#39 Crawford Simmons
Drafted: 14th Round, pick 442 in 2009 Rule IV Draft
School: Statesboro High School (GA)
Simmons is the latest of the addition of the Royals front office taking advantage of the lack of a hard slotting system. Simmons who had a commitment to Georgia Tech University fell all the way to the fourteenth round where the Royals nabbed him and signed him for a 450K signing bonus. Simmons has extra appeal given that he is a projectible lefty and a guy that scouts can dream on. Simmons has an average fastball that could potentially gain some velocity as he fills out his 6 foot two inch frame. His curveball and change up could also potentially be plus pitches.
Simmons is probably four years or more away from the majors, unless things click quicker then expected. I would bet that Simmons will stay in extended Spring Training for the start of 2010 and then either follow the Melville path and join a potentially very good Burlington Bees' rotation or go to a short season club like Sample did. Either way the Royals are sure to take there time with Simmons.
The odds are against Simmons, but there is the possibility that things click and he becomes a top of the rotation guy. For this reason he makes the Royal Revival top 42 prospects list. The potential is there and this is the perfect kind of guy for the Royals to take a chance on as the draft progresses.
I'd like to add that there are rumors that Selig is pushing extremely hard for a hard slotting system for the draft and on the surface this would appear to favor the small market clubs that can't afford to pay the big bonuses. However, given how the Royals currently function this would hurt them just as much as any club in baseball and maybe even more. They have been extremely aggressive in the draft since Moore took over and for this reason I am able to keep faith in the current administration which will not be defined by the first few year's win totals but by the fruits that the farm system begins to bare next season and maybe even a small way this season.