The 2024 MLB Draft

MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Kansas City Royals Take At No. 6?

MLB Draft 2024 Analysis: Who Do The Kansas City Royals Take At No. 6?

Bobby Witt Jr. is one of baseball's brightest young stars and there's optimisim for the 2024 Kansas City Royals. Here's what they could do in the draft.

Feb 5, 2024 by Joe Harrington
Highlights: UNCW Vs. Northeastern

An uncommon word is associated with the Kansas City Royals as the month flipped to February 2024: 


The Royals won just 56 games in 2023. For all the hand-wringing over how bad the Oakland Athletics were in 2023, the Royals won only six more games than the lowly A’s. That was only one more win than the worst team in 2022 (the Washington Nationals). It was also nine less wins from 2022 for the Royals. 

So “optimism?” 


The Royals saw former No. 2 overall pick Bobby Witt Jr. take off in his sophomore season. He even finished seventh in the American League MVP voting as he hit .276 with 96 RBI, 30 home runs, 11 triples and stole 49 bases. 

Witt is becoming the superstar the Royals thought he was when they drafted him in 2019. 

But it’s not just Witt’s star potential that is leading to the Royals' optimism. It’s that the Royals and their owners– perhaps knowing that the organization is seeking a new stadium– have spent money this offseason. 

Not L.A. Dodgers money, but money. The team is projected to have a payroll of more than $100 million. 

The Royals added Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo to the rotation. Multi-time World Series champion Will Smith joined the bullpen along with Chris Stratton. Hunter Renfroe adds a power bat to the lineup and Adam Frazier is a veteran coming from Baltimore. And  reports suggest that the Royal are willing to trade for a closer. 

Kansas City sees what a lot of baseball sees: the American League Central is up for grabs. And after Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez, the Royals just might have the best player in the division. 

It’s a young core for the Royals with few players over the age of 30. But one of the veterans happens to be Salvador Perez, arguably the best catcher in baseball and certainly a player who will garner Baseball Hall of Fame consideration when he retires. Which won’t be that soon cause he’s just 34. 

The young players outside of Witt include Maikel Garcia (23), MJ Melendez (25) and Vinnie Pasquantino (26). Garcia jumped out in spring training and eventually found a home at third base. He had 23 stolen bases while hitting .272. Melendez is entering his third season, like Witt, and while he struggled in 2023, the once heir-apparent to Perez was the Royals’ No. 2 prospect and No. 51 overall at MLB at one point. Pasquantino, 26, was a mini-breakout player on the Royals’ 2022 team but played in just 61 games for the Royals because of an injury in 2023. In his rookie season, he hit .295 in 71 games with 10 home runs and 26 RBI. 

Kansas City looks ready to compete for the first time since the end of their World Series run in 2015. The club went to back-to-back World Series before tearing down the roster with trades and free agent departures. 

But now the team has momentum thanks to Witt and even the addition of a new minority owner, some dude named Patrick Mahomes, and the team is wanting to build a $2 billion stadium in the Kansas City area to replace Kauffman Stadium, which opened in 1973. The best way to get that new stadium? 

Well, it’s not by winning just 56 games. 

About the only pessimistic thing that has happened this offseason is the Royals dropped from the No.2 spot to the No. 6 spot in the draft and saw two of its AL Central rivals leap over them. But with Witt in place, the team can still add a high-impact prospect at No. 6 to help the current core in a few years. 

So who will the Royals take with the No. 6 pick?

What The Kansas City Royals Roster Has Before The 2024 MLB Draft

Through the entire rebuild, the Royals never traded their best piece, Perez. They have listened to offers but never did it. While Witt is the face of the franchise, 34-year-old Perez is still the best player on this team and one of the best in baseball. Defensively, he’s taken the mantle from Yadier Molina as the best active defensive catcher in the game. He has five Gold Gloves, eight All-Star Game appearances, four Silver Sluggers and was the 2015 World Series MVP. 

He is also under contract for three more seasons. It’s why the asking price was so high on him to begin with for the Royals. 

He and Witt make for a great one-two punch. Perez hit .255 with 23 home runs and 80 RBI and those numbers are down from his standout 2021 season when he hit 48 home runs and drove in 121 runs. 

The key will be if Melendez pans out this season as he is expected to play more outfield and if Pasquantino can carry over his pre-injury performance. 

And then there’s the pitching. 

Brady Singer struggled in 2023 with a 5.52 ERA while going 8-11. Jordan Lyles was one of the worst starters in 2023 with a 6-17 record and 6.28 ERA across 31 starts. 

Those are the big reasons why Wacha and Lugo, two of the best mid-tier free agent starting pitchers this offseason, are in Kansas City. They should pair with Cole Ragans, the key return in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Ragans had a 5.92 ERA with the Rangers before the trade but the 25-year-old had a 2.64 ERA with the Royals in 12 starts. A lot of that stems from his 5.25 ERA in Globe Life Field compared to his 2.31 ERA in Kauffman Stadium. 

With Ragans at the top of the rotation, followed by Wacha and Lugo, the Royals need Singer and Lyles to just be serviceable until Kris Bubic returns from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in April of 2023.  

Also, if things go south for Kansas City, Renfro, all the added bullpen pieces and both Wacha and Lugo could be prime trade chips to further help the Royals’ future plans. 

Kansas City Royals Prospects And Minor League System

In August of 2023, MLB ranked Kansas City as the No. 29 farm system in the league. 

That ranking is skewed by Witt, Melendez and Pasquantino all graduating. In 2022, the club had the No. 8 system. But by August of 2023, the Royals, didn’t have a top-100 prospect at They eventually ended with Gavin Cross, the No.9 pick in 2022 and a 22-year-old outfielder, ranking No. 62. 

Cross isn’t in the top 100 anymore at after the most recent update, but the No. 8 overall pick in 2023 is in Blake Mitchell. A catcher drafted out of Senton, Texas, he is No. 94 at MLB. 

Baseball America doesn't have any Royals prospects in its top 100. So this year’s draft carries extra weight. 

Nick Loftin, who ended last season as the No.5 prospect in the Royals system, is on the 40-man and competing for a job.  The No.2 prospect, Cayden Wallace, ended last season in Double-A and may be in-line to debut in 2024. 

Who Are The Kansas City Royals Taking With The No. 6 MLB Draft Pick?

Two years ago, the Royals took Cross out of Virginia Tech. He hasn’t exactly took off in the minors. He hit .203 in High-A and played in just two games at Double-A with no hits. By no means should we say Cross’ path to the big leagues has been slow. He only has had one full season in the minors and he is still likely to start 2024 in Double-A.

Wallace may be an outfielder if Garcia continues to flourish at third base this season. And Melendez appears to be making the transition to left field now, but he hasn’t broken out yet. 

That's some uncertainty. This tells me that Royals could use a high-level outfield prospect in the system. 

Of course pitching is always on the table, but much like the White Sox if they took Wake Forest’s Chase Burns, it could be a reach at No. 6. 

The simple reality is the best players available at No. 6 are likely to be outfielders. And no prospect gives us more excitement, if he pans out, being next to Bobby Witt Jr. than Northeastern outfielder Mike Sirota. 

Sirota, whose college games will stream on FloBaseball and the FloSports app, is the No. 5 MLB Draft prospect at Baseball America. He’s No. 11 at, who has Georgia outfielder Charlie Condon at No. 4 followed by North Carolina’s Vance Honeycutt at No. 6 as the top outfielders. 

But Sirota sticks out because of his athletic ability combined with his power potential, which sounds an awful lot like Bobby Witt Jr. 

Sirota has high grades for hitting, power and running. He hit 18 home runs as a sophomore and could be a 20-20 player in the MLB. He is a legit MLB center field prospect. At 6-foot-3, he has a good frame that he still needs to grow into. He was fantastic in the Cape Cod League with a slash line of .312/.465/.477. 

Baseball America has Sirota going to the White Sox at No. 5 and the Royals taking Honeycutt at six. MLB also has Honeycutt at No. 6, but has Charlie Condon of Georgia going No. 3 with Sirota dropping. 

A disclaimer on all top-10 picks is these teams all wish there were more pitching prospects mingling in the top-10 discussion. And the Royals could sure use some. If the White Sox pass on Burns, or if Jac Caglianone drops out of the top four, the Royals could take a shot. 

But Sirota, if he develops and pans out, could be quite the combo with Witt when he arrives in late 2025 or 2026. 

More MLB Draft 2024 Coverage 

When Is The 2024 MLB Draft?

The 2024 MLB Draft is part of MLB All-Star week and will be in Arlington, Texas, where the World Series champion Texas Rangers are hosting the All-Star Game. 

The All-Star Game is July 16. The official date of the draft has yet to be announced, but the 2023 MLB Draft began the Sunday before the All-Star Game, which was played on Tuesday.  

MLB Draft 2024 Order

The New York Mets, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres’ first picks dropped 10 spots because the clubs exceeded the second surcharge threshold of the competitive balance tax by more than $40 million. 

Here’s the order: 

  1. Cleveland Guardians
  2. Cincinnati Reds
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. Oakland A’s
  5. Chicago White Sox
  6. Kansas City Royals
  7. St. Louis Cardinals 
  8. Los Angeles Angels 
  9. Pittsburgh Pirates
  10. Washington Nationals 
  11. Detroit Tigers
  12. Boston Red Sox
  13. San Francisco Giants
  14. Chicago Cubs
  15. Seattle Mariners
  16. Miami Marlins 
  17. Milwaukee Brewers
  18. Tampa Bay Rays
  19. New York Mets
  20. Toronto Blue Jays
  21. Minnesota Twins
  22. Baltimore Orioles 
  23. Los Angeles Dodgers 
  24. Atlanta Braves 
  25. San Diego Padres 
  26. New York Yankees
  27. Philadelphia Phillies 
  28. Houston Astros 
  29. Arizona Diamondbacks 
  30. Texas Rangers
  31. Arizona Diamondbacks
  32. Baltimore Orioles 
  33. Minnesota Twins
  34. Baltimore Orioles
  35. Arizona Diamondbacks
  36. Cleveland Guardians
  37. Pittsburgh Pirates
  38. Colorado Rockies
  39. Kansas City Royals

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