#30 D'Andre Toney
Acquired: Drafted in the 14th Round of the 2011 Amateur Draft
From: Columbus, GA
D'Andre Toney was drafted a year and a half ago in the 33rd round by the artist formerly known as the Florida Marlins. However, after not receiving an offer that he believed was up to snuff, Toney elected to accept a baseball scholarship to Gulf Coast Community College. By pursuing the junior college route for the 2011 season, Toney was able to reenter the draft. Fortunately for the Royals, this decision enabled them to select Toney in the 14th round.
At Gulf Coast Community College Toney played alongside Terrance Gore, who came in at #31 on the Royal Revival Prospect Countdown. After the pair were drafted they were both assigned to the hitter friendly Arizona League. There the two's batting lines were extremely similar. (Gore: .340/447/.404). Of course the major difference between the two is that unlike Gore, Toney displayed a good amount of pop in his bat in his first professional stop. This was evident in Toney's significantly higher ISO of .247 (league average: .131).
Also, while a huge percentage of Gore's hits came off ground balls, Toney obtained success in a different manner. Toney's groundball percentage was less than half of the percentage Gore posted, while his line drive percentage came in at 15.4% (league average: 14%) and flyball percentage came in at 37.4% (league average: 29.4%).
Thanks in large part to Toney's quick success with the bat, Toney is already garnering some greater attention. Hipster prospect guru Kevin Goldstein even labeled Toney as his sleeper prospect for the Royals system, citing his tools, average power potential, and plus speed as notches in Toney's belt. In addition to Goldstein's scouting report Toney is said to have a plus arm. Thanks to Toney's toolshed, I've seen him comped to Mike Cameron and even Ron Gant.
Toney is just one of the toolsy outfield prospects that the Royals have compiled in the lower levels. If there is a spot in Kane County, then the Chicago suburb will likely be his 2012 destination. However, if the Royals decide to take it slow with him I expect to see him in Burlington, NC. This would be the same path that the Royals took with Michael Antonio.