Royals select 1B Nick Pratto in first round of draft

The Kansas City Royals selected Nick Pratto, rated by Baseball America as the draft's best high school hitter, in the first round of the MLB draft (14th overall).

Pratto, 18, is a left-handed-hitting first baseman from Huntington Beach (Calif.) High School. The6-foot-1, 195-pounder, hit .318 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs as a senior.

The Royals'second-round pick was catcher M.J. Melendez from Westminster Christian High School in Florida. Melendez, 18, hit .391 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs as a senior.

The Royals used the 73rd overall pick in the Competitive Balance Lottery Round B to select left-hander Evan Steele of Chipola (Fla.) College. Steele, a 20-year-old Vanderbilt transfer, went 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts for the NJCAA Division I national champs and was named Most Outstanding Pitcher of thetournament.