Previously I had written on this site about some of the options the Kansas City Royals have with the No. 5 overall selection in the 2011 Major League Draft which begins on June 6th. Now that we are closer to the draft it is time to dial in on what direction the Royals may go.
Various baseball writers are mixed on who they believe Kansas City will draft. At this point the only certainty seems to be the uncertainty surrounding the fifth pick. Everyone from Kansas high school outfielder Bubba Starling, UCLA pitchers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, and also Georgia Tech pitcher Jed Bradley has been penciled in for the Royals as done so by Minor League Ball's John Sickels.
Unlike last year with Bryce Harper, there is no clear cut selection for the No. 1 overall player. However this year's draft is thought to be heavy with pitching talent. Of the top 12 players chosen in Sickels' recent mock draft, 10 are pitchers with only Rice third basemen Anthony Rendon and Starling listed among the selections. There was wide speculation for some time that the Pirates may choose Rendon first overall, however our friends at SB Nation Pittsburgh are starting to wonder if University of Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen may be the choice.
If I were placed in the Royals shoes, I'd probably be looking at pitching as well. Pitching is the currency in baseball. For awhile rumors have been going around that Kansas City is intent on selecting a college pitcher, however that may be nothing more than positioning and not trying to tip your hand.
Here's our Top Five choices for who the Royals should take come draft day with the No. 5 overall selection:
1. Dylan Bundy - RHP - Owasso High School, Oklahoma
Bundy may just be a high schooler, but has the stuff to be a future #1 pitcher. Already hitting 96 with his fastball, he can touch 100 mph at times. He will be a power right-hander.
2. Trevor Bauer - RHP - UCLA
Kansas City passed on taking Tim Lincecum in 2006, and Bauer reminds many of Lincecum, the San Francisco Giants star pitcher. He is a workhorse, and has pitched eight straight complete games for the Bruins.
3. Danny Hultzen - LHP - Virginia
It's possibly no other player has shot up the draft boards as much as Hultzen has recently. He throws three pitches, hitting the mid 90's on his fastball. His movement is what impresses me. He will intimidate left-handers in the big leagues.
4. Archie Bradley - RHP - Broken Arrow High School, Oklahoma
Another high schooler from Oklahoma, Bradley is big at 6'4" 225 lbs. His size indicates he should be a durable professional pitcher and it doesn't hurt that he got his fastball to hit the 100 mph mark this season.
5. Bubba Starling - OF - Gardner Edgerton High School, Kansas
Starling may the sentimental pick because he is a local kid, but he also has serious skills. A quarterback commitment to Nebraska, Starling will likely go the baseball route when the money is put on the table. He canrun, hit, field, he can do it all and will be a special talent for whoever selects him.