Ranking Kansas City Royals' 10 Best Prospects Heading Into 2015

By Doug LaCerte

10 Best Kansas City Royals Prospects of 2015

Kyle Zimmer Kansas City Royals
Christian Petersen - Getty Images Sport

The 2014 campaign was the most important season in nearly three decades for the Kansas City Royals. KC now has quite a few crucial decisions to make regarding their roster in 2015. Here, we have 10 prospects who could influence how the Royals allocate their resources this offseason. All entries are players who haven't seen MLB action, but could influence the big-league roster in a huge way once they get there.

#10 - Scott Blewett

#10 - Scott Blewett
Taylor Baucom - Getty Images Sport

#10 - Scott Blewett

2014 MLB Draft Kansas City Royals
Taylor Baucom - Getty Images Sport

This 18-year-old could translate into a legit lefty starter if all goes well. His 6-foot-6 frame and remarkable command point to a very bright future for KC’s latest second-round pick. He doesn’t have the power one would expect from a starter of his size, but his control makes him noteworthy even at such a young age.

#9 - Bubba Starling

Bubba Starling Kansas City Royals
Christian Petersen - Getty Images Sport

#9 - Bubba Starling

Bubba Starling Kansas City Royals
Christian Petersen - Getty Images Sport

A plethora of raw talent and the fanbase’s desire for a local hero afford Bubba plenty of time to turn things around, but he hasn’t yet shown an ability to hit himself into a starting job. Starling has yet to hit better than .218 at the High-A level, but showed some offensive potential during his latest stint in the Arizona Fall League. Any good news about his progress from now on will be huge.

#8 - Jorge Bonifacio

#8 - Jorge Bonifacio
Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

#8 - Jorge Bonifacio

Jorge Bonifacio Kansas City Royals
Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

This promising outfielder exhibits all the necessary skills for a starting big-league right fielder, but his bat regressed when he was promoted to Double-A Northwest Arkansas last season. At that level, Bonifacio posted a .209/.303/.312 line, which just proves that he won’t be rushed up to the major leagues. At 21, he still has plenty of upside and room to grow.

#7 - Foster Griffin

#7 - Foster Griffin
Foster Griffin via Twitter

#7 - Foster Griffin

Foster Griffin Kansas City Royals
Foster Griffin via Twitter

This 19-year-old pitcher has an unexpectedly high ceiling, and he is progressing quickly. Griffin already showed potential for three better-than-average pitches, and improving his ability to repeat his delivery over time should make him a strong choice for a starter in 3-4 years.

#6 - Christian Binford

Christian Binford Kansas City Royals
Hannah Foslien - Getty Images Sport

#6 - Christian Binford

Christian Binford Kansas City Royals
Hannah Foslien - Getty Images Sport

Here we have another remarkably underrated pitching prospect. This 21-year-old lefty posted a 2.40 ERA in over 80 innings in Wilmington before being promoted to the Double-A level. He continued to excel in 48 innings at this stage, posting a 3.19 ERA, but his K/9 ratio dropped by nearly three. A little more refinement could make Binford a legit big-league option within a season or two.

#5 - Miguel Almonte

Miguel Almonte Kansas City Royals
Miguel Almonte via Twitter

#5 - Miguel Almonte

Miguel Almonte Kansas City Royals
Miguel Almonte via Twitter

This intriguing young pitcher needs to improve his off-speed stuff, but a fastball that touches 95 mph is already worthy of the big leagues. Almonte averaged more than one K per inning in Low-A ball during his latest season, posting a 3.1 ERA in 132 2-3 innings. In slightly less time with the Royals’ High-A affiliate, better batters exposed his lack of control inside the strike zone. He will have starter potential once it all comes together.

#4 - Hunter Dozier

#4 - Hunter Dozier
Ed Zurga - Getty Images Sport

#4 - Hunter Dozier

Hunter Dozier Kansas City Royals
Ed Zurga - Getty Images Sport

Dozier’s .295/.397/.429 slash line at High-A last season was impressive, but he had exactly as many plate appearances at the Double-A level and struggled to match that effectiveness. Dozier batted just .209/.303/.312 with Northwest Arkansas. Scouts still project him as an everyday starter once his batting progresses -- not bad for an eighth overall pick who was panned by many.

#3 - Raul Mondesi

Raul Mondesi Kansas City Royals
Raul Mondesi via Facebook

#3 - Raul Mondesi

Raul Mondesi Kansas City Royals
Raul Mondesi via Facebook

Mondesi ranks up there with Starling when it comes to raw talent, but he struggled mightily against Carolina League pitching in his most recent efforts. His defensive skills and overall athleticism will keep eyes on him for seasons to come, but he needs more patience and better pitch recognition to advance to the next level. Thankfully, with Raul at just 19, he has plenty of time to get better.

#2 - Kyle Zimmer

Kyle Zimmer Kansas City Royals
Christian Petersen - Getty Images Sport

#2 - Kyle Zimmer

Kyle Zimmer Kansas City Royals
Christian Petersen - Getty Images Sport

KC’s former first-round pick has all the pitches and strike zone command that he needs to be a legit No. 2 in the big leagues, with the only question mark being his health. If he can successfully recover from his recent shoulder surgery, Zimmer could fight for a starting job with the major-league club this season or the next.

#1 - Sean Manaea

Sean Manaea Kansas City Royals
Sean Manaea via Twitter

#1 - Sean Manaea

Sean Manaea Kansas City Royals
Sean Manaea via Twitter

Because he has control of three strong pitches and proven success in the Kansas City farm system, Manaea is KC's best prospect right now. He threw 121 2-3 innings at Double-A Wilmington last season, posting a 3.11 ERA and average 10.8 K/9. Depending on how the Royals use their extra cash this offseason and how other prospects perform in Spring Training, Manaea could have a shot at the starting rotation in 2015.

Doug LaCerte is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DLaC67, “like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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