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Gallagher, Royals excited about Draft choice

Gallagher, Royals excited about Draft choice

Gallagher, Royals excited about Draft choice
KANSAS CITY -- To say baseball runs in the Gallagher family is a bit of an understatement.

When the Royals took Cameron Gallagher in the second round, 65th-overall, on Tuesday in the First-Year Player Draft, they got a player with a baseball pedigree. His father, Glenn Gallagher, was drafted in the third round of the 1981 Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Older brother, Austin, went in the third round to the Los Angeles Dodgers in '07.

So, while Cameron Gallagher hasn't so much as suited up for a professional ballgame, he's already won one contest.

"We actually have a little bit of a family rivalry because they were both third-rounders," Cameron said with a laugh in a phone interview. "I was hoping maybe today that I could beat them out and get some bragging rights. Finally, it did and I have some competition in the house now."

Cameron was rated the No. 64 prospect by Baseball America. A 6-foot-3, 210-pound catcher out of Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, Pa., he has only been catching for about two years. But a strong arm and good bat led the Royals to show interest in the high school senior.

Draft Central

"We're real excited. We were happy with the selection and we're happy with the Kansas City Royals," Glenn Gallagher said in a phone interview. "We were kind of hoping to go that way. The whole way through, we've had a pretty close relationship with their area scouting supervisor."

Glenn Gallagher coached college baseball for 12 years and high school baseball for six after his playing career. He currently runs the Gallagher School of Baseball in Lancaster and offered this scouting report on his son:

"Cameron's only been catching for two years, this is his second full year," he said. "He is a big, strong kid, has very good hands for having only caught for two years. He's pretty polished for just catching for two years. He's got real quick hands, great arm strength, he's got a lot of power potential with his bat."

Cameron Gallagher has a commitment to play for East Carolina University, but sounds excited to begin his pro career. His father said he doesn't think negotiations with the Royals should be a problem and expects Cameron to turn down his college commitment.

The Gallaghers said they're glad Cameron was taken by the Royals, citing the No. 1 farm system ranking by Baseball America that the organization earned this year. Constant communication with Royals' scouts and honesty didn't hurt either.

"Jim Farr, the area scout here has been up front with me since the beginning," Cameron said. "He told me they were looking to pick a high school catcher due to the fact that Wil Myers is working in the outfield now instead of catching."

Myers was drafted as a catcher, but converted to the outfield. And while some scouts have concerns about Cameron's speed and ability to stay at the position, Royals assistant general manager of scouting and player development, J.J. Picollo, said there's "no question" that Cameron will remain a catcher.

Previously known more for his catch-and-throw ability, Picollo said Cameron's bat has developed a lot as the teenager has grown over the last nine months or so. And when he was available, the Royals were more than happy to grab him.

"We thought he'd be gone [Monday], so we were really happy that he was there," Picollo said.

The whole process Cameron went through in being drafted -- interviews, talking with hitting coaches over Skype and constant scouting (Glenn said the Tampa Bay Rays hired someone part-time whose only job was to scout Cameron) -- was also a lot different than what Glenn went through. And even in the four years since Austin was drafted out of Maryland, things have escalated.

Glenn recounted how simple his scouting process was.

"I had an area guy that watched me a few games and followed me and all of a sudden he brought a cross-checker in just to look at me for one day," he said. "[Former Toronto general manager] Pat Gillick came in to see me for one day, and two days later, I was drafted in the third round."

With the suspense and stress of the Draft out of the way now, Cameron can focus on baseball -- Manheim Township plays Nazareth in the second round of the PIAA Class AAAA state playoffs on Thursday. But he's also allowing himself a chance to enjoy the day and think about the future.

"I'm very excited. The Royals are an organization that I want to be in because I've heard they've been ranked the No. 1 Minor League system in all of baseball," Cameron said. "I'm very excited to start my career there and hopefully I can develop myself into a major leaguer some day."

Adam Holt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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