Results tagged ‘ J.J. Picollo ’
The Royals completed their selections in the 2012 First-Year Rule 4 Player Draft today, a process that started immediately after last year’s draft. J.J. Picollo, Assistant GM for Scouting and Player Development, was joined by Director of Scouting Lonnie Goldberg at today’s press conference. A few notes:
*The Royals announced five signings (#3, 7, 8, 14 and 15) and expect to have more signings in the next few days, which will allow for a true mini-camp for the draftees.
*Goldberg mentioned that the Royals are optimistic about getting a deal completed in the next few days with first-round pick Kyle Zimmer.
*Second-round pick Sam Selman came on strong toward the end of the year. He is viewed as a middle of the rotation pitcher with upside.
*Third-round pick Colin Rodgers bypassed an opportunity to pitch at Auburn by signing today. He had a ‘why wait’ approach when it came to college vs. pro baseball. The signing was attributed to great scouting and cross-checking by Travis Ezi and Gregg Kilby, respectively.
*Picollo said that the Royals expect to sign players quickly under the new draft rules (this year’s deadline is July 13, up from August 15 last year). This is a combination of hard work from the scouts, the understanding of those advising the players and the families.
*According to Picollo, the Royals felt that this draft wasn’t as deep when it came to college position players. That is reflected in KC’s draft pool, which featured 24 pitchers out of 40 players.
*The draft is 10 rounds shorter this year, resulting in more available free agent players. The Royals feel that they’ll sign a considerable number of the 40 players, thus they may not have as big of need to ink players from the free agent pool.
The Royals Hot Stove show airs at 6 p.m. tonight on 610 Sports in Kansas City and on royals.com ( http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/kc/fan_forum/hotstove.jsp ). You can catch the podcast at a later date at the Hot Stove page on royals.com.
Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre are the hosts. They will talk with Gil Meche and J.J. Picollo. Gil’s recent retirement was featured on the New York Times website late yesterday. Picollo, the Assistant General Manager – Scouting and Player Development, oversees the farm system, which was rated number one this week by Baseball America.
The Kauffman Stadium interview room was at capacity for today’s introduction of first-round pick Christian Colon.
The shortstop is very excited to start playing professional baseball right away. He did not want the negotiations to drag out. He will leave for Wilmington on Saturday and participate in drills for a few days, then begin playing in games next week.
J.J. Picollo, Assistant General Manger for Scouting/Player Development, says that Colon can handle the Carolina League (Class A – Advanced). Picollo cited Colon’s Team USA experience and his strong college background at Cal State Fullerton. He believes that the next few months will be beneficial to Colon, who will get to adjust to pro ball before spring training.
Colon is advised by former Kansas City shortstop Kurt Stillwell, who is now with the Boras Corporation. Stillwell had a chance to catch up with Frank White, his former double play partner, as well as Jeff Montgomery, who was Stillwell’s teammate both in the Cincinnati system and with the Royals.
On Saturday, we’ll post more pictures of Christian’s first day in a Kansas City uniform.
The 2010 June Draft begins on Monday. General Manager Dayton Moore talked to the media today about the draft and other topics.
Moore is looking for players with great character and players who fit a team atmosphere. He puts an added emphasis on players with past championship experience, either in college or high school. Ideally, Kansas City’s first pick will eventually be able to blend in with the current group of prospects at Double-A.
Moore sees several players in this draft that will make an impact in the majors. However, he doesn’t see as many premium position players as in some drafts.
A media member asked whether the draft will drop off after the first three picks (the Royals pick fourth). Moore says he sees how some see it that way, but every draft will be re-evaluated after three years and the picture can be very different. He sees that as the beauty and the challenge of baseball’s draft – a 10th round pick could wind up with a better career than a first-round choice. He sees all 50 or so players that a team drafts as important, sighting Jarrod Dyson. The speedy former 50th round pick is now on Kansas City’s 40-man roster.
Reporters asked Moore about pitching prospect Danny Duffy, who recently returned to the organization after taking some time away from baseball. Moore hasn’t spoken to Duffy and for now he will leave that to Assistant GM/Scouting and Player Development J.J. Picollo and Director of Minor League Operations Scott Sharp. He didn’t know if Duffy would return originally after he left baseball in March, but he knew that the good relationship between the club and Duffy would help.
Moose and Hosmer
Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer are both leading their respecting leagues in hitting, with Moose entering the day first in the Texas League at .371 and Hosmer’s .350 pacing the Carolina League. Moore says that the Royals are staying humble as an organization as far as their progress. He said that minor league hitting coordinator Jack Maloof is pleased with their development. As to whether they will be promoted, Moore said that the organization will re-assess that in a month, but neither is a currently a candidate to be on the Major League team by the end of 2010.
Moore likes the intense focus and clear beliefs of his new manager. While the two knew one another from Atlanta, they didn’t have the manager-general manager relationship. Moore says that this particular aspect of their relationship is still evolving.
Fans who have attended Spring Training in Surprise know that opportunities are abound to watch games and practices. The Royals play several ‘B’ games against their complex counterparts, the Texas Rangers. These games are not held at the stadium – instead they are on one of the practice fields at the complex. The ‘B’ games and practices are free to attend and fans can usually stake claim to a location that is just off of the field.
Today’s ‘B’ game featured Luke Hochevar, who was pushed back after yesterday’s regular game against the Giants was postponed. Let’s take at a few of the things that happen at a ‘B’ game.
Scouts and baseball operations personnel are continuously tracking the progress of the players. On the left, Senior Advisor to the General Manager and 2008 Royals Hall of Fame inductee Art Stewart surveys the action. Rene Francisco, Kansas City’s Special Assistant to the General Manager/International Operations, is standing behind Stewart (to his right, our left).
The next photo shows General Manager Dayton Moore and Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development J.J. Picollo. The pair are speaking with Jon Daniels (center), the General Manager of the Rangers.
When the team goes to another complex for a game, a ‘travel roster’ is assembled. For example, some of the pitchers are not going to throw in the regular game that day. They stay behind in Surprise and spend time on other training activities, including strength and conditioning. Here, Zack Greinke and Kyle Davies are taking in Hochevar’s outing.
‘B’ games also require coaches to take on different roles. Trey Hillman served as the third base coach during today’s ‘B’ game. This picture shows the close proximity of the bleachers for a ‘B’ game.
Former third baseman Joe Randa is in camp working with players. Here he talks to John ‘Duke’ Wathan. On the right, Randa lends his advice to Mike Moustakas. Randa has mentored ‘Moose’ on multiple occasions since the Royals drafted Moustakas in 2007.
Now you know about some of the other happenings at Spring Training besides the game that is on the schedule at royals.com. We hope that you can make a trip to Spring Training in the near future!
He has stayed in shape with workouts, bullpen sessions, simulated games and side sessions. Crow says that he is just older and wiser than last year. His pitching repertoire is mainly a fastball and a sinker, with a slider and change-up mixed in. He has worked a lot on improving his change-up over the last year.
General Manager Dayton Moore said that the Royals will not put limitations on Aaron. As a player in Major League camp, he will be given the opportunity to make the team out of Spring Training. However, the overall goal is for Aaron to have a 15+ year career in the Majors. Moore sees a tremendous competitor with great drive.
Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development J.J. Picollo mentioned that signing the first-round pick was a priority. He is anxious to get Crow into the mix.
Jose Guillen was placed on the 60-day D.L. to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Crow.
Tomorrow you can ask J.J. Picollo about his thoughts on the 2009 First Year Player Draft and Kansas City’s minor league system. Picollo, KC’s Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development, joined the Royals in 2006 as Director of Player Development. He has been in charge of the Royals minor league system since that time and 2009 was his first year to oversee Kansas City’s draft process.
The chat starts a bit earlier this month – at noon. Have your questions ready and log on to royals.com!
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!
The Royals landed a highly touted prospect in the first round today, and the pitcher was in their own backyard. University of Missouri product Aaron Crow, who went to Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, was the 12th overall pick. Crow went 13-0 with Mizzou as a junior in 2008 to earn Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors. He was selected by Washington last year, but did not sign. Crow has pitched for the Fort Worth Cats in the independent American Assocation in 2008 and 2009.
Royals team photographer Chris Vleisides was in the “war room” during today’s first round. Here are some exclusive pictures.
First, we see General Manager Dayton Moore as he talks with Midwest Regional Supervisor John Flannery.