The Kansas City Royals brought their entire six-man draft class to town this week, signing them to their first professional contracts and giving them a chance to see spacious Kauffman Stadium and learn about the organization.
The headliner of the group was Asa Lacy, their first-round pick out of Texas A&M, whom scouting director Lonnie Goldberg believes has the talent to pitch at the front of the rotation. The big, rangy left-hander was widely considered the best arm in the draft earlier this month, yet he slid to the Royals at the fourth overall pick.
Typically the Royals have a news conference when their first-round pick signs his contract, and then showcase him to fans during a home game. But all that pizzazz was put on hold while the country continues to deal with the coronavirus, which has kept big leaguers sidelined and is likely to prevent minor league baseball from happening at all.
That didn’t stop Lacy from marveling at a ballpark that has played host to two World Series in the past six years.
“Just to have all of us here, all the picks, and have us together and have some sense of normalcy, and to kind of learn and realize what we’re about to embark on has been special,” he said, “and this is only the beginning.”
The other players the Royals signed were Baylor shortstop Nick Loftin, right-handed pitcher Ben Hernandez out of the De La Salle Institute in Chicago, outfielder Tyler Gentry out of the University of Alabama, left-handed pitcher Christian Chamberlain out of Oregon State University, and right-handed pitcher Will Klein out of Eastern Illinois University.
MLB Pipeline writer Jim Callis reported that Lacy signed for a $6.7 million bonus, slightly above the $6.64 million slot value for the fourth overall pick. Callis also reported that Loftin, taken 32nd, got a bonus of $3 million, which was $742,700 over the allotted slot.