Well, not until this year, when the Kansas City Royals drafted Clemson freshman Chris Dwyer in the fourth round. Dwyer is 21 years old, making him eligible to be selected.
The Royals said they had their eyes on Dwyer last year. He had spent two years at a prep school, and he was on their Draft board.
They passed in 2008, and Dwyer eventually went to the Yankees in the 36th round. But the Royals jumped at the chance to land Dwyer -- a southpaw with mid-90s velocity -- this time around.
"He's a quality pitcher," said J.J. Picollo, the Royals' assistant general manager/scouting and player development. "When we looked at the board, as I'm sure a lot of teams did last night because of the break we had after three rounds, I think that was a guy that probably jumped out at everybody, 'Why is he still on the board?' "
Dwyer, a native of Swampscott, Mass., was 5-6 with a 4.92 ERA in 17 starts for the Tigers as a freshman. But Picollo said Dwyer had two plus-pitches, a mid-90s fastball and a curveball, making him a valued commodity.
"He was a guy last year that was on our board as a high school pitcher," Picollo said.
After selecting Dwyer, the Royals loaded up on college pitchers. Counting Dwyer, the Royals took 13 pitchers from four-year schools on Wednesday.
"Really, when we put our board together, it was really clear to us that this was a year that college pitching was the strength of the Draft," Picollo said.
Those pitchers included Josh Worrell, the son of former Major League pitcher Todd Worrell, who played for the Cardinals and the Dodgers. Kansas City drafted the younger Worrell in 30th round.
The Royals, who selected Missouri product Aaron Crow with the 12 overall pick in the first round on Tuesday, took Buddy Baumann, another college pitcher from the Show-Me-State, in the seventh round. Baumann, a lefty starter from Missouri State Univ., might project as a reliever in the future, Picollo said.
"We'll give him the opportunity to pitch innings," Picollo said. "So he may be used as a starter a little bit in the beginning."
The Royals didn't take a high school player on Wednesday until the 10th round, when they took Geoffrey Baldwin, a first baseman from Grand Junction High School in Colorado.
The Royals also selected high school outfielder Lane Adams from Red Oak High School in Oklahoma. Adams, though, might have a decision to make. He has a basketball scholarship offer from Missouri State.
Directly after taking Dwyer in the fourth round, Kansas City selected Louis Coleman, another decorated collegiate pitcher, in the fourth round. Coleman, a senior from LSU, went 13-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 2009 and will pitch for the Tigers in the College World Series.
After taking Crow in the first round and Dwyer in the fourth, Picollo said he liked what Coleman adds to the organization.
"He's a sidearm pitcher. He gives guys some different looks," Picollo said. "He's got an above average fastball and a slider, and I think he's a good complement to some of the guys we took ahead of him."
A rundown of the Royals' selections on Day 2 of the Draft:
Round 4, Christopher Dwyer, LHP, Clemson: Besides being the first draft-eligible freshman from a four-year school, scouts have projected Dwyer as a left-handed pitcher with a plus fastball in the mid-90s and a curve. Dwyer didn't have great results in his one season at Clemson, but he has a solid frame and two plus pitches -- some have described his build has a slightly bigger version of Mike Hampton -- making him a solid gamble in the early rounds.
Round 5, Harold Coleman, RHP, LSU: Coleman, who goes by "Louis," was drafted by Washington in the 14th round in 2008 and Atlanta in the 28th round in 2005. The Royals acquire a six-foot-four right-hander who is 13-2 with a 2.76 ERA and helped LSU reach the College World Series in 2009. Coleman had 124 strikeouts against 19 walks in 114.0 innings.
Round 6, Mathiew White, RHP, New Mexico:
Mathiew White, who goes by Cole, was taken in the 30th round by the Cubs in 2008 after two seasons at Paris Junior College. A right-hander with a fastball that can reach the mid-90s, he had four saves and a 2.33 ERA in 27 appearances for the Lobos.
Round 7, George Baumann, LHP, Missouri State: Baumann, who goes by Buddy and is from Rogersville, Mo., was 11-1 with a 3.23 ERA in 13 starts for Missouri State as a junior. He had 101 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings and could project as a reliever in the future.
Round 8, Gardner Odenbach, RHP, Connecticut:
Odenbach, a six-foot-three junior reliever from Rochester, N.Y., had a 3.34 ERA in 38 relief appearances for the Huskies. He goes by "Dusty."
Round 9, Benjamin Theriot, Catcher, Texas State:
A junior catcher from Houston, Theriot hit .341 with six home runs and 36 RBIs in 46 games. He had 15 walks against 18 strikeouts.
Round 10, Geoffrey Baldwin, 1B, Grand Junction HS, Colo.:
After taking seven college players in their first eight picks, the Royals selected Baldwin, a first baseman from Grand Junction High School in the 10th round.
Royals -- Top five selections
|12||RHP||Aaron Crow||No School
|91||C||William Myers||Wesleyan Christian Academy
|122||LHP||Christopher Dwyer||Clemson U
|152||RHP||Harold Coleman||Louisiana St U
|182||RHP||Mathiew White||U New Mexico
|Complete Royals Draft results >|
Round 11, Ryan Wood, RHP, East Carolina:
A senior, Wood was listed as a pitcher on the Draft board, but the Royals will use him as a middle infielder. He was a first-team Conference USA selection at second base, and Kansas City will try to move him over one spot on the infield.
"We're going to send him out at shortstop," Picollo said. "He's played second base at East Carolina, but in past years we had him evaluated as a shortstop, and our plan is to use him at that position."
Round 12, Nicholas Wooley, RHP, William Woods University:
Wooley, a junior right-hander from William Woods University, a small NAIA school in Fulton, Mo., was first-team all-conference in 2009.
Round 13, Lane Adams, OF, Red Oak High School, Okla.:
An athletic outfielder, Adams is also a standout basketball player who has had offers to play Division I basketball.
"It wasn't until about 10th grade that he realized that baseball was probably the direction he was going to go in the long run," Picollo said. "He's a very athletic player. We think he's going to play center field to start his career." Picollo also said that Adams showed some ability to hit for power in workouts.
Round 14, Crawford Simmons, LHP, Statesboro HS, Ga.:
The Royals stuck with pitching in the 14th round, this time snatching up Simmons, a left-handed high school product.
Round 15, Scott Lyons, SS, Arkansas:
Lyons was the first of two middle infielders taken from the University of Arkansas. He started 52 games for the Razorbacks in 2009, finishing with a .302 batting average, eight homers and 44 RBIs.
Round 16, Eric Diaz, LHP, New Mexico JC, N.J.:
A junior college product, Diaz has played many different positions.
Round 17, Benjamin Tschepikow, 2B, Arkansas:
The double play partner of the Royals' 15th-round pick, Scott Lyons, at Arkansas, Tschepikow started 56 games and batted .310 in his senior season.
Round 18, Brendan Lafferty, LHP, UCLA:
Lafferty is a left-hander with good size -- he stands 6-5 -- who pitched in relief for the Bruins. A senior from Riverside, Calif., Lafferty had a 5.40 ERA in 30 innings during his senior season.
Round 19, Cory Stovall, 3B, Thomas University:
Stovall, who goes by Ryan, is a senior infielder from Live Oak, Fla. He hit a scorching .487 during his senior campaign, adding 20 home runs in 41 games.
Round 20, Patrick Keating, RHP, Florida:
The Royals took another college reliever in round 20. Keating had a 5.12 ERA during his senior season.
Round 21, Chanse Cooper, CF, Belhaven College:
Cooper gives the Royals depth and speed in the outfield.
Round 22, Ryan Dennick, LHP, Tennessee Tech:
The Royals added another left-handed arm by taking Dennick in round 22.
Round 23, Scott Kelley, RHP, Penn State:
Picollo said college pitching was the strength of the draft, and the Royals grabbed another collegiate arm.
Round 24, Zachary Jones, RHP, Santa Theresa High School:
Starting with Jones in the 23rd round, the Royals took a chance on a few high school players.
Round 25, Richard Folmer, RHP, Stephen F. Austin St. U: Another college pitcher.
Round 26, Matthew Frazer, 1B, Nitro High School, W. Va.: The Royals added a high school bat by taking Frazer in the 26th round.
Round 27, Gabriel MacDougall, LF, Lynn U:
Like Cooper in the 21st, MacDougall gives the Royals organizational depth in the outfield.
Round 28, Eric Peterson,1B, Liberty HS, Wash.: After taking Frazer in the 26th, Kansas City took Peterson, another corner infielder.
Round 29, Nick Zaharion, RF, South Fork HS, Fla.:
Picollo said that high school players can be difficult to sign in the later rounds, but the Royals picked Zaharion, a high school outfielder.
Round 30, Josh Worrell, RHP, Indiana Wesleyan:
The Royals capped the second day of the Draft by taking another collegiate pitcher. Worrell, a six-foot-five senior from St. Louis, had a 3.32 ERA in 14 games for Indiana Wesleyan in 2009.