Eibner looks like player with many talents
Royals tout Draft pick as their future center fielder
KANSAS CITY -- Brett Eibner has it all.
Well, that's what his coach from the University of Arkansas had to say about the 6-foot-4 junior who was drafted by the Royals in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Eibner was drafted as a center fielder, but has some experience on the mound. He has played center field for the Razorbacks for three seasons, but has also come on in relief appearances from the bullpen.
Eibner's ability to play wherever he is needed is one of the things that separates him from the rest of the pack.
"He can play any position," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He can play center field in the big leagues and he can also be a pitcher. Here's a perfect example: [Monday night] he came in and closed out the ninth inning for us throwing 95 mph."
Although the Royals know just where they want to play Eibner. There's no question about it, they want him to be their center fielder of the future.
"We evaluated him as a center fielder and that's where he is going to stay," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "We like what he offers in the field."
With all the emphasis placed on Eibner's ability to play the field, his offensive production is often overlooked. As a sophomore in 2009, Eibner displayed what he could do at the plate in a pressure situation when he hit a game-tying two-run shot in the top of the ninth against No. 6 Virginia in the College World Series.
"He's a very athletic center fielder with power in his bat," Moore said. "He's a tremendous athlete."
In his junior season, Eibner hit .337 in 205 at-bats. The right-hander had 69 hits with 16 doubles and 21 home runs to go along with 69 RBIs.
"He's got a lot of bat speed, tremendous power," Van Horn said. "I mean, he hit 21 home runs for us this season and we play in a ballpark where the wind blows in a lot so he could've had more. He's going to continue to get bigger and stronger. He's really started to fill out this year and that's why his numbers have started to jump up."
Van Horn referred to Eibner as the total packed -- he's got it all.
"Brett is just a straight-laced kid," Van Horn said. "He's physically gifted, always smiling and comes from a good family. He's real popular among the players. They always give him a hard time because he's got it all: He's got the looks, the brains and the talent."
It looks like the Royals found a hidden gem in the second round. As his former coach said, when Eibner is in center field, you better have a camera rolling.
"He's a highlight reel waiting to happen in center field," Van Horn said. "He's just an unbelievable kid."
Samuel Zuba is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.