Kansas City Royals Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Things are finally looking up at Kauffman, or more specifically, Wilmington and Lexington. The Royals have sort of embraced a remodel, if not a rebuild. The Herrera and Moustakas returns weren’t slam dunks but at least are an acknowledgement of their current status. The Royals minors are definitely trending up, both with the additions and (finally) some successful development.  Add in a probable Top 3 pick in the 2019 draft and Mission 2021 is slowly coming into focus.

A reminder: this is a dynasty league list, assuming you are rostering hundreds of minor leaguers.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster


Tier 1:
 None


Tier 2:

1. Khalil Lee, OF 
Age: 20 (6/26/98)
2018 Highest Level: AA

2. Seuly Matias, OF
Age: 19 (9/4/98)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

3. MJ Melendez, C
Age: 19 (11/29/98)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

No change. I’m really tempted to bump Lee into Tier 1, but am scared off by the multiple All-Star appearances criteria. Lee has done exactly what he has needed to do, earning a promotion to AA the year he turned 20. I am certain he is at least an average fantasy OF, maybe better if the power fully develops and he can stick in CF for a few years.  He has gotten better as the competition has gotten harder, which is exactly what you want. Buy, I think Lee is still underrated, nationally.

First AA homer:

Matias is absolutely killing it. His ceiling is certainly multiple All-Star appearances as a RF, limited by the hit tool and K rate. He is being punished by the BABIP Gods, but that may be required for Matias to get to his power. Joey Gallo also has bottom of the barrel BABIP numbers. Matias is only 19 and can certainly improve. Lexington is also an excellent place to hit, Matias is slashing .218/.277/.521 on the road. Any cut in K/rate will likely pay immediate dividends, magic 8 ball says:

I’m excited. 30 HR as a teenager? Yes please!

All of which applies for Melendez as well. Currently slashing 221/286/419 on the road. Plenty of time. Catching both makes it more likely he’ll make MLB, and limits his impact in dynasty leagues.

4. Nicky Lopez, SS
Age: 23 (3/13/95)
2018 Highest Level: AAA

He’s ready, better than Escobar right now. Lopez will be more valuable to the Royals than to your fantasy team, but will be easy to root for as a fan. Think peak Rey Sanchez and you’ll be close, I think.

5. Kyle Isbel, OF
Age: 21 (3/3/97)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

Buy. Stud. Hitterish.


SPs that have a chance to be guys you want to start for your team:

6. Brady Singer, RHP
Age: 22 (8/4/96)
2018 Highest Level: yet to appear

7. Daniel Lynch, LHP
Age: 21 (11/17/96)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

8. Carlos Hernandez, RHP
Age: 21 (3/11/97)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

9. Jackson Kowar, RHP
Age: 21 (10/4/96)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

10. Kris Bubic, LHP
Age: 20 (8/19/97)
2018 Highest Level: Rookie Plus

As we turn towards the 2018 draft, the Royals have four picks from #18 to #40 next month.  That is a range that gives them a chance to grab four college SPs hoping to time their rise with the budding future at Wilmington and Lexington.

Sometimes it all comes together. Carlos Hernandez’s stuff ticked up this year, the rest are 2018 draft picks. KC drafted 5 college SP with picks 18-58 in this year’s draft. If they get two #3’s and solid RP out of this haul it will have been a success.


Tier 3:

11. Nick Pratto, 1B
Age: 19 (10/6/98)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A
It isn’t working yet. Still plenty of time.

12. Gabriel Cancel, 2B
Age: 21 (12/8/96)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

13. Emmanuel Rivera, 3B
Age: 22 (6/29/96)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

14. Brewer Hicklen, OF
Age: 22 (2/9/96)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

15. Travis Jones, OF
Age: 22 (9/29/95)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

Another level, another year of success for Cancel and Rivera. They are inching closer.

Hicklen continues to impress, the former UAB walk-on and WR has some baseball skills. He also greatly benefited from hitting in Lexington. Time to prove all the doubters wrong.

Travis Jones is a Texas Longhorn product, 29th round pick for KC in 2017 who has now dominated across 5 levels with a .380 BABIP while playing the 4 corners (1B/3B/LF/RF/). Needs to keep bringing it to have a chance.

Pretty Good Relievers:

16. Josh Staumont, RHP
Age: 24 (12/21/93)
2018 Highest Level: AAA

17. Richard Lovelady, LHP
Age: 23 (7/7/95)
2017 Highest Level: AAA


Tier 4:

18. Ryan O’Hearn, 1B
Age: 25 (7/26/93)
2018 Highest Level: MLB

19. Frank Schwindel, 1B
Age: 26 (6/29/92)
2018 Highest Level: AAA

20. Samir Duenez, 1B
Age: 22 (6/11/96)
2018 Highest Level: AA

Royals bumped O’Hearn to MLB last week. Duenez on the 40-man. None of these likely to work.

Here are some guys that might be as good as Junis or Skoglund:

21. Heath Fillmeyer, RHP
Age: 24 (5/16/94)
2018 Highest Level: MLB

22. Trevor Oaks, RHP
Age: 25 (3/26/93)
2018 Highest Level: MLB

23. Jorge Lopez, RHP
Age: 25 (2/10/93)
2018 Highest Level: AAA

24. Scott Blewett, RHP
Age: 22 (4/10/96)
2018 Highest Level: AA

25. Foster Griffin, LHP
Age: 23 (7/27/95)
2018 Highest Level: AA

26. Andres Machado, RHP
Age: 25 (4/22/93)
Highest Level: AAA

Chuck’n’ Duck. You’ll cringe if you are spot starting these guys in your league.
Tier 5:

27. Nick Heath, OF
Age: 24 (11/27/93)
2018 Highest Level: AA

28. Cal Jones, OF
Age: 20 (9/16/97)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

29. Juan Carlos Negret, OF
Age: 19 (6/19/99)
2018 Highest Level: Rookie (Rookie +)

30. Kevon Jackson, OF
Age: 18 (6/14/00)
2018 Highest Level: Rookie AZL

31. Blake Perkins, OF
Age: 21 (9/10/96)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

32. D.J. Burt, 2B
Age: 22 (10/13/95)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

33. Rudy Martin, OF
Age: 22 (1/31/96)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

Speedy athletic guys that could be good.


Lower Level Pitchers That Could Be Good

34. Gerson Garabito, RHP
Age: 22 (8/19/95)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

35. Jonathan Bowlan, RHP
Age: 21 (12/1/96)
2018 Highest Level: Rookie+

36. Janser Lara, RHP
Age: 21 (8/10/96)
2017 Highest Level: Low-A

37. Charlie Neuweiler, RHP
Age: 19 (2/8/99)
2017 Highest Level: Low-A

38. Yefri del Rosario, RHP
Age: 18 (9/23/99)
2017 Highest Level: Low-A

Catcher Parade:

39. Cam Gallagher, C
Age: 25 (12/6/92)
2018 Highest Level: MLB

40. Nick Dini, C
Age: 25 (7/27/93)
2018 Highest Level: AAA

41. Xavier Fernandez, C
Age: 23 (7/15/95)
2018 Highest Level: AA

42. Meibrys Viloria, C
Age: 21 (2/15/97)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

43. Sebastian Rivero, C
Age: 19 (11/16/98)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

44. Jesus Atencio, C
Age: 21 (8/22/96)
2018 Highest Level: Rookie+

One of these guys will be backing up Melendez once Salvy is gone.

45. Michael Gigliotti, OF
Age: 22 (2/14/96)
2018 Highest Level: Low-A

46. Donnie Dewees, OF
Age: 24 (9/29/93)
2018 Highest Level: AAA

Was really looking forward to see Gigliotti’s first full season, unfortunately blew out a knee in April. Dewees isn’t doing near enough to stay on this list.

47. Elier Hernandez, OF
Age: 23 (11/21/94)
2018 Highest Level: AAA

Made it to AAA.

48. Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B
Age: 23 (8/28/94)
2018 Highest Level: AA

Part of the bounty from the Kelvin Herrera deal, apparently the Royals have a one Kelvin minimum. Has done nothing to justify any optimism. Older than Aldeberto Mondesi and Elier Hernandez, has performed worse, at a lower level.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

49. Kort Peterson, OF
Age: 24 (4/29/94)
2018 Highest Level: AA

24th round pick in 2016, has hit at every stop. Will have to keep bringing it to have a chance.

50. Chase Vallot, “C”
Age: 21 (8/21/96)
2018 Highest Level: High-A

Oof. Need a live rooster.

 

Featured image of Seuly Matias – via Lexington Legends on Twitter

About KC Shankland 21 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.’

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for reading. He was one of the last cuts – if he makes it I think he is a reliever. He is getting killed away from Wilmington, which is a great place to pitch.

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