Royals Go College Heavy in MLB Draft

The Kansas City Royals made eight selections during the second day of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft, all of which were from the college ranks. In total, the Royals selected: five pitchers – two right handed and three left handed – two infielders and one outfielder.

With their first pick on day two, the Royals selected right-handed pitcher Grant Gambrell in the third round (80th overall) from Oregon State University. Gambrell, 21, went 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA (22 ER in 70.0 IP) and 80 strikeouts (10.3 K/9) in 13 starts as a junior this season, and allowed just three home runs in 142.2 innings during his collegiate career (0.38 HR/9). He joins Kyle Isbel (2018), Khalil Lee (2016), Eric Skoglund (2014), Wil Myers (2009) and Danny Duffy (2007) as recent third-round picks by Kansas City.

With their fourth-round pick (109th overall), the Royals selected second baseman Michael Massey from the University of Illinois. Massey, 21, batted .317 with a team-high 69 hits in 55 games as a junior this season and was named a finalist for Illinois Athletics Male Athlete of the Year. He also earned All-Big Ten first team honors as a second baseman. Massey went 60 consecutive games without committing an error from April 22, 2017-May 12, 2018, earning the ABCA/Rawlings Glove Award as a sophomore.

In the fifth round (139th overall), Kansas City selected center fielder John Rave out of Illinois State University. Rave, 21, has hit .297 with 12 home runs and 12 stolen bases as a junior this season, including a career-high five hits on April 21 at Southern Illinois. In 2018, he hit .333 in 48 games with Chatham of the Cape Cod League, including .476 (10-for-21) in six playoff games.

The Royals selected left-handed pitcher Dante Biasi out of Penn State University in the sixth round (169th overall). He recorded a 2.55 ERA (21 ER in 74.0 IP) in 14 games as a junior this season with 102 strikeouts (12.4 K/9) and a .196 opponents’ average. Biasi was selected by the Cubs in the 22nd round of the 2016 Draft, but did not sign and missed his freshman season at Penn State due to injury. He is the brother of right-handed pitcher Sal Biasi, who was selected by Kansas City in the 11th round in 2017, but was acquired by Milwaukee last August in a minor league trade.

With their seventh-round pick (199th overall), the Royals selected Noah Murdock, a 6-foot-8 right-handed pitcher from the University of Virginia. Murdock, 20, had 66 strikeouts in 69.2 innings in his return to the mound this season after missing parts of his sophomore and freshman seasons due to injury. He was selected by Washington in the 38th round of the 2016 Draft, but did not sign.

In the eighth round (229th overall), Kansas City selected left-handed pitcher Drew Parrish out of Florida State University. The Royals selected his former Seminoles teammate, Jackson Lueck in the same round last season. Parrish had 112 strikeouts in 81.2 innings (12.3 K/9) across 17 outings (16 starts) as a junior, and was named ACC Pitcher of the Week for his 7.0 shutout innings on April 26 vs. Wake Forest.

The Royals selected shortstop Clay Dungan out of Indiana State University in the ninth round (259th overall). Dungan, a 23-year-old senior, hit .305 in 61 games this season and led Indiana State to its first NCAA Tournament game win since 1995. 

To end the day, Kansas City selected left-handed pitcher Anthony Veneziano out of Coastal Carolina University in the 10th round (289th overall). Veneziano, 21, went 5-3 with 85 strikeouts in 78.0 innings (9.8 K/9) across 21 appearances as a junior this season.