Ranking the Kansas City Royals’ Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014
Ranking the Kansas City Royals' Top 10 Prospects Heading into 2014
The health of the minor league farm system might still be a touchy subject for a lot of Kansas City Royals officials and fans. They surely enjoy the services of James Shields and to a lesser degree Wade Davis, but the Rookie of the Year that Wil Myers won most certainly had to sting. They had watched Myers move through their system towards future all-star status only to have him traded away for starting pitchers.
There is good news here, though there is no way to really take away the sting of losing a great young player like Myers. Sometimes you have to give up a great player to get a great player. The Royals can only hope that they are able to provide themselves a solid outfield without the future services of Myers. To that end, we are going to take a glance there current farm system and see who is approaching future star status for them.
This will look at their top ten currently after their 2013 seasons. The rank hasn’t changed much since earlier in the year in most cases but their respective 2013 seasons speak to how well they are growing or how much they still need to work on things to get better. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you see something you agree or disagree with. Without further delay, here they are.
10 – Miguel Almonte
Almonte is a right-hander who appears to be on the verge of developing a few ace-level pitches. The next year or two will be critical but if all goes well he will be edging his way into an MLB rotation.
9 – Cheslor Cuthbert
Cuthbert has all the tools potentially at third base for the Royals but they will have to be patient and see how well he develops to be sure of what they have.
8 – Orlando Calixte
Calixte reportedly has the potentially to be defensively more than solid as long as he learns how to keep his focus on the routine plays. He has the arm and ability to play shortstop at the next level but his offensive side needs a little more time as well.
7 – Hunter Dozier
Dozier is one of a crowd at the shortstop position for the Royals as three of their top ten are at that position. Dozier had a solid debut in 2013 but he is far from nearing ready. If his 2014 starts off well too he could move quickly through the system.
6 – Sean Manaea
Manaea was quite the gamble for the Royals. The lefty was drafted in 2013 and signed but has yet to play because he had a hip injury that was fairly serious. He is still young and has the arm potential to be a force at 6’-5” if he can regain form. He will either make the Royals look like geniuses or not, depending on how well he bounces back.
5 – Jorge Bonifacio
Bonifacio enjoyed a very plus double-A debut in the outfield in 2013. His average was .301 which is good especially coupled with an .812 OPS. He has the tools to move quickly into a MLB outfield position if things go well. No one is going to forget about Myers but Bonifacio is a plus player potentially as well.
4 – Adalberto Mondesi
Mondesi is the top ranked shortstop of the top three for the Royals. He is moving up this next season right on schedule but he has glove and bat work to do if he hopes to impress and live up to his potential.
3 – Bubba Starling
Starling is the outfielder that most Royals fans want to make the jump to the bigs after the Myers trade but he isn’t ready. Its fine that he isn’t ready yet as the worst thing would be to get him moving too quickly up the ladder and stunt his growth. His power is there and if things go well this upcoming season, Starling could begin to look like an even better prospect than Myers was.
2 – Yordano Ventura
The 2013 season was good for right-hander Ventura with a 3.14 combined ERA. The triple-A side of that was a heftier 3.74 but the basics were still there. He gave up very few home runs and had a very impressive K/9 innings ratio that could point to dominant stuff even at the next level.
1 – Kyle Zimmer
After being promoted during the season to the next minor league step up, Zimmer’s ERA was elevated slightly. Still, his strikeouts per nine innings went way up to 13.0 in those four starts in triple-A. He probably needs some more seasoning at the triple-A level before getting the bump to the big-time.