Kansas City, MO (June 5, 2014) – The Kansas City Royals completed the first day of the 2014 First-Year Rule 4 Player Draft today, selecting four players, highlighted by the 17th overall selection, left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan. The Royals also selected left-handed pitcher Foster Griffin from The First Academy (FL) with the #28 overall pick, catcher Chase Vallot from St. Thomas More High School (LA) with the #40 overall selection and right-handed pitcher Scott Blewett from Baker High School (NY) at #56.
The Royals selected the 21-year old Finnegan, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound left-handed pitcher from Texas Christian University with their first round pick (17th overall). He is 8-3 with a 2.07 ERA (21 ER in 91.1 IP) and 122 strikeouts for the Horned Frogs this season. The 2013 member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team earned All-Big 12 First Team Honors this year. He was recently named to the Fort Worth Region All-Tournament team, after tossing the first 7.1 innings of TCU’s first-round win over Siena (2-1) last Friday. He had five starts this season where he pitched 7.0 innings or more without allowing a run. Finnegan has led the Horned Frogs in strikeouts each of the last two seasons, posting 85 in 2013 to go along with 122 this year. He was tabbed All-Big 12 Honorable Mention following his sophomore year, where he posted a 3.18 ERA in 15 starts.
Kansas City picked the 18-year-old Griffin, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound left-handed pitcher from The First Academy (FL) with the #28 overall selection. Griffin went 5-1 with a 1.15 ERA, posting 65 strikeouts in 36.2 innings, leading The First Academy to a 20-2 record. On March 26, at the National High School Invitational in Cary, N.C., he tossed a three-hit shutout to beat Milton High School (Ga.), 2-0 in the tournament championship. Griffin also recorded a season-high 14 strikeouts in a 1-0 shutout of Colonial High School (Orlando, Fla.) on April 1. He comes from an athletic family, as his father, Fred, is the director of Grand Cypress Academy of Golf in Orlando, Fla.
The Royals drafted 17-year-old Vallot, a 6-foot, 215-pound catcher from St. Thomas More High School (Lafayette, LA) with the #40 overall pick. He finished his senior season with a .545 batting average, 13 doubles, 13 homers and 60 RBI. He was named the Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year, helping the Cougars win the Class 4A State Championship this season. In his final two years of varsity baseball, Vallot batted .456 with a .550 on-base percentage, collecting 23 doubles, 25 homers and 94 RBI in 65 games. He also won the home run derby at the Perfect Game USA National during the summer of 2013.
Kansas City selected 18-year-old Blewett, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound right-handed pitcher from C.W. Baker High School (Baldwinsville, NY) with the 56th overall pick. The righty was the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year in New York, finishing his senior season 4-0 with an 0.23 ERA, allowing 1 earned run in 30.0 innings, with 10 walks and 54 strikeouts. He was named a Perfect Game First Team All-American and a First Team All-Northeast Region selection this year. He never lost a game during his high school career, going 16-0 with a 1.30 ERA (18 ER in 124.1 IP) with 34 walks and 195 strikeouts over his final three seasons of varsity competition.