2014 MLB Draft: No.17 – Kansas City Royals – Brandon Finnegan
With the seventeenth overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft, the Kansas City Royals selected the first player below six feet. Brandon Finnegan, who was the ace of the TCU Horned Frogs this past year, had somewhat bemusing numbers. His 0-8 record was abnormally deceptive in that he was utterly dominant of the hitters he faced. A serious lack of run support may have cost him a higher pick and some dollars. Nevertheless, Finnegan can still expect to receive a sum around the $2,000,000 as he moves into the world of professional baseball.
Despite only being 5’11 and 185 pounds, the former Texas Rangers draftee has blown by hitters with a fastball in the range of 93-95, that tops out in the upper 90s if need be. The 21 year old also featured a wicked slider in the Cape Cod League a year ago, which can be described as in the low 80s with extreme bite. For the Royals, they add another potent arm to their minor league system that features three top-ten picks over the past three drafts.
The Royals have themselves a decent pick, and while it is no sure bet that Finnegan will turn out to be a front of the rotation starter, he should make for at least a dominant reliever or closer. The left-handed pitcher draws some concern to his arduous release, further reason that he may end up in the bull pen.
Comparisons can be made to Marcus Stroman, a 5’9 pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organisation, who was drafted out of college and first thought to be a reliever. Ruffled in five relief appearances, Stroman has made two dominant starts as a starter in the past week. Finnegan is among a group that require only a little seasoning and should be ready to join the Royals by the start of next season.