KANSAS CITY -- Evan Beal offers a perfect example of the life-altering decisions a First-Year Player Draft pick must make, and the financial consequences some must deal with because of them.
The Royals selected Beal in the 21st round on Saturday. While this served as a pleasant moment for the right-handed pitcher and his family, there was a glaring caveat.
Three years ago, the Royals made Beal their eighth-round selection in the 2011 Draft.
Beal had just completed his senior year in high school, where he guided his South County High School team to the Virginia state championship game.
Beal opted to decline Kansas City's $650,000 offer (a signing bonus plus college-tuition guarantee), and honor his verbal commitment with the University of South Carolina.
After three years as a Gamecock, Beal saw his stock slip -- 13 rounds to be exact.
The slot bonus money allotted to a 21st pick in the 2014 Draft is $100,000.
"It didn't go exactly as I planned, but it was a learning experience," Beal said.
Beal spent three seasons with South Carolina splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen.
His freshman season comprised of 28 relief appearances. Beal posted a 3.81 ERA in 52 innings with 55 strikeouts.
The next season, Beal made five starts, but his ERA ballooned to 4.78.
As a junior, Beal only made five appearances, but flashed potential in his four starts with a 3.29 ERA.
The potential was tantalizing enough for the Royals and director of scouting Lonnie Goldberg to give Beal a shot again.
"We had some familiarity with him from selecting him out of high school, we wanted to sign him out of high school," Goldberg said. "At that time, I think he decided, 'You know what? I want to try school' I don't know if he was ready.
"In the middle of the  Draft, our scout called in and said, 'Hey I think we can make a run at this kid and see what happens.'"
Beal and Kansas City maintained contact after 2011 and Beal said he appreciated the second chance.
"I think I had some decent talks with them they definitely expressed some interest, and I always knew they were a player, so getting drafted by them really didn't take me by surprise," Beal said. "It's definitely a good feeling that they saw something in me when I was in high school and that whatever that was they still saw it after three years in college," Beal said.
Goldberg hopes that Kansas City can secure a deal with Beal soon.
"I look forward to hopefully getting him done this time," Goldberg said.
Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less