Royals Select Eight Players on Second Day of 2023 First-Year Player Draft

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals selected eight players on the second day of the 2023 First-Year Player Draft, including four pitchers, one outfielder, two infielders and a two-way player.

In the 3rd round (75th overall), the Royals selected right-handed pitcher Hiro Wyatt out of Staples HS (Conn.). Wyatt was named 2023 Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year, after going 8-0 with a 0.51 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 54.2 innings, including a 42.1-inning scoreless streak. Wyatt’s senior season included a no-hitter with a school-record 18 strikeouts on May 11. He is committed to play baseball at the University of Southern California.

Kansas City selected left-handed pitcher Hunter Owen from Vanderbilt University in the 4th round (106th overall). Owen, who is listed at 6-foot-6, 261 pounds, went 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA (25 ER in 64.0 IP), 76 strikeouts and 17 walks in 12 starts for Vanderbilt as a junior this season. He threw a 2-hit shutout on March 17 vs. Ole Miss with a career-high 11 strikeouts, earning SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors.

In the 5th round (142nd overall), the Royals selected left-handed hitting outfielder Spencer Nivens out of Missouri State. Nivens was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year as a redshirt sophomore in 2023, when he hit .341 with 14 HR and 45 RBI, reaching safely in 53 of 56 games. He hit for the cycle on Feb. 24 – the eighth cycle in school history – and ranked 11th in the country with 6 triples. Nivens in 2023 was also named to the MVC All-Defensive Team and was named MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team.

With their 6th-round pick (169th overall), Kansas City selected right-handed pitcher Coleman Picard from Bryant University. Picard had a 3.43 ERA (16 ER in 42.0 IP) in 10 starts and a team-high 59 strikeouts (12.6 K/9) this season. He pitched for Wareham in the 2023 Cape Cod League and went 1-0 in 3 starts with a 1.93 ERA (3 ER in 14.0 IP).

In the 7th round (199th overall), the Royals selected two-way player Trevor Werner from Texas A&M University. Werner recorded 14 homers and 52 RBI in 57 games in 2023, including a 3-homer game vs. Alabama. He last pitched in 2021, when he recorded 11 strikeouts in 9.1 innings over 9 relief outings. Werner excelled in the 2023 Cape Cod League, where he hit .343 (12-for-35) with 6 extra-base hits and 11 RBI in 10 games with Brewster.

With their 8th-round pick (229th overall), the Royals selected shortstop Dustin Dickerson out of Southern Mississippi. Dickerson started 208 of 209 games during his four-year collegiate career. He was named First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference at shortstop this season, when he hit a career-best .328 (88-for-268) with 11 home runs and a .971 OPS, after hitting only 2 home runs in his first three seasons. He is the son of Bobby Dickerson, the Philadelphia Phillies Infield Coach who played seven seasons in the minor leagues from 1987-93.

In the 9th round (259th overall), Kansas City selected left-handed pitcher Jacob Widener out of Oral Roberts. Widener, who is listed at 6-foot-7, 235 pounds, recorded a 2.90 ERA (16 ER in 49.2 IP) in 30 appearances this season with 80 strikeouts (14.5 K/9). He was supposed to pitch for Chatham in the 2023 Cape Cod League, but Oral Roberts’ run in the College World Series prevented him from doing so.

With their 10th-round pick (289th overall) and final selection on the second day of the 2023 First-Year Player Draft, the Royals selected shortstop Justin Johnson out of Wake Forest. He hit .324 (77-for-238) in his only season with the Demon Deacons, setting career highs across the board with 35 extra-base this (16), 76 RBI and a 1.042 OPS. Johnson was named First Team All-ACC and was the Winston-Salem Regional Most Outstanding Player.

The Draft will conclude tomorrow beginning at 1:00 p.m. CT with rounds 11-20 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 2020 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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