Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (8) | 2013 (18) | 2012 (3) | 2011 (1) | 2010 (16)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [89-73] AL Central
AAA: [76-67] Pacific Coast League – Omaha
AA: [53-87] Texas League – Northwest Arkansas
A+: [65-72] Carolina League – Wilmington
A: [57-83] South Atlantic League – Lexington

Graduated Prospects
Yordano Ventura, RHP

The Gist
The Royals went all the way to the World Series in 2014, helped in part by the pitching of rookie Yordano Ventura. He averaged 96 on his fastball, second only to Garrett Richards. The 23-year-old will enter 2015 as the ace of the Royals’ staff. No pressure or anything. Brandon Finnegan, the Royals’ first round pick in 2014, contributed to the major league club as well. While he was impressive in the bullpen, it looks like the Royals will lean towards stretching him out in the minors. Other top prospects in this system will look to “bounce back” either from injury or disappointing performances. If you’re in need of a short-term prospect for this year Terrance Gore is likely to provide some stolen bases, but he’s behind Jarrod Dyson on a crowded outfield depth chart.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Raul Mondesi Jr., SS | Age: 19 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
472 54 92 14 12 8 33 5.1% 25.6% 17 4 .211 .256 .354

If you scout the stat line Mondesi doesn’t look like somebody to get excited about, but considering he was just 18 years old in High-A (5th youngest at the level) we can take the poor performance with a grain of salt. There are still plenty of positive reports from scouts about Mondesi’s tools and he’s likely to stick at the shortstop position. Both his hit and power tools are graded as average or better, which would put him somewhere in the 10-15 homer range with around a .270 batting average. He also has double-plus speed, which could yield a nice chunk of steals. The negatives are his somewhat distant ETA, pitcher-friendly home park, and the limited power. Mondesi has already begun filling out and it’s just a matter of staying patient with the teenager.

2. Hunter Dozier, 3B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
534 69 115 30 0 8 60 12.3% 23.8% 10 5 .251 .350 .369

Dozier brings plus power to the hot corner, although how much of it will play is a question mark. The potential is there for 20 home runs from the former first-round draft pick, but Dozier really struggled after his promotion to Double-A. His approach might yield more extra-base hits than dingers and he may just not hit enough period. The 2014 struggle shouldn’t be a huge surprise since the move to Double-A is one of the biggest jumps in the minors. Dozier will return to the Texas League to start the 2015 season, and could be MLB ready sometime in 2016.

3. Sean Manaea, LHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
7 8 3.11 25 25 0 121.2 102 54 42 5 4.0 10.8 .228

Manaea has the potential to be a #3 starter in the big leagues, and his ratios should be aided by the pitching-friendly home park in KC. Like most young pitchers, there is still some work to do in the control department and there are concerns about his health with hip surgery already on the resume. Manaea features three plus offerings in his fastball, slider, and changeup and had good results in his first full season of pro ball. He’s already firmly planted in the top 100 of most prospects lists and should see his stock soar even higher with another healthy season.

4. Brandon Finnegan, LHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2015

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
0 4 1.33 13 5 0 27.0 20 10 4 3 1.3 8.7 .200

Finnegan might be my favorite prospect on this list due to his proximity and versatility. As a starter, he’s got enough upside to be a #3 or #4 in a big league rotation with a healthy number of strikeouts. As a reliever he could top out as a solid closer. The starter role has more fantasy value obviously, and as of right now it appears the Royals are leaning towards stretching him out in the minors. That’s good news. The bad news is there’s pretty significant risk that he ends up in the pen in a setup gig. If you are a gambling man (or woman) Finnegan is an arm that should go in the first round of your dynasty league first-year player drafts.

5. Jorge Bonifacio, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
566 49 116 20 4 4 51 8.8% 22.4% 8 3 .230 .302 .309

Emilio’s younger brother is getting closer to joining him in the major leagues. Bonifacio is a right fielder who has average or better tools across the board, with his plus power being the best of them. He missed time in 2013 with a broken hamate, then spent the entire year at Double-A in 2014, where he awas one of the five youngest players in his league. There’s still a lot of polishing that needs to happen in order for him to get to all of that power, so expect him to repeat Double-A in 2015 with a major league ETA in late 2016/early 2017.

6. Kyle Zimmer, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
0 0 1.93 6 5 0 4.2 5 1 1 0 7.7 9.6 .263

Both Manaea and Finnegan have had injury issues in the past, but Zimmer just can’t seem to stay on the mound at all and it’s starting to become pretty frustrating for dynasty owners. In the last three years he’s pitched a total of 155 innings. When healthy, you can make a strong case for Zimmer to be #1 on this list based on his stuff alone, but until he can string together the starts his value is limited. The latest shoulder surgery makes him borderline droppable in leagues with shallower farm systems. Instead maybe you can take prop bets on what body part he’ll injure next.

7. Miguel Almonte, RHP | Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
6 8 4.50 23 22 0 110.0 107 60 55 9 2.6 8.3 .259

Almonte’s fastball and changeup are both plus pitches, but he’s still developing the third offering that will bring the big strikeout numbers we want from our starters in fantasy. Almonte pitched in High-A in 2014 as a 21-year-old, and he should get his first taste of Double-A hitters this season. There’s some bullpen risk attached here and the curveball may never come around, but if it does he has a mid-rotation starter ceiling. His control was good with 2.6 BB/9, but most reports mention a need for him to spot his stuff better to really reach his potential. Command is usually the last piece of the puzzle, so it could just be a matter of time and experience for that to happen.

8. Elier Hernandez, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
446 54 111 19 4 9 34 3.6% 22.2% 5 5 .264 .296 .393

Just behind Jorge Bonifacio as a potential everyday right fielder, Hernandez has shown an ability to hit and hit for power. A J2 signee from 2011, Hernandez spent the entire year in the South Atlantic League and held his own as a 19-year-old. Fantasy owners would obviously like to see him leapfrog Bonifacio on the depth chart, but it might be even better if he gets moved away from KC’s big ballpark and small-ball approach to a place where his power can shine. Like Bonifacio, there’s the risk he ends up being nothing more than a fourth outfielder type, but there’s also more upside than Boni. Keep an eye on him in the Carolina League this year.

9. Bubba Starling, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
549 67 105 23 4 9 54 9.0% 27.5% 17 2 .218 .304 .338

If you’ve held Starling this long already, you might as well continue to hold. Although the stats were disappointing yet again, the 22-year-old outfielder is still a toolshed and isn’t completely devoid of upside. In shallower dynasty leagues with smaller farms, he’s not a great target. But in the deeper formats where you can afford to sit and play the “wait-and-see” game, Starling is still worth a gamble. He’ll head back to High-A to start the year with a hopefully a promotion to Double-A sometime this summer.

10. Chase Vallot, C | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
222 29 40 14 0 7 27 11.7% 36.5% 0 1 .215 .329 .403

A catcher with a long ETA, Vallot is another prospect in this system that you should only be worrying about if you play in a deep dynasty format with a big farm. There’s a lot of offensive potential, it’s just going to take a while to come together. Vallot was selected 4oth overall in the 2014 draft and has plus power coupled with an average hit tool. The 18-year-old swatted seven homers in his pro debut but also struck out at a high rate. It will be interesting to see if the Royals choose to push him to full-season ball in 2015.

Royals Previews: 2014 | 2013

AL T10 Prospects Index

 
  1. Lville Jim says:
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    What are your thoughts on Forrest Wall, got him with the 8th pick in our FA draft. I know he is long ways away, but I’ll certainly wait and see with a Colorado MI. Also their are some arms remaining that most likely won’t make it to me by my second pick. Finnegan, Severino, Berrios, and Alex Reyes. In your estimation are any of these worth swapping out with Lucas Sims or Kohl Stewart?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      the arms you have are fine…Wall I like and ranked him 4th in the Rockies top ten…double digit power in that park is doable and he’s got the speed for 25 steals. Longer ETA like you mentioned though.

  2. Yescheese says:
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    What an ugly system following the recent system “hey day”! Still some useful pieces but last year’s struggles (Mondesi, Dozier, Bonifacio, Zimmer) definitely dampen my enthusiasm.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yeah, it’s not the greatest, especially after we just ran through Texas and Colorado. I picked up Finnegan in a FYPD, but outside of that I don’t own any shares of KC prospects this year

  3. The Big Yabu says:
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    Looking for a little dynasty league advice here…
    5×5 roto, all players kept indefinitely (no salary cap or anything like that)
    I finished second last year, and should be in the running this year
    OFFER #1: I get Jordan Zimmerman and J.P. Crawford for Anthony Rizzo
    J-Zim would replace Lance Lynn (or Tanaka) in my starting lineup, Rizzo would be replaced by Todd Frazier, and currently have Ian Desmond and SS
    OFFER #2: I get Tyson Ross and Brian McCann for Devin Mesoraco and…something else
    McCann would be my backup to Posey, replacing Mesoraco
    How much should I be willing to give up besides Mesoraco?
    And overall which offer, if either, seems better to you?
    Thanks for the input!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no problem…I’m not a fan of the Rizzo deal

      Is it a 1-catcher league? I like Mesoraco more than McCann, so I’m not sure it’s worth it just to get your hands on Ross, especially if you already have Posey as well. Maybe shop Mesoraco alone for an arm and slot Posey at C?

      • The Big Yabu says:
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        @Mike: Thanks for the input!
        Yes, it’s a 1-C league. FWIW: McCann would just be a backup — there are no waivers in the league, just 3 drafts per year, so (IMO) it’s important to have major-league depth. If I didn’t get McCann, I’d draft a backup (best unowned C right now is Russell Martin).
        So: should I counter with Mesoraco for Ross straight-up? Or add a little sum-sum to get Ross and McCann? Or just keep shopping?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          gotcha, yeah with no waivers a backup is nice to have. I think Martin is a great choice for a backup

          I’d see if you can get a better arm than Ross for Mes, and knwo that you can alwasy fall back to that if you have to

  4. Ryan says:
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    In my 20 team h2h 6×6 dynasty league, I was just offered carlos gomez, lonnie chisenhall, letroy hawkins, and brandon mccarthy for adam jones, byron buxton and jake odirizzi. I think this is an easy counter right? Am I not getting enough here? Some notable players on his team are: mauer, wieters, lawrie, andrus, trout, springer, napoli, lester, carlos rodon and gerrit cole. I was thinking of countering with bryant jones odorizzi for springer gomez. Is that a deal I should do?

    c kurt suzuki
    1b miguel cabrera
    2b neil walker
    3b evan longoria
    ss ian desmond
    lf justin upton
    cf adam jones
    rf alex rios
    util austin jackson
    bn kris bryant bn bryon buxton bn marcus semien bn dalton pompey bn jose peraza

    sp garret richards
    sp clayton kershaw
    sp cliff lee
    rp jacob degrom
    rp jordan walden

    rp bret cecil
    p hyun jin ryu p jake odorizzi bn tanner roark bn wily peralta

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yeah, I don’t like it personally. I’d be holding onto Bryant and Jones unless he’s willing to part with a guy like Trout.

  5. Baezaworldseries says:
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    Bubba was drafted 5th over all in 2011. Before Rendon, Baez, and Springer. Shouldn’t he be number one on this list?
    I’m keeding. I hate him and Zimmer. I’ve been holding both for like 3 years in one keeper. It’s time to let go. Nice job Mike.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha thanks!

  6. Ryan says:
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    @Mike: So bryant jones odorizzi for springer gomez isn’t any better?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Feels like a wash

      • Ryan says:
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        @Mike: oh ok so the upside of bryant outweighs the gomez springer side?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          that plus you’re giving up Jones, who is still a Top 20 player right now

          • Ryan says:
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            @Mike: Thanks for the heads up! I just thought gomez had the edge in value because of his speed.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              no problem

  7. MadMax210 says:
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    Hey Mike! 6×6 roto…Gordon in 10th or Yelich in 21??

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Alex? I’d go with Yelich in the 21st

      • MadMax210 says:
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        @Mike: sorry, no Dee Gordon

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no worries…I’d still want Yelich there

  8. Baezaworldseries says:
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    Do you think Texas will make a move for Hamels? Wouldn’t it be great for the Phils to strip that farm of 2 or 3 top guys?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      hard to say, but yeah they have some nice prospects the Phils could certainly use

  9. Rick says:
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    Mike off the subject but is there a reason not to draft S. Castro. He’s still available in the 13th round of my slow draft I’m participating in?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      hell no…I’d grab him, especially if it’s a keeper/dynasty

      • Rick says:
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        @Mike:

        Thanks! Hopefully he is still there.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          no problem

    • Baezaworldseries says:
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      @Rick: Get him. Quick!

  10. Swfcdan says:
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    It’s strange, I’ve seen Zimmer ranked in the 30-40 range overall in most prospect rankings I look at. It’s hard to look past the injuries, he does have great stuff is that why a lot of ranking sites are sticking by him? He really could either rise or plummet this year depending on health.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      for sure…when he’s healthy he’s great. Fantasy wise, there are a bunch of other arms I could invest in who don’t have his injury issues.

  11. Dr. Sauce says:
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    Hey Mike; respect your research and your work! I have run this question by Big Magoo and Grey, but thought since you are the prospect guy I would give you a shout as well.
    ESPN standard (5X5)/6 man keeper (keep forever); I’m locked in on Cutch, Stanton, Goldy, Donaldson and Arenado. My last keeper spot is between Braun, Kipnis, Chapman, Baez, K. Bryant, Joc Pederson; my brain is saying Braun or Kipnis but my heart and guts are screaming Baez or Bryant (depending on if he breaks camp with the big club). I saw on your top 100 keepers (next 5 years) you have Baez at 40, Kipnis at 47 and Braun (91 if memory serves). Where would Bryant rank on that list if he were eligible? Any and all input appreciated!

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Thanks! That is a gorgeous five you have there. Bryant and Baez would be my picks in a keep forever, and I’d lean towards keeping Bryant over Baez at this point.

  12. Mark says:
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    Hey Mike should I take chance sisco or billy mckinney in my dynasty draft? 15 teams 20 milb per team. Thanks man

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d go with McKinney

      • Mark says:
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        @Mike: Thanks

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          No problem

  13. Oppo Taco says:
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    Hey Mike ,our draft is tonight. its a 12 team 5×5 roto keeper. We keep 8 players. I have the 3rd and 13th overall picks (roughly rounds 9 and 10) and was wondering who to target. Here are my keepers : Cutch, Goldy, Rizzo, J Upton, Hanley, Bautista, MadBum, Cole
    Theres no MI/CI slots and we have two Util slots. 1 catcher league. Which of these guys should I take at 3rd overall tonight? Can you rank them since two of them will likely be off the board, thanks! Im considering Yelich since my team could be a little light on speed, and I know how accurate you are with your first Post of the new year (Soler).

    AVAILABLE : Soler, Yelich, Betts, Ortiz, Myers, Dozier, Kimbrel, Cobb, Iwakuma, Wood, Corrasco

    I think I could land Myers at 13th since Yahoo hates him, The other guys all look like first rounders to me.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      cool, so I’m a little confused what you mean by first post of the year, but I’d look at taking Soler, Yelich, Dozier, Myers, Betts

  14. Milarky says:
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    Hey Mike, love your prospect posts. But do you ever do posts with a list of rookies that will make an impact this year (beyond the obvious)? I ask because we have to start a rookie hitter an pitcher above and beyond our other position requirements, and it’s difficult to know who to look for beyond the sexy prospects that are already on someone’s rosters.

  15. Mark says:
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    Mike, I lost Stroman, sorry to being a downer.

    I am a little thin at SP (Carrasco, Arrieta, Tillman, Lackey, Ervin Santana, Buchholz with Box, Wade Davis, G Holland, Soria, doolittle, neshek)

    A guy offered me Teheran for Stroman and my 1st and 3rd picks in 2016

    50 guys per team. 15 teams. 5×5 roto dynasty weekly CBS/ESPN rosters. 20 milb per team.

    Do the deal? Also, would you do gio or teheran first?

    Thanks for your time

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      no worries…Cliff is killing me

      I think your staff actually looks pretty solid. I like Teheran over Gio, but it’s hard to say whether you should do the deal without really knowing the value of those picks. Does your league keep so many players that it’s pretty much just the new signees that are drafted? If that’s the case, I’d probably do the deal.

      • Mark says:
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        @Mike: 50 players per team, so the 12th pick in this year’s draft was Tyler Kolek if that helps. 15th was trea turner

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          ok, yeah that helps a lot…so we’re talking the new guys and prospects

          I’d take the Teheran offer

          • Mark says:
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            @Mike: Thanks Mike for the help

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              no problem

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