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Royals Select Eight Players on Second Day of 2023 First-Year Player Draft


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals selected eight players on the second day of the 2023 First-Year Player Draft, including four pitchers, one outfielder, two infielders and a two-way player.

In the 3rd round (75th overall), the Royals selected right-handed pitcher Hiro Wyatt out of Staples HS (Conn.). Wyatt was named 2023 Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year, after going 8-0 with a 0.51 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 54.2 innings, including a 42.1-inning scoreless streak. Wyatt’s senior season included a no-hitter with a school-record 18 strikeouts on May 11. He is committed to play baseball at the University of Southern California.

Kansas City selected left-handed pitcher Hunter Owen from Vanderbilt University in the 4th round (106th overall). Owen, who is listed at 6-foot-6, 261 pounds, went 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA (25 ER in 64.0 IP), 76 strikeouts and 17 walks in 12 starts for Vanderbilt as a junior this season. He threw a 2-hit shutout on March 17 vs. Ole Miss with a career-high 11 strikeouts, earning SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors.

In the 5th round (142nd overall), the Royals selected left-handed hitting outfielder Spencer Nivens out of Missouri State. Nivens was named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year as a redshirt sophomore in 2023, when he hit .341 with 14 HR and 45 RBI, reaching safely in 53 of 56 games. He hit for the cycle on Feb. 24 – the eighth cycle in school history – and ranked 11th in the country with 6 triples. Nivens in 2023 was also named to the MVC All-Defensive Team and was named MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team.

With their 6th-round pick (169th overall), Kansas City selected right-handed pitcher Coleman Picard from Bryant University. Picard had a 3.43 ERA (16 ER in 42.0 IP) in 10 starts and a team-high 59 strikeouts (12.6 K/9) this season. He pitched for Wareham in the 2023 Cape Cod League and went 1-0 in 3 starts with a 1.93 ERA (3 ER in 14.0 IP).

In the 7th round (199th overall), the Royals selected two-way player Trevor Werner from Texas A&M University. Werner recorded 14 homers and 52 RBI in 57 games in 2023, including a 3-homer game vs. Alabama. He last pitched in 2021, when he recorded 11 strikeouts in 9.1 innings over 9 relief outings. Werner excelled in the 2023 Cape Cod League, where he hit .343 (12-for-35) with 6 extra-base hits and 11 RBI in 10 games with Brewster.

With their 8th-round pick (229th overall), the Royals selected shortstop Dustin Dickerson out of Southern Mississippi. Dickerson started 208 of 209 games during his four-year collegiate career. He was named First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference at shortstop this season, when he hit a career-best .328 (88-for-268) with 11 home runs and a .971 OPS, after hitting only 2 home runs in his first three seasons. He is the son of Bobby Dickerson, the Philadelphia Phillies Infield Coach who played seven seasons in the minor leagues from 1987-93.

In the 9th round (259th overall), Kansas City selected left-handed pitcher Jacob Widener out of Oral Roberts. Widener, who is listed at 6-foot-7, 235 pounds, recorded a 2.90 ERA (16 ER in 49.2 IP) in 30 appearances this season with 80 strikeouts (14.5 K/9). He was supposed to pitch for Chatham in the 2023 Cape Cod League, but Oral Roberts’ run in the College World Series prevented him from doing so.

With their 10th-round pick (289th overall) and final selection on the second day of the 2023 First-Year Player Draft, the Royals selected shortstop Justin Johnson out of Wake Forest. He hit .324 (77-for-238) in his only season with the Demon Deacons, setting career highs across the board with 35 extra-base this (16), 76 RBI and a 1.042 OPS. Johnson was named First Team All-ACC and was the Winston-Salem Regional Most Outstanding Player.

The Draft will conclude Tuesday, beginning at 1:00 p.m. CT with rounds 11-20 on