In a baseball universe flickering with intentional losing, the Royals employ a bold strategy: trying. They haven’t seen much success of late, but that’s largely due to the natural contention cycling of a small market club. Also due in part to the death of young fireballer Yordano Ventura, whose innings could’ve gone a long way toward bridging from one cycle to the next. This group of prospects isn’t quite as promising as the Hosmer Moose crew that brought home a title, but it’s not overly optimistic to compare the two. Brighter times are coming to Kauffman Stadium.Please, blog, may I have some more?
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We don’t do waves in the Midwest.
It’s caused a problem for me this week. Would be so much easier to just say there’s a wave headed straight for Kansas City.
In 2018, Royals’ General Manager Dayton Moore had a draft class that could define his organization’s decade. The pressure was on as he’d gained picks from the free agent core exodus, and the organization was staring into the abyss.
Premium college pitching was falling.
It didn’t seem to fit with Kansas City’s positional needs.
But Moore leaned in, took what fell, and built a wave of pitching talent that has succeeded so far. In Singer, Kowar, Lynch, Bowlan and Bubic, Moore might’ve built a full rotation in a day. Might’ve drafted the best pitching class in the club’s history.
Since that fateful day in 2018, the Royals have unearthed Adalberto Mondesi, Jorge Soler, and Hunter Dozier and might themselves be contending again way before anyone would have guessed.
Kansas City’s best prospects are mostly these recent additions that quickly leapt the names we’ve been accustomed to seeing on this list. Nick Pratto was the 14th overall pick in 2017, but he’s a first baseman who hit .197 in High A. He was young for the level, but I’m not pounding the table for a decent hit, decent power first baseman who hasn’t hit as a professional. Seuly Matias was somehow even worse, striking out 44.3 percent of the time while hitting .148 and slugging .307. They might both be decent free agent adds at the moment, but you can’t trade for them or trade them away.
For our game, the tacit appeal of Kansas City prospects remains Dayton Moore’s steadfast commitment to his guys. When/if they reach the majors, they will get a lot of opportunities to fail. Whit Merrifield wasn’t an accident to Moore. Drafted in 2010, Merrifield spent seven seasons in the organization before hitting two home runs and stealing eight bases in 81 games with a .323 on-base percentage as a rookie. Not a loud debut for a 27-year-old rookie. But then Whit got steady playing time in 2017 and went nuts: 19 HR 34 SB.
It pays to keep an eye on their upper minors, is all I’m saying, and their slow-burn youngsters. From Mondesi to Merrifield to Dozier to whoever might step forward in 2020, Kansas City has been a sneaky source for value these past few years. I’m worried about the role Ned Yost played in these Soler-ish breakouts. I’m just recklessly speculating from a distance here, but Yost seems like a major dude who exudes positive energy, while Matheny seems to prefer more of a flexed rectum lifestyle. Could be he’s loosened up some. Could be he was already loose, and my perspective is too distant to have any accuracy.Please, blog, may I have some more?
A great season of live looks comes to a close, as Lance and I each discuss our final games of the season. Luckily we have some great names to bring you this week, but not before we briefly hit on Arizona Fall League rosters, and some of the recent MLB callups including the early returns on one Michael Kopech, Tyler O’Neill, Harrison Bader and Luis Urias. It’s another show not to miss, as we navigate the minor leagues over the last week. Don’t forget to checkout our sponsor Rotowear, by heading over to Rotowear.com and using our promo code SAGNOF to save 20% on all Rotowear brand shirts. It’s the latest episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast
Follow me on @ProspectJesus and check out the first edition of my Top 500 Prospects! Follow Lance on Twitter @LanceBrozdowPlease, blog, may I have some more?