Now that Bubba Starling has officially donned a Royals jersey and hat at a press conference held at Kauffman Stadium prior to the game Wednesday evening against the Yankees, let's take a look back at the confirmed money that the Royals draft selections received. Obviously Starling, being the fifth overall choice received the highest amount at $7.5 million.
Bubba Starling OF (1st round) $7.5 million
Bryan Brickhouse RHP (3rd) $1.5 million
Cameron Gallagher C (2nd) $750,000
Jack Lopez SS (16th) $750,000
Kyle Smith RHP (4th) $695,000
Jake Junis RHP (29th) $675,000
Patrick Leonard 3B (5th) $600,000
Mark Binford RHP (30th) $575,000
Cesar Ogondo LHP (6th) $150,000
Stephen Lumpkins LHP (13th) $150,000
Jerrell Allen OF (11th) $125,000
Aaron Brooks RHP (9th) $90,000
Matt Murray RHP (10th) $75,000
Kellen Moen RHP (7th) 45,000
Spencer Patton RHP (24th) $1,000
The Royals were high spenders, giving 11 players $125,000 or more. Obviously the round you are selected in doesn't always translate to talent level. There are variables such as the leverage involved. If a player is a senior in college, they really have no other choice than to sign. A high school player holds quite a deck of cards because they can threaten to attend college instead of turning pro. Lopez, Junis, and Binford were all players drafted in lower rounds, but the Royals opened their checkbooks to get deals done. Often if a high school player appears to be a lock for college or is known to be requesting a large contract, that player will fall in the draft.
Lopez comes as the biggest surprise to me as all indications were that he would be attending the University of Miami. His 16th round selection not necessarily reflective of the talent he will be bringing into the organization.
As a whole, the Royals shelled out $14,066,000 on the major league draft this season, the third most any major league club. The Pittsburgh Pirates gave out $17,005,700, including giving second round pick Josh Bell an unbelievable $5 million. Many has chalked Bell, a high schooler, up as on his way to Austin to play for the Texas Longhorns. Bell had made it be known to all teams prior to the draft he would be attending college, which probably was the reason he fell to the second round.
Also finishing just ahead of the Royals were the Washington Nationals who spent $15,002,100, including giving major league contracts to both Rice third basemen Anthony Rendon and TCU pitcher Matt Purke. All dollar amounts come courtesy of Baseball America.
On the flip side, it is good news for Kansas City fans to see that the two teams that shelled out the least amount of money during the annual baseball draft were American League Central Division foes, the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. While the Royals continue to spend both in the draft and in international free agency, we can only hope to see the continued rise of the Royals, while hopefully those two clubs fall back closer to the pack.