 4 Player Draft today, selecting 29 players after drafting shortstop Christian Colon in the first round on Monday.
Kansas City’s first selection of the day came in the second round (54th overall) when they chose University of Arkansas centerfielder Brett Eibner. The Houston native has batted .337 with 21 home runs and 69 RBI for the Razorbacks. He was named to the watch list for the Olerud Award, which recognizes college baseball’s best two-way player. Eibner has compiled a 3-4 mark and a 4.39 ERA in 55.1 IP on the mound
The Royals went with a local prep star in the fifth round, selecting right-handed pitcher Jason Adam from Blue Valley Northwest High School. Other local selections included University of Nebraska pitcher Michael Mariot (eighth round), Oklahoma State catcher Kevin David (19th round) and University of Missouri shortstop Michael Liberto (21st round).
The Royals selected Brian Fletcher, son of former Major League infielder Scott Fletcher, in the 18th round. The Auburn University outfielder is currently second in the SEC with 22 home runs.
The club selected five players out of high school and 24 from the college ranks today, including two junior college picks (Miami Dade teammates Daniel Hernandez and Jose Rodriguez). Among the 30 players selected over the first two days, the position-by-position breakdown includes: 14 pitchers (11 right-handers, three left-handers), three catchers, six infielders and seven outfielders.
Christian Colon, Kansas City’s first-round pick, talked to the media today via teleconference. Colon and his Cal State Fullerton teammates are preparing for a weekend Super Regional series against UCLA. Here are some notes:
Colon is used to playing alongside some big names – his national team experience includes time with Stephen Strasburg and Mike Leake. He sees himself as a person who leads by example and can also be vocal. He says he will do anything to win.
Colon was born in Puerto Rico before his family moved to the U.S. He patterned his game after Roberto Alomar, a favorite in Puerto Rico.
He compared his style to Elvis Andrus of the Rangers and Martin Prado of the Braves. The media has compared him to Placido Polanco, and Colon is comfortable with the comparison. He sees Polanco as a player who plays the game the right way and moves runners along.
The Padres selected Colon in the 10th round in 2007. He says his speed has improved since then and that his body has changed from hitting the weight room. He also grew up as a hitter and developed more arm strength.
He is familiar with one of K.C.’s minor league affiliate cities – Colon played in Omaha last year in the College World Series. He has good memories of the city and the people.
The Royals and Twins open a series tonight at 7:10 from Target Field. Zack Greinke is on the mound for K.C. Let’s take a look at the lineup:
(Podsednik – LF), (Kendall – C), (DeJesus – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Guillen – DH), (Callaspo – 3B), (Aviles – 2B), (Maier – CF), (Betancourt – SS), (Greinke – P)
K.C.’s first-round pick Christian Colon (at left) and his Cal State Fullerton teammates will battle Ryan Lefebvre’s beloved Minnesota Golden Gophers at 10 p.m. Central tonight in NCAA Regional action. Tune in to ESPNU!
We attended a press conference with Dayton Moore and J.J. Picollo this evening. Check back later as we’ll post a summary and additional pictures of Colon that we received from Cal State Fullerton.
In case you missed it, here is an outtake of Joel Goldberg’s interview with K.C. natives Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis and their special guest, Will Ferrell.
While the Royals are off today, we’ll have news this evening. The 2010 First-Year Player Draft starts tonight and runs through Wednesday. Check the blog and our Twitter account ( @aroundthehornkc ) for updates.
According to Yost, Zack Greinke has been pressing too much and has been trying to be perfect every pitch, which was especially evident in Greinke’s last outing. Yost believes the pitcher needs to stay within himself and not force his pitches, like Luke Hochevar did last night when he softened up instead of muscling up. Yost told Greinke to focus on controlling what he can control and just take a half step back and let his stuff work.
Forget about it
After allowing three runs on three hits last night, there were some concerns regarding Blake Wood and his ability to bounce back. Yost, however, has no doubts. He believes Wood has incredible poise and won’t be affected by yesterday’s outing. In fact, Yost said he’d be shocked if there were any lingering issues.
He can do it all
Yost also discussed Willie Bloomquist’s start in left field. The utility man will be replacing Scott Podsednik for the day, so Podsednik can essentially get two days rest since tomorrow is an off day. Bloomquist will also be replacing Podsednik in the lead off spot, which Yost feels very comfortable with because Bloomquist has a very professional approach, has been hitting the ball well, can steal bases, and is overall a complete player.
There were also a couple questions concerning the upcoming draft, but Yost quickly responded by saying he’s just trying to win baseball games and has no idea who the Royals are looking at.
Kansas City and Detroit will finish off the series at 1:10 today. It’s Build-A-(Polar) Bear day, with the first 8,000 kids 14 and under receiving this Build-A-Bear from the Kansas City Zoo. Plus, you can run the bases afterwards in the Sprint Fun Run!
Here’s the lineup: (Bloomquist – LF), (Kendall – C), (DeJesus – RF), (Butler – 1B), (Guillen – DH), (Callaspo – 3B), (Aviles – 2B), (Maier – CF), (Betancourt – SS), (Bannister – P)
Editor’s note: The media relations team salutes Brett, one of our interns, on his outstanding work. This is his final blog entry as he will be leaving to take a job in Louisiana. Brett started in 2009 with the marketing department and worked in media relations this season. Good luck, Gordo! We will miss you!
Yer outa here!
Manager Ned Yost addressed the fallout from his ejection during Thursday’s game. He has not been contacted by Major League Baseball in regards to any possible suspension or fine. However, Yost said that in his past experience, the league has openly listened to both sides and handed down a fair decision.
He’s an inspiration…
Outfielder David DeJesus has been one of the Royals hottest hitters since the birth of his first son, David DeJesus, Jr. on May 25. Yost sees the possibility of DeJesus having extra motivation, but also thinks DeJesus is in a hot streak. Yost said, “He is seeing the ball good and making great contact.”
The road to recovery…
Outfielder Rick Ankiel will begin his rehabilitation assignment on Tuesday with the Royals’ AAA affiliate, the Omaha Royals. Yost says that Ankiel has looked impressive in batting practice, but also stated that he needs to get his timing right before a return to Kansas City’s lineup. Yost said that when Ankiel does come back he will resume his roll in the outfield and won’t find any time as the designated hitter. In addition, it is discussed in the Royals game notes today that left-handed reliever John Parrish will also join Ankiel in Omaha on a rehab assignment.