Royals Announce Signing of Several Draft Picks


Courtesy of the Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (June 18, 2019) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that they’ve signed 26 of the 41 players they selected in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft earlier this month, including their first eight selections and 14 of the first 15 picks. The club announced the signing of first-round selection (second overall), shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. last week.

The Royals have also signed: pitchers Alec Marsh (Competitive Balance Round/Arizona State), Grant Gambrell (3rd round/Oregon State), Dante Biasi (6th round/Penn State), Noah Murdock (7th round/University of Virginia), Anthony Veneziano (10th round/Coastal Carolina University), Adam Lukas (12th round/University of Evansville), Justin Hooper (14th round/UCLA), Austin Manning (19th round/University of Southern California), Cody Davenport (20th round/University of Central Arkansas), Alex Smith (24th round/University of Memphis), Josh Broughton (25th round/Valdosta State), Zack Phillips (27th round/University of Mississippi), Patrick Smith (33rd round/Purdue University) and Jonah Dipoto (35th round/UC-San Diego); infielders Brady McConnell (2nd round/ University of Florida), Michael Massey (4th round/University of Illinois), Clay Dungan (9th round/Indiana State), Vinnie Pasquantino (11th round/Old Dominion University), Tyler Tolbert (13th round/University of Alabama-Birmingham), Jake Means (22nd round/Indiana State), Jay Charleston (26th round/University of Tennessee) and Jimmy Govern (30th round/Eastern Illinois University) and outfielders John Rave (5th round/Illinois State), Burle Dixon (18th round/Cosumnes River College) and Mikey Filia (31st round/University of California-Irvine).

Kansas City has also signed non-drafted free agents, Brad Bonnenfant (pitcher, University of Nevada-Reno), Donavin Buck (pitcher, University of Arkansas-Little Rock) and Jack Gethings (shortstop, Fairfield University).

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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