Using the 50th selection in the second round, the Royals took shortstop Jeffrey Bianchi from Lampeter-Strasburg High School in Pennsylvania.
Bianchi, 18, has an offer to attend North Carolina State. He took a .535 average into the state high school tournament in which the Pioneers play Thursday in the quarterfinal round.
"He's a five-tool shortstop," Ladnier said. "He's a way-above-average runner with way-above-average arm and hands. He has a very skilled approach to hitting and shows power."
Bianchi's high school coach, Todd Garber, is the brother of the Royals' Minor League coordinator of instruction, Jeff Garber.
"Bianchi was probably a surprise pick, but we didn't want to pass on him and risk losing him," Ladnier said.
A right-handed batter, Bianchi hit .514 with seven homers and 27 RBIs in 2004 and .455 as a sophomore in 2003.
The Royals used the 82nd selection in the third round to select right-handed pitcher Chris Nicoll of the University of California-Irvine.
Nicoll, 21, was 6-4 with a 2.50 ERA for the Anteaters. He had 113 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 111 2/3 innings this season.
"We feel he's a quick mover," general manager Allard Baird said. "He's a good strike-thrower who knows how to use his fastball. He's not afraid to throw his offspeed pitches when he's behind in the count."
Ladnier said the Royals were entering intense negotiations with their top 16 picks and had signed their seventh-round choice, left-handed pitcher Brent Fisher.
They dipped into the Royals' family for one selection, taking infielder Jeremy Jirschele, son of Triple-A Omaha manager Mike Jirschele.
Following are the Royals' 50 picks with comments from Ladnier. Many of the lower picks are in the "draft and follow" category, which means the club will follow their progress this summer to determine if they should be signed.
(*Indicates left-handed batter; **Indicates switch-hitter; others are right-handed batters.)
3B Alex Gordon*, University of Nebraska. "Cornerstone piece of organization for years to come. Potential for 25 to 30 homers, .300 hitter. Exceptional leadership ability."
SS Jeffrey Bianchi, Lampeter-Strasburg (Pa.) High. "Five-tool shortstop with advanced skills for high school player. Unique ability. Will move quickly."
RHP Chris Nicoll, University of California-Irvine. "Three-pitch starter with advanced feel, very good command of strike zone."
CF Joseph Dickerson*, Esperanza (Calif.) High. "Very toolsy outfielder. Plus defensive ability. Can drive the ball in the gaps. Skill levels advanced."
SS Shawn Hayes*, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) College. "Physical shortstop at 6-4, 220 with above-average tools across the board. Exceptional numbers in wooden-bat league."
LHP Ryan Dipietro*, East Connecticut State. "Advanced feel for pitching. Fringy average fastball with above-average breaking ball and change. Good feel for strike zone."
LHP Brent Fisher*, Tolleson Union (Ariz.) High. "Average to above-average fastball with above-average breaking ball. Needs to develop changeup."
C Nicholas Doscher, Moore Catholic (N.Y.) High. "Plus defensive skills now, athletic player who had opportunity to play football. Average hitter with above-average power."
C Kiel Thibault, Gonzaga (Wash.) University. "Above-average receiver, very athletic, average bat, average power."
C Jeffrey Howell, Florida Southern College. "Above-average receiver, strong and durable frame, average bat, average power, good leadership ability."
RHP Michael Penn**, University of Michigan. "Average stuff across the board with above-average pitchability."
RHP James Harkcom, New Mexico Junior College. "Plus fastball, average breaking ball, needs to develop consistency with changeup."
CF Andrew Larsen, SUNY-Stony Brook. "Above-average speed. Plus defensive center fielder, strong body with average power. Fourth-outfielder type."
CF Antonio Sabatini, Erskine (S.C.) College. "Average across the board with plus power. Exceptional numbers, 102 hits in 234 at-bats."
C Brady Everett, Washington State University. "Above-average power, fringy-average defensive skills, very good plate discipline."
RHP Mario Santiago, Baton Rouge (La.) Community College. "Above-average fastball, plus changeup, needs to develop breaking ball."
SS Miguel Vasquez, DeWitt Clinton (N.Y.) High. "Draft and follow."
RHP Paul Raglione, Grant (Ore.) High. "Plus fastball, above-average command and very physical at 6-5, 195."
C Zane Chavez*, Fallbrook (Calif.) High. "Draft and follow."
RHP Bryan Casey, Arizona Western College. "Draft and follow."
RHP David Henninger, Messiah (Pa.) College. "6-7, 210, throws from three-quarter arm angle. Setup-type guy. Allowed just .179 average."
SS Justin Bristow, Mills E. Godwin (Va.) High. "Projected to be a first-round pick. Really a summer follow, signed to go to Auburn. Good talent will require high bonus."
RHP Matthew Kniginyzky, High Point (N.C.) University. "Canadian with above-average fastball and breaking ball. See him as a setup guy."
SS Joshua Colafemina, College of St. Rose (N.Y.). "Nicknamed 'the Rat,' can play anywhere, plus speed and defensive ability and can steal bases."
RHP Kevin Bulger, College of Charleston (S.C.). "Good arm strength, above-average fastball, needs to work on secondary pitches."
RHP Jake McLintock, San Diego State University. "Has pitched eight innings in collegiate career, converted outfielder, 95 mph fastball. A project."
1B Jase Turner*, Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) College. "Above-average power, more of a bat off the bench."
RF Felix Peguero*, Oklahoma Baptist University. "Above-average power, bat off the bench-type."
RHP Brandon Brantley, University of Science & Arts at Oklahoma. "Two average pitches, strike thrower, middle man, 6-4, 225."
2B Jeremy Jirschele, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. "Very good defensive ability, a utility-type, just like his father."
SS Pedro Lopez**, Universidad del Turabo (Puerto Rico). "Utility-type, very good defensive skills, outstanding at turning a double play."
RHP Michael Dubee, Okaloosa Walton (Fla.) Community College. "Draft and follow."
RHP Daniel Gutierrez, Rubidoux (Calif.) High. "Draft and follow."
C Oscar Marrero**, Juan Antonio Corretjer Superio (Puerto Rico). "Catcher-first baseman, solid approach at the plate."
RHP Luke Burnett, Carthage (Texas) High. "Fringy, average-stuff across the board. 6-7, 250."
The following all were listed in the "draft and follow" category by Ladnier:
C Matthew Klimas, Broken Arrow (Okla.) Senior High
CF Nickolas Love, Enterprise (Ala.) High
C Jacob Myking, San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) College
LHP Steve Teno, St. Thomas of Villanova (Canada) High
SS Nicholas Romero**, Eastlake (Calif.) High
SS Anthony Rodriguez, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy & High
RHP David McClain*, North Shore (Texas) High
RHP Tyler Backus, Mingus Union (Ariz.) High
RHP Mark Serrano*, Cypress (Calif.) College
RHP Eric Martinez*, Eastlake (Calif.) High
RHP Bryan Paukovits, El Capitan (Calif.) High
C Kip Masuda, Mid-Pacific (Hawaii) Institute
1B Chester Wilson, St. Louis (Hawaii) School
RHP Matthew Gibbs, Modesto (Calif.) Junior College
RHP Juan Perez, Jose Rojaz Cortez Superio (Puerto Rico)