Montgomery's rising stock attracts KC

Montgomery's rise attracts KC

KANSAS CITY -- On the Royals' current active roster, only six of the 25 players were drafted by the club. That's not nearly enough for Dayton Moore.

In future years, Kansas City's general manager says he wants 60 or 70 percent of the roster to be made up of Draft picks. That, he insists, is the best way for the Royals to compete.

The movement toward Moore's goal started on Thursday. After selecting Eric Hosmer in the first round, the Royals added four high school arms, a college second baseman and a high school shortstop. One of those pitchers, Tim Melville, was projected as a first-round pick. The Royals nabbed him in the fourth round. They also picked left-hander Mike Montgomery in the supplemental first round, infielder Johnny Giavotella in the second, right-hander Tyler Sample in the third, left-hander John Lamb in the fifth and shortstop Alex Llanos in the sixth.

An injury to teammate Anthony Gose gave Montgomery a chance to shine in his senior year of high school in Newhall, Calif. Scouts saw the lefty's 94-mph fastball, and his stock started rising. Now, he's a Draft pick of the Royals. Kansas City earned the supplemental pick after reliever David Riske signed with Milwaukee last offseason.

Montgomery has more than just his fastball; he's known for his ability to mix in a solid changeup and curve. At 6-foot-4, 180 pounds, Montgomery is athletic and played for his high school basketball team. He projects as a middle of the rotation starter and signed to play college baseball at Cal-State Fullerton.

Like Montgomery, Sample is a tall high schooler (6-foot-7) who can throw heat. His fastball has been clocked at 95 mph. Sample also throws a plus curve, but his changeup is a work in progress.

Royals' top five selections
Pick
POS
Name
School
3.1BEric HosmerAmerican Heritage Sch. (Fla.)
36.LHPMichael MontgomeryHart HS (Calif.)
49.2BJohnny GiavotellaU of New Orleans
80.RHPTyler SampleJ.K. Mullen Prep
115.RHPTimothy MelvilleWentzville Holt HS (Mo.)
Complete Royals Draft results >

Both Montgomery and Sample were listed as top 50 prospects according to Baseball America. Melville, a right-hander from Holt High School in Wentzville, Mo., was ranked No. 15. Seeing him last until the fourth round was a major surprise.

Listed as the top high school pitcher in the Draft and compared to the Yankees' Phil Hughes, Melville can throw a 91-94 mph fastball and a plus curve. At 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, he can also play third base. He's committed to play college ball at North Carolina. Because Melville slipped past the first round, there's a possibility he could attend school.

Last summer, Lamb was a two-way player who people compared to John Mabry. He decided to focus on pitching his senior year. A good move. Lamb, from Laguna Hills High School (Calif.), is a tall lefty with a curve, changeup and fastball that hovers around 88 to 91 mph. His breaking ball and control need some work.

Giavotella is a junior second baseman out of the University of New Orleans. He was a preseason All-American and finished the year with a .354 batting average, 12 home runs and 56 RBIs. In three seasons as a Privateer, he compiled a .363 average and hit 32 homers.

With their last pick of the day, in the sixth round, the Royals selected Llanos, a shortstop from Puerto Rico Baseball Academy and High School.

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