Royals select Texas A&M lefty Asa Lacy, Baylor shortstop Nick Loftin in MLB Draft

The Kansas City Royals added to their growing collection of high-end minor league pitching depth on Wednesday night, selecting Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy with the fourth overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.

Lacy, who stands 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, has been dominant throughout his career at A&M, posting a 2.07 ERA with 224 strikeouts and 68 walks over 152 innings spanning 42 appearances (21 starts). He was widely regarded as the top pitching prospect in this year’s draft class, but Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer was selected one pick earlier, going to the Miami Marlins at No. 3 overall.

Assuming he can be signed, Lacy will join an extensive stable of starting pitching prospects that is highlighted by 2018 first-round pick Brady Singer and also includes Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, Kris Bubic, Jonathan Bowlan and Carlos Hernandez. Lacy is the fourth player chosen fourth overall in Royals history, joining Christian Colón (2010), Mike Stodolka (2000) and Jeff Austin (1998). Lacy ties fellow southpaw Stodolka as the second-highest drafted pitcher in Royals history, trailing only Luke Hochevar, whom the Royals selected No. 1 overall in 2006.

With their competitive-balance pick at No. 32 overall, the Royals selected Baylor shortstop Nick Loftin. The 21-year-old infielder was named preseason Big 12 Player of the Year by Baseball America and hit .298 in 14 games before the 2020 season was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

As a sophomore in 2019, Loftin hit .323 with a .502 slugging percentage in 53 starts – all at shortstop – for the Bears. He was named first-team All-Big 12, and he started games at five positions (shortstop, second base, third base, left field and right field) for the U.S. collegiate national team last summer.

Loftin will likely have to take advantage of that versatility as he moves up through the Royals’ system. Adalberto Mondesi, 24, appears to be part of the team’s long-term plans, and the team drafted shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. with the No. 2 overall pick last June.