The Royals made three selections Monday as the Major League Baseball draft began in Seacaucus, N.J. The club drafted high school first baseman Nick Pratto of Huntington Beach, Calif., with the 14th overall pick. They took high school catcher M.J. Melendez of Palmetto Bay, Fla., with the 52nd overall pick. They closed the night by drafting left-handed pitcher Evan Steele of Chipola Junior College in Florida with the 73rd overall pick.
Here is a closer look at Steele, their third pick on Monday.
A former pitcher at Vanderbilt, Steele landed at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., and posted a 2.01 ERA in 40 1/3 innings as a sophomore. Listed at 6 feet 5, he struck out 12.94 batters per nine innings, walked just 16 and finished with a 5-0 record.
Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg said the club had tracked Steele in high school and during his time at Vanderbilt.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“We’re very fond of the left-handed pitching," Goldberg said, "and to get a big 6-foot-6 left-hander who throws strikes and can command his breaking ball, we thought it was a really good.”