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Royals select lefty Selman to kick off second day of Draft

KANSAS CITY — The Royals followed up their first-round pick of Kyle Zimmer by selecting Sam Selman, a left-handed pitcher from Vanderilt, as their first pick on Day 2.

The Royals made Selman — nicknamed “Crazy Legs” — the sixth pick of the second round, 66th overall, on Tuesday and the second college pitcher taken by the Royals in as many picks.

Selman, a native of Austin, Texas, went 9-3 this season as a junior for the Commodores, boasting a 3.55 ERA over 76 innings pitched. He started 13 of the 17 games he appeared in and struck out a total of 80 batters while walking 43.

Selman had been previously selected in the 14th round of the 2009 Draft by the Los Angeles Angels.

— The Royals used the 100th overall pick of the Draft to select Colin Rodgers, a left-handed pitcher out of Parkview Baptist School in Baton Rouge, La. Rodgers is a smaller lefty at 6’0″ and 185 pounds, and he is currently committed to play college baseball at Auburn University. This makes three pitchers selected in the Royals’ first three picks.

— Kansas City selected its first position player with its fourth-round pick. The Royals picked shortstop Kenny Diekroeger out of Stanford University. Diekroeger hit .269 in his junior season with the Cardinal, hitting two home runs and driving in 30 runs while leading his team with 16 doubles.

Diekroeger, a native of Woodside, Calif., was a high school standout at Menlo School before heading to Stanford. He was pegged as a prep first-team All-American by Baseball America, and the Tampa Bay Rays selected him in the second round of the 2009 Draft.

— The Royals picked catcher Chad Johnson out of Galesburg High School in Galesburg, Ill., with their fifth-round selection. He marked their second position player chosen, as well as the second high schooler taken. Johnson is 6’1″ and weighs 180 pounds. He homered in a game at Busch Stadium earlier this year.

— Kansas City stayed in-state for its seventh-round pick, selecting outfielder Fred Ford out of Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo. The O’Fallon, Mo., native put up big numbers for the Vikings this season, hitting .432 with a .529 on-base percentage and a .746 slugging percentage. He hit 13 home runs and racked up 68 RBIs. The sophomore is 6’5″ and weighs 200 pounds.

— Another Missouri native was the Royals’ pick in round No. 13. Hunter Haynes, a left-handed pitcher, went to Mexico High School in Mexico, Mo. He is currently committed to pitch at the University of Missouri. He posted a tiny 0.44 ERA in 47 1/3 innings pitched this season, while striking out 84 batters and walking just 10.

Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

Royals would demand major return for Soria

Now that the Royals have cracked the Trade Deadline by dealing third baseman Wilson Betemit, can something else be in the works? Like a deal for closer Joakim Soria?

Not very likely, according to what general manager Dayton Moore told the Kansas City Star as he tempered a suggestion he made on MLB Network Radio that the asking price for Soria would be two impact starting pitchers, one ready now and one by 2013. Moore told the newspaper he was only suggesting any trade for Soria would command “a heavy price.” Certainly the Royals’ prime need is starting pitchers but that doesn’t make them any different from most clubs.

Just a couple of days ago, Moore told MLB.com he was rather happy with the makeup of his current club including such younger veteran outfielders as Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera, who might attract interest. He didn’t seem like an overly eager “seller.”

The Betemit deal, though, made sense because with Mike Moustakas taking over third base, there was no spot for him.
–Dick Kaegel