Over the past several years the Kansas City Royals have accumulated one of the most impressive collections of young talent in all of baseball. 2011 saw the debut of players like Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas; while the Royals made a splash by selecting high school phenom Bubba Starling in the first round of the draft. The team also believes they found another gem in their second round selection, catcher Cameron Gallagher.
Gallagher comes from a baseball family. His father Glenn pitched for four seasons in the minors in the 1980’s and his brother Austin has played in the Los Angeles Dodgers system since 2007. Weaned on the family business, Cameron developed into a star at Manheim Township High School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In particular, his reputation was built on his advanced bat, and that only became more coveted after he was shifted to the catcher position late in his career. With good hitting catchers in such short supply, it is little wonder that the Royal jumped on Gallagher with the 65th overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft.
Being such a novice to catching, combined with his youth, Gallagher will be moved carefully through the Kansas City system. He signed in time to get into some 2011 games, appearing in 28 contests between instructional and the Rookie League team. He hit a combined .157, with 2 home runs and 9 RBI. More information on his statistics is available here.
Last year was all about getting Gallagher some game experience. The Royals will certainly expect him to take another step forward in 2012; getting used to the rigors of a full season and the catcher position. With his athleticism and ability to hit, Gallagher has a definite future in the game, and both he and the Royals hope that is behind the plate.
Baseball fans should make sure to not sleep on Gallagher, as he is poised to become one of the next members of Kansas City’s stable of super prospects. You can find out more about this great young player by checking out our recent interview. Of course you should also give him a follow on Twitter, so you can keep up on his progress as he enters the 2012 season.
Cameron Gallagher Interview:
Who were your favorite team and player growing up and why?: My favorite team growing up would be the Philadelphia Phillies because ever since I was little I have always been a diehard Philadelphia fan and I would always go to the games with my family when the used to play in the Vet, and I still root for them except for when I play against them (lol).
Can you run through what your draft experience was like?: Wow, the draft experience was the most nervous I have ever been, and yet the most enjoyable time in my life so far. I had at least 10 scouts at every single one of my high school games this year, and to perform under so much pressure was tough at times because my whole life I always wanted to be a professional baseball player and make it to the big leagues. But hearing my name called over my computer speakers on June 7th was by far the best experience I have ever had so far.
How did having a father and brother who play(ed) professionally help you in your development?: It helped a ton because my brother had gone through the draft process four years earlier, and it really was an eye opener because I got to see everything first-hand going into professional baseball, my father and brother both helped me prepare what to expect. Also having my brother in the offseason is very helpful because he is always trying to get me to be the best I can be and he is my workout partne, and we both motivate each other and look out for each other.
What are contract negotiations like after being drafted?: The contract negotiations after being drafted were pretty stressful as well because being drafted is only half the goal. I had an amount that I wanted to ask for, and if the Kansas City Royals weren’t going to offer it I was prepared to go to college. But we both came to an agreement and I am very pleased after it was all said and done.
Are you hoping you are able to continue at catcher, or do you prefer another position?: I absolutely love catching. Growing up I played shortstop and third base, but three years ago I started catching and I fell in love with the position and I want to stay there as long as I possibly can.
What are you expecting out of your first full professional season?: I expect there to be a lot of ups and downs and pressure that I have to perform under because this would be my first full season. Catching maybe 25 games in high school to about 100 is something I’m trying to prepare myself for, and on top of that being more consistent with my approach and swing at the plate.
Are first year minor league players given any sort of orientation or information about how to adapt to the life of a professional player prior to starting their career?: Yes, I have been given some information and most of it came from my brother. Just knowing how to handle my business the right way and know what to expect the lifestyle I will be living; if that’s traveling 12 hours at night and waking up and playing a double header that day, or playing until 10 o’clock at night and having to try and get food when most of the restaurants are closed.
What specific area(s) of your game do you think you need to work the most on to continue progressing through professional baseball?: I would say everything because I know I am not anywhere close to where I want and where I will be. But if I had to point out areas I need most improvement on is learning how to take care of my body and get my body ready for a full season. Like I said earlier, become more consistent with my approach and swing at bat and behind the plate; I think I have to get more experience and learn how to call a game and handle a pitching staff.