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2011 Kansas City Royals Draft Review

The Royals have the deepest minor league system in recent memory, if not ever. They did nothing to move away from the pattern of drafting that allowed them to accumulate this wealth of talent.

They led the draft off with local talent, and superb athlete Bubba Starling. He is a star Quarterback and a Nebraska recruit along with being one of the best, if not the best high school player in the draft. He has the arm to pitch but he has a shot at being a 5 tool center fielder. This spring I called Starling a better version of Drew Stubbs, and I'll stick with that comparison. That's a pretty solid player. If you look at the success rates of 1st round outfielders out of high school, he has about a 2% chance of being an all-time great, 22% of being a superstar and 48% of never making it to the majors. He has some mechanical problems in his swing, but he has the athletic ability and the tools to overcome them to be a star.

Cameron Gallagher, at 6'3, 220, is a huge high school catcher that has a chance to stick at catcher. Although he is very big and physically mature, he has good defensive ability. His power is his best asset and that bodes well for him if he has to move to 1B. I think that is a likely destination and we'll just have to see how the bat fares. If he can keep his K's down and hit for the power he projects, he could be a middle of the lineup bat.

Bryan Brickhouse teamed with #2 overall pick Jameson Taillon last season, but doesn't have quite that kind of upside. He does have a good breaking ball and a low 90's fastball that can get up to 94. He is a North Carolina commit and will need a good bonus to steer away from NC. He is very athletic and could be a Jake Odorizzi kind of prospect. He won't be a top of the staff kind of guy, but could be a solid #3.

Kyle Smith is another athletic prep righty to follow Brickhouse. He's 6', 180 and has a low 90's fastball. He has more in short bursts but I think he will have to rely on control to reach his ceiling. If he grows more and adds velocity, he could be a pitcher to watch.

Patrick Leonard is currently a shortstop but will likely be a corner infielder at some point, likely a 1B. He has a long swing with an uppercut but but that causes holes in his swing. He is a Georgia commit and will likely head there without a decent sized bonus. I think he'll head to Georgia and either learn to hit good breaking balls and velocity or be drafted much later in 3 years.

Dean Espy isn't a typical 1B. He doesn't have a lot of power but he makes good contact. He will have to make it on line drives and defense.

Adrian Morales isn't a top prospect but he knows how to play the game. He is a solid defender and is an excellent 49th round pick. He isn't likely to be a prospect, but he can hit enough to hold his own in pro ball and could be an excellent organizational guy who knows how to win, with two national championships under his belt.

Kash Kalkowski hasn't played as much at Nebraska as he could have due to an arm injury, but he batted cleanup for the Huskers frequently this spring and held his own. He wasn't as good as Cody Asche, the #3 hitter in the lineup, but he played very good defense in RF and looked good at the plate. I love this pick to end their draft.

Patrick Corbett and Jakob Junis are the only late round players that I see that could be expected to receive an over-slot deal. Corbett is a 6'5 right handed pitcher that has a lot of projection left. Junis is a very athletic RHP that only sits in the upper 80's but has a nice curveball and has a nice easy delivery. He could see improvement once hr just focuses on pitching as well as just focusing on baseball instead of basketball as well.

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Names to Watch for 2011 and 2012 Draft

For more information on the draft, check out my new blog MLB Bonus Baby for more information regarding the draft.

Over the next month or so, I will be moving most Draft related info to MLB Draft Prospects. MiLB Prospects will be more focused on current minor leaguers.

These lists are far from perfect but it's a start

2011
Aaron Brown , OF , Chatsworth HS, Calif.
Aaron Westlake , OF , Vanderbilt
Aaron Collazo , SS , Lady Bird Johnson, San Antonio, TX
Aaron Deguire , C , El Camino College
Aaron Dunsmore , OF , Dayton
Aaron Fanning , SS , Northwest (TX) HS
Aaron Gretz , C , Apple Valley, Apple Valley, MN
Aaron Johnson , LHP , Dunham, Baton Rouge, LA
Aaron Knapp , MIF , Granite Bay Granite Bay CA
Aaron Moore , RHP , Westwood Austin TX
Aaron Nola , RHP , Catholic, Baton Rouge, LA
Aaron Novak , OF/RHP , Germantown Academy (PA)
Aaron Thomassen , RHP , Nathan Hale Seattle WA
Aaron Westlake , 1B/OF , Vanderbilt
Abram Cartledge , LHP , Thomson, Thomson, GA
Adam Bennett , SS/RHP , …

Top 300- 2010 MLB Draft Prospects

Name POS Schools
1 Bryce Harper C Southern Nevada CC
2 Jameson Taillon RHP The Woodlands (Texas) HS
3 Anthony Ranaudo P LSU
4 Drew Pomeranz LHP Mississippi
5 Nick Castellanos 3B Archbishop McCarthy HS, FLA
6 Bryce Brentz OF Middle Tennessee State
7 AJ Cole P Oviedo HS, Orlando
8 Zack Cox 3B Arkansas
9 Austin Wilson OF Harvard-Westlake HS, CA
10 Deck McGuire RHP Georgia Tech
11 Karsten Whitson RHP Chipley HS, Bartow, Fla.
12 Christian Colon SS Cal State Fullerton
13 Matt Harvey P North Carolina
14 Levon Washington 2B/OF Chipola JC
15 Manny Machado SS Brito Prep, Miami
16 Josh Sale OF Bishop Blanchet HS, SEA
17 Chris Sale LHP Florida Gulf Coast
18 Jedd Gyorko 2B West Virginia
19 Brandon Workman P Texas
20 Stetson Allie 3B St. Edward HS, Lakewood, Ohio
21 Brian Ragira OF Martin HS, Arlington
22 Dylan Covey P Maranatha HS, Pasadena, CA
23 Derek Dietrich SS Georgia Tech
24 DeAndre Smelter P Tattnall Square GA
25 Kevin Gausman RHP Grandview HS, Aurora, Colo
26 Cameron Bedrosian P East Coweta HS, Sharpsburg, GA
27 Jos…

Catchers By Age

The best way to analyze prospects is using their age in relation to the level they are playing at. Without taking too much of the level into account to start, I'll just be looking at age. I use a players age based on the date that MLB uses to define whether a player will be a draft eligible sophomore, because much of my analysis originates with a players drafted year. If a player is 26.01 on that date, he falls into the 26 year old age category. The age won't always match what is listed on Baseball Reference or FanGraphs but that is how I do it. If I don't have a players birthdate, I use the age listed on Baseball Reference.

Catchers typically progress slower than players at most other positions. The average time for a  college catcher to make it to the majors is 4.15 years. The average for a high school catchers is 5.27 years. This time can be reduced if a player has a higher skill level. Elite players only take 3.04 years out of college and 4.09 out of high school. These…