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5 Years Later: Reviewing The Kansas City Royals 2006 MLB Draft

Luke Hochevar was the first overall pick in the 2006 Major League Draft, a draft that saw both Evan Longoria and Tim Lincecum picked later in the first round.

For the first time in franchise history the Royals had the first overall choice in the 2006 draft. They would ultimately use that pick on Luke Hochevar, who at the time was pitching for the Ft. Worth Cats of the independent league American Association. Hochevar has previously been chosen by the Dodgers in the first round of the 2005 draft, but didn't sign coming out of the University of Tennessee. While Hochevar was a solid pitcher in college, he has been subpar overall; and the Royals would have been better suited taking Evan Longoria or Tim Lincecum who have both developed into stars. Clayton Kershaw is another pitcher who would have been a viable option as the first pick, looking at everything in retrospect.

As a whole, four players from the Kansas City draft in 2006 have made the big leagues; in Hochevar, third round pick Blake Wood, 12th rounder Everett Teaford, and 50th rounder Jarrod Dyson. Remember this was the last draft of the Allard Baird era, a time in which Kansas City was known across baseball for drafting players they knew could be offered minimal money and sign. The development of the minor league system didn't begin as we know it today until the following year when new General Manager Dayton Moore ran his first draft.

This will be painful, but let's take a look back at whole the Royals selected, followed by notable players taken later in the round who would have been a better suited selection-

1.       Luke Hochevar -  P Tennessee (Evan Longoria, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw)

2.       Jason Taylor - SS Kellam HS (VA) (Trevor Cahill)

3.       Blake Wood - P Georgia Tech (Zach Britton)

4.       Derrick Robinson - OF Yonge HS (FL) (Chris Johnson)

5.       Jason Goldin - P Old Dominion (Nathan Adcock, Scott Sizemore)

6.       Harold Mozino - P Virginia Commonwealth (Andrew Bailey)

7.       Brett Bigler - OF UC-Riverside (Doug Fister)

8.       Josh Cribb - P Clemson (Allen Craig)

9.       Marc Maddox - 2B Southern Miss (David Freese)

10.   Nick Van Stratten - OF St Louis-Meramec CC (Desmond Jennings)

11.   Tyler Chambliss - P Florida State (Mat Latos)

12.   Everett Teaford - P Georgia Southern (Teaford or John Walden were the best selections)

13.   Kurt Mertins -  2B College of the Desert (Dan Murphy)

14.   Daniel Best - P Southern Miss

15.   Nick Francis - OF Pensacola JC (Lance Zawadzki)

16.   Tyrone Wilson - SS Southern Durham HS (NC)

17.   Matthew Morizio - C Northeastern (Chris Heisey)

18.   Chase Larsson - OF Kitsilano School (Canada)

19.   Jeff Inman - P Garces Memorial HS (CA) (Josh Tomlin)

20.   Brad Boxberger - P Foothill HS (CA) (Dominic Brown)

21.   Burke Baldwin - P Elgin CC

22.   Romas Hicks - P Georgia State

23.   Aaron Hartsock - P California Baptist

24.   Tyler Moyneur - C Arizona Western JC

25.   Rafael Valenzuela - SS Nogales HS (AZ) (Derek Holland)

26.   Darrell Lockett - OF Weatherford HS (TX)

27.   Colby Killian - P Warren County HS (TN)

28.   Michael Wheeler - OF Walters State CC

29.   Steve Rinaudo - SS American River College

30.   Tyler Pearson - P University of Northern Colorado

31.   Brandon Lance - C New Mexico State

32.   Fernando Garcia - 2B Colegio de le Inmaculada (Puerto Rico)

33.   Harold Smith - OF Palmetto HS (FL)

34.   Jarrod Grace - 1B Pensacola JC

35.   Anthony Stovall - P Kailua HS (HI)

36.   Manuel Garcia - P Cochise County CC

37.   Kaleb Harst - C St. Thomas More HS (LA)

38.   Michael Dabbs - OF Cowley County CC

39.   Steven Moore - P Thomasville HS (GA)

40.   Chris Snipes - L Warner Robbins HS (GA)

41.   Jeremy Toole - P Huntsville HS (TX)

42.   Todd McBride - OF The Dalles HS (OR)

43.   Brennan Thorpe - P Saddleback College

44.   Bryan Paukovits - P Southwestern CC

45.   Eric Martinez - P Southwestern CC

46.   Chase Lehr - P Centennial HS (AZ)

47.   Ryan Cisterna - C Chandler-Gilbert CC

48.   Colby Ho - 3B Kasier HS (HI

49.   Rocky Gale - C North Salem HS (OR)

50.   Jarrod Dyson - OF Southwest Mississippi CC

There were many others who made the major leagues obviously out of the draft, but the players from other teams that I have included are players that likely would be currently helping the Royals. It's always easier to look back and grade a draft many years after the fact, but for so many years the Royals seemingly never hit on draft picks in the early rounds.  For the better part of 15 years Kansas City has had top 10 selections, and few of those have panned out. 2006 was a perfect example, as the top five rounds provided many solid major league players, but the only player to make it for the Royals have been Luke Hochevar and Blake Wood. To this point, both have been disappointments.  Hochevar has the skillset to be a solid major leaguer, but like we have seen this year he will string together five good innings and have a blow up inning in nearly each game.

As Kansas City looks ahead to the 2011 Major League Draft this week, let's all hope that Kansas City has put such problems in the past, and we can continue to fill the minor league system like Dayton Moore has shown in recent years. As fans, our team is on the road to recovery, but we still haven't climbed the mountain enough to the point that the Royals are a competitive major league team.