The Kansas City Royals welcomed three new players to the organization this weekend, drafting catcher Blake Mitchell, right-handed pitcher Blake Wolters, and center fielder Carson Roccaforte in the MLB Draft yesterday.
These players fit three different positions of need, as the Royals hope the selections will bolster a relatively weak farm system. Here’s what to know about the three newest members of the organization:
Blake Mitchell, Catcher
Widely considered the draft’s top catcher, Kansas City envisions Mitchell as the eventual heir-apparent to Salvador Perez. Coming straight out of high school, Mitchell was named the Gatorade Texas Player of the Year in both 2022 and 2023.
Mitchell has excellent power and plate discipline, displaying a thunderous skill set that should translate to the professional game.
Mitchell is committed to LSU, but the Royals are optimistic they’ll be able to sign the talented catcher. For a farm system in need of stronger bats, Mitchell represents one of the safer top picks Kansas City has made in recent years.
As a bonus, Mitchell can pitch a bit too. He recorded 21 strikeouts in 10.1 innings while allowing just a .158 batting average with a fastball that can reach 97 MPH.
Blake Wolters, RHP
Wolters has a strong fastball that can get up to 99 MPH but typically settles in around 94-95. He’s got a plus slider and a slurve with great spin, utilizing those two pitches to induce swings-and-misses with regularity.
The Gatorade Player of the Year in Illinois, Wolters has a big frame and projects as a starter with high velocity long-term.
Kansas City has struggled with developing pitchers, but Wolters represents an opportunity to develop a top-of-the-rotation arm.
Carson Roccaforte, Outfielder
Roccaforte is a strong defender with plus speed and an ability to hit for average. He hit .318/.426/.538 with eight homers this year after changing his approach at the plate, building off last season when he drilled 16 home runs while batting .371.
He’s showcased an ability to find the gaps and stole 47 bases over the last two seasons. It’s hoped that he can play in center, though he’s played all three outfield positions as well as some first base.
Roccaforte had 26 doubles this season, ranking fourth nationally, and his bat speed and approach indicate he’ll be a strong presence at the plate moving forward.
The MLB Draft continues today at 1 PM CST, and concludes Thursday at the same time. Kansas City will draft fifth in each remaining round as the organization looks to continue bolstering its farm system.
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