Royals Select 10 Players On Second Day Of 2021 First-Year Player Draft


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 12, 2021) – The Kansas City Royals selected 10 players on the second day of the 2021 First-Year Player Draft, including three right-handed pitchers, two left-handed pitchers, three middle infielders, one outfielder and one catcher. Three of their first four picks today were high school players, but five of their last six selections were from the college ranks.

Three of the Royals’ 10 picks today are local products, including right-handed pitcher Ben Kudrna (2nd round) out of Blue Valley Southwest High School in Overland Park, Kan.; catcher Carter Jensen (3rd round) out of Park Hill Senior High School in Kansas City, Mo.; and left-handed pitcher Noah Cameron (7th round), out of the University of Central Arkansas, by way of Central High School in St. Joseph, Mo.

The Royals selected Ben Kudrna in the second round (43rd overall), a right-handed pitcher from nearby Blue Valley Southwest High School in Overland Park, Kan. Kudrna, 18, was named Gatorade State High School Player of the Year. He went 9-1 with a 0.99 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 57.1 innings as a senior this season and pitched a three-hit shutout in the Kansas 5-A state championship game.

With the 66th overall pick in Competitive Balance Round B, the Royals selected Peyton Wilson, a second baseman from the University of Alabama. Wilson, 21, started all 58 games as a sophomore this season and hit .290 (72-for-248) with 23 extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases, and five of his nine home runs were leadoff shots. Peyton is the brother of John Parker Wilson, who played quarterback at Alabama, and Ross Wilson, who was selected by the White Sox in the 10th round in the 2010 Draft.

In the third round (78th overall), the Royals selected Carter Jensen, a catcher out of Park Hill Senior High School in Kansas City, Mo., which is located about 20 miles north of Kauffman Stadium. Jensen was named a Perfect Game Preseason All-American prior to his senior season and is committed to play baseball at Louisiana State University. Last offseason, he worked out at Premier Baseball Kansas City, where he hit against professional pitchers, including the Cardinals’ Dakota Hudson.

With their fourth-round pick (108th overall), the Royals selected Shane Panzini, a right-handed pitcher from Red Bank Catholic High School (N.J.). Panzini, 19, went 9-0 with a 0.91 ERA in 61.2 innings as a senior with a single-season school-record 115 strikeouts. He is committed to play baseball at the University of Virginia.

In the fifth round (139th overall), the Royals selected right-handed pitcher Eric Cerantola out of Mississippi State University. Cerantola, 21, made 10 appearances for the College World Series champs as a junior this season, after bypassing a chance to sign with the Rays as a 30th-round pick in 2018. He attended high school at Ecole Secondaire Catholique Sainte-Trinite in Ontario, Canada, where he played baseball, hockey and volleyball.

With their sixth-round pick (169th overall), the Royals selected second baseman Dayton Dooney out of Central Arizona College. Dooney, 21, slashed .376/.452/.706 this season and led Central Arizona to the championship game of the Junior College World Series. He attended the University of Arizona for the first two seasons of his collegiate career and was named a First-Team Freshman All-American in 2019 after hitting .323 (52-for-161) with 10 home runs, 53 RBI and a 1.013 OPS.

In the seventh round (199th overall), the Royals selected left-handed pitcher Noah Cameron out of the University of Central Arkansas. He recorded a 2.57 ERA (8 ER in 28.0 IP) with 31 strikeouts (10.0 K/9) and just two walks (0.6 BB/9) in four starts as a sophomore during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020, before undergoing Tommy John Surgery last August. Cameron, who will turn 22 later this week, is the fifth player draft by the Royals out of Central Arkansas since 2018.

With their eighth-round pick (229th overall), the Royals selected Ryan Cepero, a shortstop from the Carlos Beltrán Baseball Academy. He hit .357 (10-for-28) in 10 games with the Trenton Thunder of the MLB Draft League, and was signed to play baseball at Wichita State before committing to Florida Southwestern State College.

In the ninth round (259th overall), the Royals selected outfielder Parker Bates out of Louisiana Tech University. Bates, a fifth-year senior, earned First-Team All-Conference USA honors in 2021 and led the conference with a .471 on-base percentage. He played in 226 games at Louisiana Tech – most in program history – and started each of the last 201 games to end his collegiate career. He led the Bulldogs in RBI in each of his last four seasons, including 62 RBI in 62 games this season.

With their 10th and final pick of day two, the Royals selected Shane Connolly, a left-handed pitcher out of Virginia Tech University, in the 10th round (289th overall). Connolly, 22, made 21 appearances (6 starts) as a senior at Virginia Tech this season and ranked second on the team in strikeouts (81) and third in innings (63.0), after spending the first three seasons of his collegiate career at The Citadel.

Additional notes on all 11 players selected by the Royals through the first two days are attached. The Draft concludes with rounds 11-20 tomorrow, beginning at 11:00 a.m. CT on

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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