I was born just days after the 1980 World Series – a match between my beloved Phils and the focus of this minor league preview…the Kansas City Royals. Since I wasn’t really conscious, I totally missed out on perhaps the two greatest third basemen of all time (yeah I see you Brooks) going head to head. I do have old pictures though. My favorite is Schmidt and Brett clinking glasses with what appears to be spiked lemonade while sitting in director’s chairs and leaning on baseball bats. I don’t think the next George Brett is in this year’s KC system. In fact, the Royals are limited to only one Grade A prospect (a recently drafted pitcher) and half of this year’s list fell into the ‘C’ tier. So it’s not exactly a powerhouse. But hey, at least the Royals provided (in my opinion) the greatest moment of the 2018 season…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Imagine if you will, Lance Brozdowski. Flowing golden locks, neatly tucked under a baseball cap. He’s driving on the open road, listening to a collection of Megadeath, Pantera, and My Morning Jacket (I have no idea if he likes any of this). This is Lance, he’s on a journey, a scouting journey. A week’s worth of travel, hitting stops in the Midwest, International, and Carolina Leagues. Seeing such players as Blake Rutherford, Hunter Greene, Nick Senzel, Seuly Mattias, and others in the flesh. Heck, he even interviewed Nick Pratto. Needless to say I shut the heck up and let the man talk. Endless takes from first hand accounts. We jump into our weekly 5×5 later in the hour jumping around MiLB. It’s a show for the ages, catch this one. As always, big shouts to our sponsor Rotowear! You can order the Rotowear Classic shirts I spoke about on the show by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’m on a mission to finish these minor league previews if it kills me. The off-season ran short, I got caught up with family and work, and here I am in mid-May scrambling to get caught up. Poor planning, my apologies to all of you. That said, y’all didn’t think I’d let you head into the weekend without a minor league update to step to did you? Oh hell naw! In no way, shape, or form would I ever leave you, my readers, my people, my children. Especially on a glorious Thursday! This week no one man ruled the roost more than the Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto. (Okay, Vlad, but how much can I write?) The 19 year old rightfielder with the sweet lefthanded swing, Soto saw promotion to AA Harrisburg last week. His Eastern League debut was the center of the prospect world, if only for that night, as it just so happened to come against the visiting Vladimir Guerrero Jr.. Soto did not disappoint, going 2-for-4, with a homer, a double, and 4 RBI. That was his AA debut, and we now have a week worth of games to dig into. While the .286/.400/.476 is pretty impressive, his walk rate of 16%, coupled with a downright OCD K rate of 16% is equally as impressive. To summarize, Soto is 19 in AA, hits for contact, hits for power, and has both elite walk and k rates for a player so young. Lance and I discussed Soto on Saturday’s new Prospect Podcast, and I ranked him at #2, when I teased an updated Top 25 on Twitter this past weekend. At this point it’s tough for me not to view him as the second best bat in the minors. Here’s why, Soto has never lacked production, he’s really only lacked health, with a couple of unfortunate injuries cutting his 2017 short. Otherwise, we might have seen him ranked inside the Top 10 entering the season. So far Soto has jumped three levels, walked more than he’s struck out, and has homered 13 times through 37 games in low-A, high-A, and AA. That’s Smut!
Please, blog, may I have some more?
Juan Soto’s 1st HR in AA (5/10/18)
Oppo taco ? pic.twitter.com/CMs6CXareH
— Prospect Gifs (@prospectgifs) May 11, 2018
When I say two you say fer! TWO!!! FER!!! That’s correct we have a twofer on our hands, as we combine the top heavy Indians system with the barren Royals Farm. The show runs long, but that’s traditionally what happens when you expect a short show. We touch on Francisco Mejia, Triston Mckenzie, Bobby Bradley, Nolan Jones, and others, before finishing up with Nick Pratto, Khalil Lee, and Seuly Matias. I mean combined it’s a hell of a system! Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Recently someone told me “The Royals ain’t got no prospects”, I encouraged this person to look deeper because the Royals got prospects. The problem just so happens to be, they only have about six good ones. Then again, that’s what happens when you do nothing but draft lefthanded starters that can’t find the plate, and dudes named Bubba and Hunter. For a team that knew they could lose multiple players to free agency, the Royals did very little to turn that into controllable assets. What you’re left with is the list below. Best described as a handful of bright spots, some solid depth arms, and a couple of fringy bats destined for quad-A labels. The one truly fantasy relevant angle to this whole post is the opportunity that exists at the major level, at least as of writing this. Even if Eric Hosmer is re-signed, or other cheap vets are brought in, there’s simply not enough depth for the Royals to not employ a few hitters from this list. One note, I’m not writing about Kyle Zimmer. Okay, I’ll probably still write about Kyle Zimmer. You know why? Because everyone needs to know about the prospects the Royals got. Everyone! Readers go out into the world and share this like made up political memes or President Trump tweets or tweets about Doanld Trump tweets. So share. Because we need to know the good word about an awful system. It’s the Kansas City Royals top prospects for 2018.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last year, my brother from another mother, Michael C. Halpern, predicted a new wave of offensive catchers. Players like Gary Sanchez, Tom Murphy, and Willson Contreras were here to lead the first wave in a new generation. Fast forward one year later, and Gary Sanchez and Contreras are in fact leading a new generation of good hitting catchers, while the other guy has been erased from my memory. Or at least I thought, I’m shocked I can even recall Tom Murphy’s name. But that’s neither here nor there. We have some exciting catchers to cover. That’s right, I used the words exciting and catchers in the same sentence! This sounds like Razzball sacrilege! But it’s true, because, for the first time since the Clinton administration, there’s as many as 10 crouching tigers I would own in dynasty. Here’s to this wave of talented backstops being better than the previous. And may that apply in the most double entendre of ways possible to all aspects of your life, loyal reader. I appreciate you for committing this time to something as trivial as catching prospects. Pray hands… So the least I can do is wish you good luck in your love life. Today’s post concludes my positional top 10s, we’ve already dug through Pitchers, outfielders, shortstops, third baseman, second baseman, and first baseman. Onto catchers!Please, blog, may I have some more?