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Royals select plenty of college talent on Day 2

Royals.comJune 4, 2019

KANSAS CITY — After selecting Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., with the second overall pick on Monday, the Royals went heavily back to the college ranks — as they did in 2018 — on Day 2 of the MLB Draft.

Here’s a look at the club’s selections for Rounds 3-10:


Third round (No. 80 overall): Grant Gambrell, RHP, 21, Oregon State:

The 6-foot-4 junior became a starter as a sophomore and he is viewed by scouts as a solid rotation candidate who could be an innings eater. Gambrell is 91-95 mph with his four-seam fastball, and his slider occasionally has curve-like depth. Above-average changeup as well.

Gambrell missed a couple of starts in May with arm tenderness, but he recovered well with no reduction in velocity. He was 5-3 in 13 starts with a 2.83 ERA, striking out 80 in 70 innings.

The slot money for the No. 80 pick is $767,800.


Fourth round (No. 109 overall): Michael Massey, 2B, 21, Illinois:

Massey fits the Royals’ profile as a solid-to-above-average defender up the middle. He went 60 consecutive games without making an error during one stage of his collegiate career. He started this season primarily as the Illini’s DH because of a sore back, but he returned to the field for the final 23 games and played flawless defensively.

Massey is known among scouts to have great hands with an average-to-slightly-above average arm. He is defined as more of a gap-to-gap hitter with a compact swing who consistently makes contact.

Massey, a career .324 hitter, became the highest drafted infielder in Illini history. His father, Keith, played baseball at Illinois in the 1980s.

Massey’s slot value is $533,000.


Fifth round (No. 139 overall): John Rave, CF, 21, Illinois State:

Rave could follow in the footsteps of some other Illinois State position players such as Paul DeJong (Cardinals, fourth round in 2015) and Owen Miller (Padres, third round in 2018). Rave is a left-handed hitter known for his speed and defense — again, a prototypical Royals prospect.

Not known for his arm strength, Rave may project more as a left fielder. He finished the season with a .297 average with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs.

Slot value is $398,000.


Sixth round (No. 169 overall): Dante Biasi, LHP, 21, Penn State:

Biasi’s older brother, Sal, was selected by the Royals in the 11th round of the 2017 Draft and he currently is in the Mariners’ system. Dante Biasi had Tommy John surgery in 2016, but he has bounced back with a fastball that reaches the mid-90s.

In 14 starts for Penn State this season, opponents hit just .196 off Biasi. He posted a 2.55 ERA and struck out 102 hitters over 74 innings. The left-hander has been known to throw right-handed when fielding grounders to his right.

Slot value is $299,000


Seventh round (No. 199 overall): Noah Murdock, RHP, 20, Virginia:

The 6-foot-8 right-hander had Tommy John surgery in May of 2017, and he didn’t pitch again until last fall. Murdoch was 3-6 in 14 starts for Virginia in 2019, and he had a 6.30 ERA, but those numbers are somewhat misleading: He spent much of this season adding a changeup to his arsenal that also boasts an above-average slider and mid-90s fastball.

“It’s a little frustrating,” Murdock told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last month. “You want to throw your other pitches. You know your other pitches are good. But for me, I knew I had to work on my changeup. So I really devoted time for that.”

Slot value is $233,000.


Eighth round (No. 229 overall): Drew Parrish, LHP, 21, Florida State:

After a strong sophomore season (2.52 ERA and an Atlantic Coast Conference-best WHIP of 1.01), Parrish struggled his junior season, going 8-5 with a 5.07 ERA in 17 appearances, including 16 starts. He did register 112 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings.

Parrish’s fastball tops out in the low 90s, but scouts say he commands his offspeed pitches so well that his fastball gets on hitters quickly.

Slot value is $184,700.


Ninth round (No. 259 overall): Clay Dungan, SS, 23, Indiana State:

Dungan isn’t flashy, but he is a durable middle infielder who started over 190 games for Indiana State. He’s hitting .289 this season with seven home runs and 29 RBIs, mostly from the leadoff spot.

“He’s just kind of been our catalyst,” ISU head coach Mitch Hannahs told last month. ”He’s kind of the straw that stirs the drink for us. He’s just a very level-headed, consistent player that’s been good for us for four years. When he’s swinging it well and playing well, our club follows.”

Slot value is $158,600


10th round (No. 289 overall): Anthony Veneziano, LHP, 21, Coastal Carolina (S.C.):

Veneziano’s fastball reaches the lows 90s and scouts suggest he has an above-average slider. He alternated from the rotation to the bullpen this season, posting a 4.73 ERA and a 5-3 record in 21 outings, 14 of them starts. He had 85 strikeouts in 78 innings.

There is some thinking that Venziano’s fastball might tick up in short bursts out of the bullpen.

Slot value is $147,700.


The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 on beginning at noon ET.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.





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