KANSAS CITY, MO.—The Kansas City Royals selected eight players on the second day of the 2022 First-Year Player Draft, including six pitchers and two position players, all from the college ranks.
Including their first two picks last night, this marks the second time in franchise history that the Royals have selected college players with their first 10 picks, following 2018, when their first 11 picks were from the college ranks.
In the third round (87th overall), Kansas City selected right-handed pitcher Mason Barnett out of Auburn University. Barnett recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts in 5.1 innings during the Regional Championship Game vs. UCLA on June 5, in which he allowed just 1 hit. He struck out 142 batters in 111.1 innings (11.5 K/9) across 40 appearances (21 starts) during his three seasons at Auburn. In 2021, he made 5 starts with Brewster in the Cape Cod League, where he was teammates with Royals first-round pick Gavin Cross.
The Royals selected right-handed pitcher Steven Zobac in the fourth round (115th overall) out of the University of California. Zobac was a two-way player from 2020-21 before focusing on pitching as a junior in 2022. On May 13 vs. New Mexico he recorded 12 strikeouts in 7.0 innings, marking the first 12-strikeout game by a Cal pitcher since 2015. His twin sister, Kacey Zobac, plays softball at Cal and they were teammates until they were 11, when she switched to softball.
In the fifth round (145th overall), the Royals selected left-handed pitcher Hunter Patteson out of the University of Central Florida. Patteson had Tommy John Surgery in 2022 after leading his team with a 1.82 ERA (6 ER in 29.2 IP) in 7 starts as a junior, while recording 41 strikeouts (12.4 K/9) and just 5 walks (1.5 BB/9). He was selected by the Cubs in the 35th round of the 2019 Draft out of Vero Beach High School (Fla.), the same school that produced Alex Cobb.
With their sixth pick (175th overall), the Royals selected Hayden Dunhurst out of the University of Mississippi, who was the primary catcher for the 2022 College World Series championship team. He recorded 18 HR and 88 RBI in 138 games during his college career, and was named ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner behind the plate as a sophomore in 2021, becoming the second player in school history to earn the honor. Dunhurst was previously selected by the Rockies in the 37th round of the 2019 Draft out of Pearl River Central High School (Miss.).
In the seventh round (205th overall), the Royals selected right-handed pitcher Mack Anglin out of Clemson University. Anglin, 22, went 6-6 in 15 starts this season with 78 strikeouts in 76.1 innings (9.2 K/9). He pitched 12.2 scoreless innings for Wareham in the 2021 Cape Cod League and was selected by Washington in the 13th round last year as a draft-eligible sophomore but chose to return to Clemson. He was named Gatorade’s Ohio Player of the Year in 2019 out of Highland High School, where he lettered four times in baseball and thrice in basketball, scoring more than 1,000 points in his hoops career.
With their eighth pick (235th overall), the Royals selected right-handed pitcher Wesley Scott out of Walters State Community College. Scott, 21, committed to Vanderbilt out of Woodcrest Christian High School in 2019, but attended Arizona in 2020. With Walters State in 2022, he went 9-2 with 1 save and 118 strikeouts in 75.0 innings (14.2 K/9) in 15 starts (18 appearances). Scott made 3 postseason starts this season, including a quarterfinal win over the No. 2 ranked team in the JUCO World Series. On Jan. 29, he recorded 5 strikeouts over 3.0 innings in relief to finish off a combined no hitter. Wesley also made 2 starts in the 2022 MLB Draft League.
In the ninth round (265th overall), the Royals selected right-handed pitcher Brandon Johnson out of the University of Mississippi, where he threw the final pitch that clinched the 2022 College World Series to catcher Hayden Dunhurst, Kansas City’s sixth-round pick. He started his collegiate career at Columbia State Community College, where he went 8-0 with 109 strikeouts in 80.2 innings (12.2 K/9) from 2019-20.
With their 10th pick (295th overall), the Royals selected outfielder Levi Usher out of the University of Louisville. Usher, 22, hit .285 (70-for-246) as a senior this season with a career-best 25 extra-base hits and 49 RBI in 64 games. He also led the ACC in stolen bases for the second straight year, stealing 36 bags in 39 attempts. Usher was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year and earned an ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his work in center field, which was highlighted by the No. 1 play on SportsCenter on April 30, when he robbed a home run vs. Clemson. He was selected by the Angels in the 37th round of the 2019 Draft out of Fairfax High School (Iowa) but chose to attend Kirkwood Community College for his freshman season.
The Draft will conclude tomorrow with rounds 11-20, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CT on MLB.com.