Following three days of drafting amateur baseball players from across the country, the Royals concluded the 2018 MLB Draft after their 43rd selection on Wednesday evening.
They began the process Monday, choosing college pitchers with all five of their day one picks, and followed the trend through most of the draft's 40 rounds.
All but five of the 26 pitchers they selected through 40 rounds were from the college ranks.
Given that the Royals have relied on pitching as currency in the past — prime trades ahead of the 2015 World Series championship packaged former college pitchers Brandon Finnegan and Sean Manaea in separate transactions, for instance — the philosophy was not too shocking.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
But they focused on older players with high upside, Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg said, in an effort to infuse the farm system with more experience.
Experience that could synch up with the future major-league arrivals of position-playing prospects such as Nick Pratto, MJ Melendez, Seuly Matias, Khalil Lee and others.
“The one thing that I think is important: We didn’t try to give up any ceiling,” Goldberg said. “I know that it’s been mentioned that college guys don’t have ceiling. But these guys that we talked about, there are things that they do and there are things that we also think we can maybe fix and work on. … There’s still ceiling with the group that we selected.”
In all, the Royals chose 34 college players and nine high schoolers.
Royals 2018 draft picks
Round 1, pick 18: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida.
1 (33). Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida. (compensatory selection for Milwaukee signing Lorenzo Cain)
1 (34) Daniel Lynch, LHP, Virginia. (compensatory selection for San Diego signing Eric Hosmer)
Competitive Balance Round A (40) Kris Bubic, LHP, Stanford.
2 (58) Jonathan Bowlan, RHP, Memphis.
3 (94) Kyle Isbel, 2B, UNLV.
4 (122) Eric Cole, OF, Arkansas.
5 (152) Austin Cox, LHP, Mercer.
6 (182) Zach Haake, RHP, Kentucky.
7 (212) Tyler Gray, RHP, Central Arkansas.
8 (242) Jackson Lueck, OF, Florida State.
9 (272) Kevon Jackson, OF, Queen Creek (Ariz.) HS.
10 (302) Austin Lambright, LHP, Central Oklahoma.
11 (332) Michael Emodi, C, Creighton.
12 (362) Rylan Kaufman, LHP, San Jacinto North.
13 (392) Jon Heasley, RHP, Oklahoma St.
14 (422) Christian Cosby, RHP, Chapman.
15 (452) Milan Walla, CF, Tivy HS, Kerrville, Texas.
16 (482) Kyle Hinton, RHP, Delaware.
17 (512) Noah Bryant, RHP, Georgia Highlands.
18 (542) R.J. Dabovich, RHP, Central Arizona.
19 (572) Hunter Wolfe, SS, Walters State.
20 (602) Josh Hendrickson, LHP, Barton County CC.
21 (632) Nathan Eaton, C, VMI.
22 (662) Bryce Hensley, LHP, UNC Greensboro.
23 (692) Joshua Dye, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast.
24 (722) Gage Hughes, 2B, Greenup County (Ky.) HS, Portsmouth, Ohio
25 (752) Hunter Strong, OF, Central Arkansas.
26 (782) Daniel James, RHP, Texas-Arlington.
27 (812) Derrick Adams, LHP, Jacksonville St.
28 (842) Rhett Aplin, 1B, Florida St.
29 (872) Andres Nunez, RHP, FIU.
30 (902) Kyle Kasser, INF, Oregon.
31 (932) William Hancock, C, Central Arkansas.
32 (962) Brhet Bewley, 3B, San Diego.
33 (992) Teddy Cillis, LHP, Hofstra.
34 (1022) Ty Madden, RHP, Cypress Ranch HS, Cypress, Texas.
35 (1052) Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane.
36 (1082) Elijah Pleasants, RHP, Rossview HS, Clarksville, Tenn.
37 (1112) David Hollie, OF, Cross Creek HS, Hepzibah, Ga.
38 (1142) Trae Robertson, LHP, Hickman HS, Columbia, Mo.
39 (1172) Adam Hackenberg, C, Miller School of Albemarle, Palmyra, Va.
40 (1202) Ky Bush, LHP, Fremont HS, West Haven, Utah.