Five picks on the first day of the amateur draft. Five college pitchers.
The Royals stocked up on arms, and here is what draft experts were saying about the how the team did Monday in the draft.
Bleacher Report’s Joel Reuter gave the Royals an A-plus for both Florida pitchers Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar. Virginia lefty Daniel Lynch was graded as a B, while Stanford’s Kris Bubic was a B-plus and Memphis’ Jonathan Bowlan was a C-plus.
About Singer, Reuter wrote: “It was hard to envision a scenario where Singer slipped out of the top five heading into the draft, but here we are at No. 18 overall. The Florida ace has frontline upside with a sturdy 6'5" frame and an advanced three-pitch mix that includes a lively mid-90s fastball, wipeout slider and above-average changeup. That all comes from a funky arm slot that adds to his deception. ... Good chance he immediately takes over as the No. 1 prospect in the Kansas City system.”
Reuter wrote of Kowar: “The Florida Gators were the best team in college baseball this spring, so taking their top two starters isn't the worst strategy in the world. Kowar already touches 98 mph with his fastball, and his changeup is a plus secondary offering.”
Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo wrote: “The Royals opted to go all-in on college pitchers after struggling with high school arms in recent years, taking Singer's Florida roommate, Jackson Kowar, with their second pick at No. 33 and Virginia left-hander Daniel Lynch at No. 34. Kowar has long been considered a first-round talent and Lynch got first-round buzz late this spring when his stuff started to tick up. Following Lynch, Kansas City grabbed another college left-hander in Stanford's Kris Bubic (No. 40) and rounded out the evening with Memphis right-hander Jonathan Bowlan at No. 58.
“Both teams (Royals and Rays) managed to draft a significant amount of talent with their first five picks and would seem to be favorites to start taking college seniors early and often on Day 2.”
Brian Sakowski, the national scouting supervisor for Perfect Game USA, tweeted of Singer: "(One) of safer prospects in the class, somewhat limited upside for me, could pitch in MLB bullpen right now."
Sakowski also tweeted that Kowar has "enticing upside."
Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com wrote: "Singer will easily be the top-ranked pitching prospect in the Royals system, even if it was a surprise he fell this far. It'll help that the Royals have the largest bonus pool."
J.J. Cooper of Baseball America tweeted that the Royals were "very clever" after they selected Singer: "They used their massive draft pool to swipe a top pitching prospects with the 18th pick. Both them and Rays will go way beyond slot for these signings I would assume."
Sports Illustrated wrote of the Royals’ first pick: "Singer began the year as a candidate to be the first pick. Inconsistency and minor health issues (he recently returned from a three-week absence due to hamstring tightness) have dropped his stock somewhat — but he is still a top-five prospect. Singer has a Jered Weaver-type build and top of the rotation stuff. A bit quirky, Singer will perform a pirouette when satisfied with a pitch — and often, with two outs, has such confidence in his defense he will walk off the field when a ground ball is still 50 feet from reaching an infielder."