Kansas City Royals Minor League Assignments

Minor league rosters are out and games started Thursday, let’s see if we can spot some zigs or zags and gain insight on how the Royals feel about their prospects’ prospects.

Team/League

Player (Ranking in January) *[on 40-man]

KC Royals/MLB

Matt Strahm (1)

Hunter Dozier (2)

The good news is Strahm lowered his ERA in his second and third appearances of the year. The bad news was he got one out and gave up two runs, then allowed a walk-off walk, which was better than the one out four run performance on opening day. He’ll probably be okay, long-term, but a refresher course in the minors may be in the offing.

Dozier came down with a mystery strain when the Royals needed a 40-man spot, so he landed on the 60-day DL. The service time, it’s accruing.

Omaha Storm Chasers/AAA

Josh Staumont (3)

Peter O’Brien (4)*

Jorge Bonifacio (5)*

Ryan O’Hearn (8)

Corey Toups (16)

Bubba Starling (19)*

Cam Gallagher (20)*

Kevin McCarthy (31)*

Jake Junis (32) *

Andrew Edwards (33)*

Ramon Torres (43)*

This is a more interesting group than most AAA classes. Staumont and Junis are in the rotation, but if the five-alarm fire in the Kauffman pen doesn’t get extinguished soon, LaLoosh may be up sooner than later.  They really need a righty to complement Peter Moylan who has appeared in 5 of the Royals first 7 games. Edwards and McCarthy are on the 40-man and only a phone call away as Ned searches through his junk drawer bullpen looking for a Madson or Holland – left-handed scissors, broken chip clip, a bent push pen, three pennies – dammit nothing  yet….

O’Hearn and Toups are auditioning for 2018 roles, and I hope it works, but I am still doubtful. Like Toups, Johnny Giavotella was a 24 year old in Omaha – though JG was repeating the level. Giavotella put up a 130 wRC+ and that is about what it would take for Toups to have a chance, as his defense is supposed to be better than Johnny G.

You would think O’Hearn would have to outhit the fringy 2B-type to have a chance, so he would need to be >130.

Starling will likely struggle, get called up in September, then loose his roster spot in the off-season.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals/AA

Samir Duenez (6)*

Donald Dewees (7)

Kyle Zimmer (18)*

Eric Skogland (22)

Zach Lovvorn (24)

Corey Ray (25)

Pedro Fernandez (29)

Frank Schwindel (36)

Miguel Almonte (44)*

Alfredo Escalera (47)

Christian Binford (HM)

Dewees is auditioning for 2018 CF, Duenez at 1B if he can up his power game. Zimmer and Almonte have a great shot at contributing to the Kauffman pen this year.

Wilmington/HiA

Chase Vallot (9)

AJ Puckett (17)

Scott Blewett (21)

Nicky Lopez (23)

DJ Burt (34)

Jared Ruxor (35)

Anderson Miller (37)

Roman Collins (38)

Foster Griffin (40)

Travis Maezes (49)

Richard Lovelady (50)

Brandon Downes (HM)

Elier Hernandez (HM)

Cristian Castillo (NR)

Wilmington sticks out for the rotation including Puckett, Griffin (promoted despite a terrible ’16) and Scott Blewett. Nicky Lopez has a chance to prove his performance at Burlington by skipping all the way to Hi A.

Jen Nevius reports that the Royals have moved Roman Collins to 1B, which is bewildering. Collins isn’t going to hit enough, and one could surmise it expedient to move Vallot so he can just mash and promote X Fernandez in his place at catcher.

Lexington/Lo A

Meibrys Viloria (10)

Khalil Lee (11)

Xavier Fernandez (13)

Gabriel Cancel (14)

Manny Olloque (15)

Garrett Davila (26)

Nolan Watson (41)

Travis Eckert (42)

Emmanuel Rivera (45)

Ricky Aracena (46)

Chris DeVito (HM)

Amalani Fukofuka (HM)

Gerson Garabito (HM)

Marten Gasparini (HM)

Kort Peterson (NR)

Lexington is the most exciting stop on this tour. All three of the ‘Don’t Scout the Stat Line Specials’ are here – though X Fernandez should be in Wilmington – Olloque and Cancel have a chance to make an impression. I am also very interested in Emmanuel Rivera’s year, as his winter ball performance was outstanding.

Kort is too old for his level but hit the snot out of the ball last year.

Extended Spring Training/Short-Season

Seuly Matias (12)

Jeison Guzman (27)

Esteury Ruiz (28)

Yeison Melo (39)

Cal Jones (48)

Logan Gray (HM)

Ashe Russell (HM)

Cristhian Vasquez (HM)

Sebastian Rivero (NR)

Sebastian Rivero has the Royals all agog at catcher. Yeison didn’t get the plane ticket to full season ball despite being a Pioneer League All-Star last year. I thought Matias might get the trip to Lexington, but he is young enough that it doesn’t matter. Needs to cut the K rate regardless.
Featured photo Matt Strahm – Kansas City Star/John Sleezer

 

 

 

About KC Shankland 13 Articles
KC Shankland lives in Maple Valley, Washington. His Royals fandom runs from the Royals/Yankees blood feud of the ‘70s to Hosmer’s mad dash home. ‘People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. Obsess over prospects.’

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