The Royals and This Year’s MLB Draft

KANSAS CITY — After going heavy with college pitchers last year — their first 22 pitchers were all college hurlers — the Royals came back with 23 college pitchers overall in the 2019 MLB Draft.

Of course, those pitchers were taken after Kansas City selected potential five-stool standout Bobby Witt Jr., with the No. 2 overall pick on Monday.

“We certainly started out with a bang,” scouting director Lonnie Goldberg said.

Draft Tracker: Complete pick-by-pick coverage

The Royals also were overjoyed that Florida shortstop Brady McConnell fell to them in the second round (No. 44 overall). McConnell was teammates with Kansas City’s 2018 first-round picks Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar, now ranked as the club’s No. 1 and 7 prospects by MLB Pipeline.

Goldberg has compared McConnell talent-wise to Witt.

“Elated we got [McConnell],” Goldberg said. “Their skill sets are pretty close. To get two players like Bobby and Brady at premium positions, we were very elated.”

The other mild surprise was Illinois second baseman Michael Massey falling to the Royals in the fourth round at pick No. 109.

“His power numbers were a little down,” assistant director of scouting Dan Ontiveros said, “but we really like his swing, and happy to get him where we got him. We thought he might have gone a round early.”

For the most part, though, the Royals again focused on college pitching. They took 26 pitchers overall, 13 left-handers and 13 right-handers.

“I think there was depth with college pitching this year,” Goldberg said. “ … I think the Draft was college pitching rich at the top of the Draft last year, but more so the overall depth was there this year.”

Here are some other notes from the Draft:

• The Royals took left-hander Dante Biasi from Penn State in the sixth round — he is the brother of Sal Biasi, whom Kansas City selected in the 2017 Draft and is now with the Mariners. “Yes, we know that family well,” Goldberg said.

• In the 35th round, the Royals took right-hander Jonah Dipoto, the son of Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto.

• In the 36th round, the pick was high school center fielder Andy Martin, the brother of Indians outfielder Leonys Martin.

• With their final pick, the Royals selected David Estevez out of Pembroke Pines Charter High School (Fla.). He is the son of Orlando Estevez, Kansas City’s Latin America scouting coordinator. And Art Stewart, the only scout in the Royals Hall of Fame, made the final selection from his home where he is battling illness.

• In the 22nd round, the Royals took third baseman Jake Means, the younger brother of Orioles pitcher John Means. Jake Means graduated from Gardner Edgerton High School in Kansas, the same school Bubba Starling attended.

• The Royals took two catchers, nine infielders and four outfielders.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.