4 Kansas City Royals Named To Top 100 Prospects List (And One Who Got Snubbed)
Kansas City Royals: 4 Players Make Top 100 Prospects, One Gets Majorly Snubbed
Another noteworthy offseason announcement (that I missed because of a sports-induced sadness-coma) came on Jan. 23 when MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list was released. On it are four members of the Kansas City Royals' farm system that are getting fans pumped up for what's soon to come.
The “prospect points” system used to rank all MLB teams on the list places the Royals at 6th place after ranking in at 14th last year. Seeing KC climbing higher on this list is a great sign, especially after trading away big-time prospect Will Myers for James Shields and Wade Davis. Small-market teams now have a better chance to compete with the Evil Empires and other bullies on the block than they've ever had before, and savvy operation of their farm systems is one of the biggest reasons why.
This successful use of the franchise's minor league teams is also a big reason for trigger-happy fans to bottle up their criticism of GM Dayton Moore. Vitriol aimed at Moore seems markedly less common lately, and projections such as this should keep the disdain to a minimum for years to come.
All of these prospects impressed the scouts enough to warrant their inclusion on such a list, and they've all done distinct things to keep KC fans hopeful. Whether it's coming from the bat, the glove or the arm, all of these future Royals are giving the team and the fanbase reasons to be excited for the future.
Ahead, you'll find the Royals that made the list as well as well as another Royal who was undeservedly omitted.
No. 25 - Kyle Zimmer
Although he was justifiably deemed a fast riser, Kyle Zimmer is an exciting but unproven prospect. Perhaps this year he'll get his first chances to shine. This intriguing young starter is the highest-ranked Royal on the list, and it's well-deserved.
No. 35 - Yordano Ventura
Yordano Ventura showed promise on a limited pitch count through three outings in 2013. Many fans look to see him make the transition from highly-touted prospect to highly-valued starter this season. He'll be competing with Duffy, Luke Hochevar and others for the final spot in the starting five during this offseason, so his performance in Surprise will go a long way toward determining his role with the team in 2014.
No. 38 - Adalberto Mondesi
Apparently he now wishes to be called Raul Mondesi, but whatever you call him, the infielder formerly known as Adalberto Mondesi is a remarkable young ball-player with a ridiculously high ceiling. Although he only ranks in toward the middle of the list this year, look for his position on the list to steadily rise. The guy hit .311 in Rookie ball as a 17-year-old, folks. He's worthy of some hype.
No. 91 - Jorge Bonifacio
This younger sibling of current Royals platoon man, Emilio, is a Dominican-born 20-year-old who has hit .300 or over in every farm league from Rookie A ball to Double-A. He sprays the ball all over the field, brings a strong arm and average defensive skills to right field and is projected to significantly improve his power hitting over time.
The Snub - Bubba Starling
Apparently, scouts had no love for Bubba after a shaky season in A ball with the Lexington Legends. Bubba posted a slash line of .241/.329/.398 in his first year beyond Rookie League play, splitting starts between different outfield positions. After being ranked 26th before last season began and 41st during the year, Starling was completely omitted from 2014's preseason list. Many scouts still think extremely highly of the freakishly athletic and awesomely named prospect. He's still a prototypical ball-player with a high ceiling, and that's not going to change. Expect him to prove the doubters wrong and keep the dreamers hopeful with a breakout 2014 season in the minors.