Monday, June 9: Dish 440 or 412-28
Tuesday, June 10: Dish 442 or 412-30
Wednesday, June 11: Dish 441 or 412-29
Friday, June 13: Dish 441 or 412-29
Saturday, June 14: Dish 440 or 412-28
Sunday, June 15: Dish 441 or 412-29
The Kansas City Royals completed the third and final day of the 2014 Rule 4 First-Year Player Draft today, selecting a total of 42 players over three days.
The Royals selected 21-year old Brandon Finnegan, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound left-handed pitcher from TCU, with the 17th overall pick on Thursday. He earned his ninth victory of the season this afternoon in the Horned Frogs’ 3-2 Super Regional win over Pepperdine. After today’s game, Finnegan has a 2.12 ERA (23 ER in 97.2 IP) and 129 strikeouts for the Horned Frogs this season. The 2013 member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team earned All-Big 12 First Team Honors this year.
Kansas City selected another left-handed pitcher, 18-year-old Foster Griffin with the 28th overall pick in the first round. Griffin, a native of Orlando, Fla., pitched at The First Academy in Florida, going 5-1 with a 1.15 ERA, and posting 65 strikeouts in 36.2 innings, leading The First Academy to a 20-2 record during his senior season.
The Royals also announced that prior to completing the draft, the club agreed to terms with shortstop Dawon Burt (123rd overall), right-handed pitcher Corey Ray (153rd overall) and outfielder Logan Moon (183rd overall) to contracts. The Royals selected third baseman Vance Vizcaino, son of KC National Cross Checker, Junior Vizcaino with their 29th round selection (873rd overall). With their final pick of the draft (1203rd overall), Kansas City selected second baseman Diego Francisco, who is the son of Royals’ Assistant General Manager-International Operations, Rene Francisco.
Here is a breakdown of the Royals 42 selections from the 2014 draft:
- 12 high school selections
– 30 college selections (27 four-year and three junior college)
– 19 pitchers (12 left-handers, seven right-handers)
– Five catchers
– nine infielders
– nine outfielders
Manager Ned Yost was asked several times about his patience with his team and the lineup he puts out each day. He acknowledged that nobody likes to lose but in order to win with younger players you have to develop them. Over the last three or so seasons Yost feels the Royals have done a good job with that development. At this point, Yost said “my patience comes with our guys playing with energy, playing with life and playing with intensity on that field. As long as they’re doing that you can’t ask them to do anything else.”
Yost firmly believes the Kansas City offense will ignite at some point and he said he hopes it comes before it did last year, which wasn’t until after the All-Star break. The three hottest hitters on the team, according to Yost, are Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar.
“When we get it turned around and we get on a run you’ll find out that Hosmer, Butler, Gordon, Perez will be our hottest hitters,” Yost said. “You stay steady, you stay persistent with the lineup that you know is going to work and just wait it out until it does work.”
By Nate Rowan
This four-game wrap around series with the New York Yankees begins tonight at Kauffman Stadium and will mark the final regular season appearance for Derek Jeter in Kansas City. The Royals have a special presentation planned for Jeter prior to Monday’s game. Manager Ned Yost had plenty of positive things to say about the Yankees shortstop.
“It’s hard to describe because he’s been such a special player all these years,” Yost said. “He’s the total package of the type of player you want in your organization.”
Jeremy Guthrie will start for the Royals, winless since his second start of the season on April 9. Guthrie has gone at least 6.0 innings and allowed two runs or less in each of his last three starts and Yost commended Jeremy on his ability to give the Royals an opportunity to win each time he toes the rubber.
“The K” hosted a large number of Cardinals fans over the last two days and with the Yankees in town, crowds are expected to be large, though tickets are still available for each game of the series. Yost said he doesn’t care who comes or what shirt they wear as long as they show up. When asked if his team took any satisfaction beating St. Louis Thursday with a lot of Cardinals fans in attendance, Yost bluntly said “You take satisfaction when you win, you don’t take satisfaction because you won and there were a bunch of red shirts here.”
The Royals finished day one of the 2014 June Free Agent Draft by selecting three prep players (after taking TCU’s Brandon Finnegan at 17th overall). Let’s take a look at the high school selections:
Kansas City picked 18-year-old Foster Griffin, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-handed pitcher from The First Academy (FL) with the #28 overall selection. Griffin went 5-1 with a 1.15 ERA, posting 65 strikeouts in 36.2 innings, leading The First Academy to a 20-2 record. On March 26, at the National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C., he tossed a three-hit shutout to beat Milton High School (Ga.), 2-0 in the tournament championship. Griffin also recorded a season-high 14 strikeouts in a 1-0 shutout of Colonial High School (Orlando, Fla.) on April 1. He comes from an athletic family, as his father, Fred, is the director of Grand Cypress Academy of Golf in Orlando, Fla.
The Royals drafted 17-year-old Chase Vallot, a 6-foot, 215-pound catcher from St. Thomas More High School (Lafayette, LA) with the #40 overall pick. He finished his senior season with a .545 batting average, 13 doubles, 13 homers and 60 RBI. He was named the Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year, helping the Cougars win the Class 4A State Championship this season. In his final two years of varsity baseball, Vallot batted .456 with a .550 on-base percentage, collecting 23 doubles, 25 homers and 94 RBI in 65 games. He also won the home run derby at the Perfect Game USA National during the summer of 2013.
Kansas City selected 18-year-old Scott Blewett, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound right-handed pitcher from C.W. Baker High School (Baldwinsville, NY) with the 56th overall pick. The righty was the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year in New York, finishing his senior season 4-0 with an 0.23 ERA, allowing 1 earned run in 30.0 innings, with 10 walks and 54 strikeouts. He was named a Perfect Game First Team All-American and a First Team All-Northeast Region selection this year. He never lost a game during his high school career, going 16-0 with a 1.30 ERA (18 ER in 124.1 IP) with 34 walks and 195 strikeouts over his final three seasons of varsity competition.
The Kansas City Royals have selected Brandon Finnegan, a left-handed pitcher from Texas Christian University, with the 17th overall pick of the June Free Agent Draft.
The 21-year old Finnegan, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound hurler from Fort Worth, Texas, is 8-3 with a 2.07 ERA (21 ER in 91.1 IP) and 122 strikeouts for the Horned Frogs this season. The 2013 member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team earned All-Big 12 First Team Honors. He was recently named to the Fort Worth Region All-Tournament team, after tossing the first 7.1 innings of TCU’s first-round win over Siena (2-1) last Friday. He had five starts this season where he pitched 7.0 innings or more without allowing a run. Finnegan has led the Horned Frogs in strikeouts each of the last two seasons, posting 85 in 2013 to go along with 122 this year. He was tabbed All-Big 12 Honorable Mention following his sophomore year, where he posted a 3.18 ERA in 15 starts.
A 2011 graduate of Southwest High School in Fort Worth, he was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 45th round of the June Free Agent Draft that year, but opted to pitch at TCU. He was a two-time all-district performer in high school and was named all-state as an outfielder following his senior campaign.
Special thanks to Brandie Davidson of TCU for sending along these photos, taken by Michael Clements.
While first baseman Eric Hosmer is currently in a 7-for-48 (.156) slump over his last 11 games, Royals first baseman his struggles do not have his manager overly concerned.
“[Adam] Wainwright has two out pitches and he does a phenomenal job against lefties,” said Yost. “He’s just tough. It’s just one of those things where it’s timing a little bit, but when [Hosmer] gets it going, he’s got the capability to carry an offense.”
Yost doesn’t see much difference between the Hosmer of the past couple of weeks and the Hosmer of 2013.
“When he was at his hottest last year, it wasn’t much different than his swing right now,” he said.
Yordano Ventura will make his first start for Kansas City since departing with an elbow injury in the third inning of his last appearance vs. Houston on May 26. Yost said that his expectations for Ventura are unchanged.
“I expect him to go out and give his best effort,” said Yost. “To go out and do what he does.”
Ventura recorded the best April by a Royals rookie pitcher, however, he has not won since April 25 and has given up at least three earned runs in four of his last five starts.
By Kolby Paxton
Today is KC’s first home game since coaching roles were changed last week while the team was in Toronto. Dale Sveum, formerly the third base coach, is now the team’s hitting coach, with previous hitting instructor, Pedro Grifol, re-assigned to catching coach. Mike Jirschele moved into the third base coach role.
According to manager Ned Yost, the objectives set in place by Grifol have not changed even if the voice delivering the instruction has.
“The message isn’t different,” said Yost. “Pedro and Dale have been working closely together all season long. Those of us that have kids understand that you can talk and talk and talk, your next door neighbor says the same thing, and it clicks.”
General manager Dayton Moore said that it is his responsibility to find the right coaching, but that the players must be willing to meet them half way.
“I’m not proud of the fact that we’ve had several changes,” said Moore. “Ned and I have to make sure we find the right voice, the right teachers, to help our players make adjustments.”
Moore said the current roster is talented and experienced enough to “take ownership” of their individual performances.
As for Sveum, Yost touted his perspective and his background, asserting that Sveum is capable of turning around what has been a disappointing offensive campaign thus far in 2014.
“In talking to Dale about it, we were probably looking down in the zone a little bit more than we needed to,” said Yost. “Dale has been a Major League hitting coach. He has three years of experience with a power-hitting club in Milwaukee, and the thing about Dale is, he was a switch hitter. He had to learn how to hit with power from the left side. He always had power from the right side, being a right-handed hitter. But he had to learn to develop it and manufacture power from the left side.”
Sveum was a member of seven different teams over the course of a 12-season playing career in the majors. In 1987, Sveum hit 25 home runs and drove in 95 runs for the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2009, with Sveum has his hitting coach, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder enjoyed his best statistical season at the plate, belting 46 home runs and driving in a career-high 141 runs. One year later, Sveum oversaw an offense that included five players with 23-or-more home runs and three players with at least 102 RBI.
By Kolby Paxton
We received our shipment of 2014 Kansas City Royals yearbooks yesterday! Add to your collection (or start one)! You can order online at royals.com/publications or stop by the Royals Majestic Team Store at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals return to Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday, June 4 to host an eight-game homestand against the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and division foe Cleveland Indians. Great tickets remain for all three series. Throughout the homestand, fans can get some fantastic giveaways including a tote bag, gift cards, a Nori Aoki poster and the next T-shirt Tuesday design. The Royals will also honor Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter with a special pregame ceremony on June 9. Please see below for more information.
Thursday, June 5 – St. Louis Cardinals vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
• Royals Tote Bag – The first 20,000 fans will receive a Royals Tote Bag, courtesy of MLB Network.
• First Responders Night – The Royals and GovX are proud to salute members of the military and first responders. During select games throughout the season, including two during this homestand, members will be honored during a pregame presentation. In addition, specially-priced tickets will also be available throughout the season. For more information, visit http://www.GovX.com/Royals.
Friday, June 6 – New York Yankees vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
• Mystery Gift Cards – The first 5,000 fans receive a mystery card with great discounts to Rally House. One lucky fan will receive a card worth $1,000 to be redeemed at any metro Rally House or Kansas Sampler location.
• First Responders Night – The Royals and GovX are proud to salute members of the military and first responders. During select games throughout the season, members will be honored during a pregame presentation. In addition, specially-priced tickets will also be available throughout the season. For more information, visit http://www.GovX.com/Royals.
• Summer Fireworks – Fans will enjoy a spectacular fireworks show, presented by Hy-Vee and Pepsi, after the game.
Saturday, June 7 – New York Yankees vs. Royals, 6:15 p.m.
• Play It Forward Contest presented by Missouri Lottery – After voting throughout the first 31 home games, the new sixth-inning sing-a-long song will be decided. The song, which was voted by fans through a bracket-style contest, will be the overall contest winner and played in the remaining games of the 2014 season. For more information, visit http://www.royals.com/playitforward
• 610 Saturday – The Royals have teamed up with Entercom and 610 Sports Radio for special pregame festivities outside Rivals Sports Bar that include 610 Sports Radio personalities, special guests, food and drink specials and much more. Fans can enjoy the 610 Saturday Appetizer Special – Buffalo Chicken Dip for just $6.10 – in Rivals Sports Bar from the time the gates open until the first pitch. Listen to 610 Sports Radio and receive a coupon code to purchase a ticket for only $6.10 in the Hy-Vee Infield. http://www.royals.com/610saturday.
Sunday, June 8 – New York Yankees vs. Royals, 1:10 p.m.
• Norichika Aoki Poster – The first 10,000 fans will get a poster of Royals right fielder Norichika Aoki, courtesy of Magniflex and Pittcraft Printing.
• Father/Daughter Day ¬– Fathers and daughters can enjoy a special day at the ballpark by purchasing a ticket package that includes a limited edition hat and commemorative photo. For more information, visit http://www.royals.com/family.
• Family FunDay Sunday – Each Sunday home game features pregame interactive kids entertainment by School of Rock, plus face painters, caricature or balloon artists in the Outfield Experience. New this season, fans also have the opportunity to get pregame autographs with select players each Sunday. All-Day Play Passes for unlimited activities in the Outfield Experience are available for just $10. In addition, the Royals are offering a Family FunDay Sunday 4-Pack that includes four Hy-Vee Infield tickets, $10 in loaded value per ticket to use for concessions and merchandise, and four All-Day Play Passes – over $150 in value – for just $80! http://www.royals.com/sunday.
• Sunday Fun Run – All fans 14 and under can run the bases after the game (conditions permitting).
Monday, June 9 – New York Yankees vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
• Royals To Honor Jeter – The Royals will salute the stellar playing career of Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter in a special pregame ceremony prior to the series finale. The game marks the last regular-season contest at Kauffman Stadium for Jeter, who is retiring at the end of the 2014 season. The Royals are offering a special Dynamic Deal featuring 45 percent savings for that night as fans can purchase Hy-Vee Infield tickets for just $20. Fans can take advantage of this deal by purchasing tickets at http://www.royals.com/dynamicdeals.
Wednesday, June 11 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals, 1:10 p.m.
• Student “Night” presented by INK Magazine – Rivals Outfield Box or Hy-Vee Infield tickets are available for Wednesday home games for youth and students with a valid ID at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office for just $8. Select tickets are also available online at http://www.royals.com/studentnight. Seating is subject to availability. All Student Nights include pregame food and beverage specials available at the Crown Classic concession area.
• Local Music Showcase presented by INK Magazine – Catch a free pregame concert on us. Every Wednesday Student Night also features live local music prior to the game in the Outfield Experience. Performing during this showcase will be the band, She’s A Keeper. For details, visit http://www.royals.com/studentnight.
Fans may purchase tickets online at royals.com, by calling 1-800-6ROYALS, at area Hy-Vee stores or at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office.