#12 Jeff Bianchi
Drafted: 2nd Round, Pick #50 of 2005 Rule IV Draft
High School: Lampeter Strasburg High School (PA)
After dominated the Arizona League in his first year as a pro, Bianchi began to slip due to injury issues, but for the second year in a row Bianchi was able to stay healthy for the whole season and his slash line jumped from .255/.290/.442 in 2009 to .308/.358/.435 in 2010. Bianchi has no clear weaknesses and grades out as average at every tool. He could improve upon his on base percentage, but I have hopes that this will improve as he gets more at bats under his belt. I expect Bianchi to reach the majors at some point this season, and there are some that think he could force Betancourt out of short stop by the end of the season.
Bianchi is an average defender with an above average arm. In many organizations Bianchi would probably be moved over to second, but with the lack of shortstop talent in the Royals organization Bianchi is going to get every opportunity to flourish there. I expect that at the minimum Bianchi will become a utility man at the major league level, and if he can continue to refine his approach at the plate then he could become a league average starting shortstop. On a side note it would be a very odd fact that after year's of bad drafting in the Baird era, that his final draft could very well go down as his best.
Bianchi will start the season in Omaha and there's a good chance he'll see playing time in Kansas City by season's end.