RC Draft Database: Rounds 6-15

RC has been busy researching all of the Royals' 50 picks in the 2007 draft. Today we report on the ten draft picks selected in rounds 6-15 on Friday. What are the players' best attributes? How likely are they to sign? RC provides all the details inside.

ROUND 6
Pick: 186
Name: Fernando Cruz
Position: SS
School: Puerto Rico Advancement College HS

RC Comment:
A very intriguing pick by the Royals. Some scouts believe the 6-foot-1 shortstop Cruz had the best combination of skills and upside among all draft eligible prospects in Puerto Rico. In fact, up until a month prior to the draft, it was still uncertain whether Cruz, who just turned 17 in March, would even be eligible for the draft this year. He was home schooled, and he entered this year as a junior. However, he finished his classes early in order to accelerate his entry into the draft, and he ultimately was declared eligible. Could be a steal in the sixth round. He reportedly has very good power and a plus-plus arm, and the Royals intend to move him to third base.




ROUND 7
Pick: 216
Name: Hilton Richardson
Position: OF
School: Lake Washington High School (WA)

RC Comment:
Richardson, an athletic outfielder, was selected by the Royals in the seventh round out of Lake Washington High School. Richardson hit just .321 this spring for his high school team, but he did steal 13 bases in 20 games. Richardson is particularly notable for his outstanding SPARQ rating, which is a test that uses the results from a shuttle run, 30-yard dash, power ball toss, and vertical jump to arrive at a final score measuring a player's overall athleticism. Richardson's score was one of the best in the country among high school outfielders, and the Royals are hoping that his athleticism will translate into solid results at the professional level. Scouting Director Deric Ladnier estimates that Richardson is probably a 70 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale. Richardson signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the University of Utah, but the Royals should be able to sign him.




ROUND 8
Pick: 246
Name: Casey Feickert
Position: RHP
School: Antelope Valley College (CA)

RC Comment:
There is not much information available about Feickert. He was a freshman at California's Antelope Valley College for the 2007 season, and he compiled a 3-3 record with a 5.46 ERA in 14 games and 61.0 innings pitched. He struck out 54 batters while walking 24, and opponents hit .254 off him in 2007. At 6-foot-3, 180, Feickert has a good pitcher's frame, and he likely offers a good deal of projection for the Royals to take him in the eighth round. He's probably something of a project, but clearly the Royals were intrigued by something they saw in him this season.




ROUND 9
Pick: 276
Name: Zach Kenyon
Position: RHP
School: Central High School (IA)

RC Comment:
Kenyon likely popped up onto the Royals' radar in 2006, when he went 11-2 with a 1.51 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 74 innings for Davenport Central High School's baseball team. Nevertheless, the 6-foot-5, 190 lbs. righty was surprised when the Royals took him in the ninth round on Friday. High school stats are usually difficult to find, but it appears as though Kenyon only pitched in four games for Davenport Central this spring, compiling a 3-1 record. He has a strong commitment to the University of Iowa, and news reports from the Quad Cities indicate that Kenyon still isn't sure whether or not he'll sign or honor his commitment to the Hawkeyes. He may indeed be a tough sign, but that helps explain why the Royals drafted him so early.




ROUND 10
Pick: 306
Name: Greg Holland
Position: RHP
School: Western Carolina University (NC)

RC Comment:
Greg Holland spent the last two seasons as the Catamount's fireballing closer, raking up 19 saves for what has become a very solid baseball program at Western Carolina University. Despite a pair of tough outings in the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional in the week before the draft, the 21-year old junior put together a very solid 2007 campaign. Holland was a first team All-Southern Conference selection in 2007 after going 4-5 with a 3.77 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 45.1 innings pitched. He also pitched last summer in the Coastal Plain League, where he compiled an impressive 1.87 ERA with 11 saves in 26 appearances.




ROUND 11
Pick: 336
Name: David Lough
Position: OF
School: Mercyhurst College (PA)

RC Comment:
Lough seems to be the Nick Van Stratten of this year's draft. Playing at Division II Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, Lough has racked up some very impressive numbers and a solid reputation for playing the game the right way. The past two seasons, Lough has been the model of consistency, hitting .409/.471/.665 in 2006 and .404/.477/.689 this spring, earning multiple Division II All-American distinctions. Lough is also fast, stealing 21 bases in 23 attempts in 2007, and his overall athleticism should play well in the professional ranks. He has rewritten many Mercyhurst records, and he's the highest-drafted player in school history. However, Lough was hoping to be selected in the first 10 rounds of the draft, and he is unsure of whether or not he wants to sign. It will all depend on the bonus he gets, and even though he has speculated that he'll "most likely" sign, it's not certain that he will. Of course, if the Royals like him enough to select him in the 11th round, they probably like him enough to meet his demands.




ROUND 12
Pick: 366
Name: Sean McCauley
Position: C
School: Osbourn Senior High School (VA)

RC Comment:
McCauley burst onto draft radar when he added a reported 31 pounds to his 6-foot-2 frame during the offseason following his junior year, and he hit an impressive .597 this spring with four home runs while only striking out four times for Northern Virginia's Osbourn Senior High. However, McCauley was hoping to be drafted in the first five rounds after attracting interest from the Orioles, Indians, and Rangers, and his 12th round selection by the Royals came as something of a disappointment. He has a strong commitment to Western Carolina University, and he seems very likely to go there unless the Royals offer him an above-slot bonus in the range of what a fifth-round pick would expect to receive. McCauley was the first of six catchers the Royals drafted, and McCauley's pre-draft expectations were well-publicized, so perhaps they'll be able to work something out.




ROUND 13
Pick: 396
Name: Alexander Caldera
Position: RHP
School: Chaffey College (CA)

RC Comment:
Caldera signed with UC Irvine out of high school in 2003, but academic problems forced him to leave the school. He resurfaced in 2006 at Citrus College, but he was once again forced to sit out the season. However, Caldera transferred to Chaffey College in time for the 2006-2007 season, and he was dominant, going 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 105.2 innings pitched. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Caldera has a good pitching frame, and he reportedly throws four pitches for strikes. He has a scholarship to attend Lewis and Clark State College this fall, but he probably won't be a difficult sign.




ROUND 14
Pick: 426
Name: Matthew Mitchell
Position: RHP
School: Barstow High School (CA)

RC Comment:
Mitchell, who is 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, was a gifted two-way player for California's Barstow High School. As a senior, he hit .394 with five home runs at the plate, and on the mound, he went 8-3 with a stellar 0.78 ERA and 139 strikeouts. The Royals drafted him to become a pitcher, and it will be interesting if they get him to sign. Mitchell told Major League teams that he would sign automatically if he was selected in the 7th round or higher, but as a 14th round pick, he's looking for a bonus that includes money for college. The Cubs reportedly planned to take him in the 10th round, but they weren't offering money for school. If the Royals do, they should be able to sign him, even though he's received interest from at least eight NCAA schools and five junior colleges.




ROUND 15
Pick: 456
Name: Ryan Eigsti
Position: C
School: Bradley University (IL)

RC Comment:
A strong defensive catcher and 2007 Kirby Puckett Gold Glove winner, Ryan Eigsti has erased nearly 40 percent of attempted base stealers over the past two seasons at Bradley. The 6-foot-2 junior hit .291 with two home runs this spring for Bradley, but his defense seems to be his calling card. Eigsti reportedly hoped to go in the first 10 rounds of the draft, but he shouldn't be a very difficult sign for the Royals. Eigsti's older brother, Jake Eigsti, was selected by the Mets last year in the 26th round and is playing this season for the Mets' Class-A affiliate in Brooklyn.


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